11 July 2012

Staying Flexible, Round 2

Fighting is like art—there is a style to it, and everyone’s is just a little bit different.  And since style has such a broad scope, it’s hard to define and talk about unless you delve.  So delve we will!

In Shaolin Kempo, the style of martial arts I get beat up in regularly, we focus on five animals: snake, crane, tiger, leopard and dragon.

Everyone secretly wants to fight like a dragon, but very few actually can or do.  There’s a lot of spinning involved, and I don’t like to turn my back on my opponent, so no dragon for me.  I’m a tiger snake.

Don’t laugh.  It’s true.  I fight straight on, like a tiger, but I wait for just the right moment, and instead of completely mauling my opponents, I dart in, hit a couple of key targets and get back out, like a snake. I’m too short to pull off a real tiger (curse you tall, long limbed people), so this is my preferred method.  But sometimes it doesn’t work, so I have to channel my inner dragon or crane and shift my approach.

When I write, I prefer to do so from a third person, limited, past tense point of view.  No first person, no omniscient POV, certainly no present tense (it hurts my head) and I avoid long chunks of description whenever possible.  Bring on the dialog!

Well, in the name of being flexible, which Sensei keeps telling me I should get more serious about, I decided to write my next novel from the first person POV.  I really love the character’s voice, and I think the intimate view of first person is just the right thing for the story.

The other night I wrote part of the first chapter.  I didn’t realize until half way down the page that I was writing in third person.  Old habits die really hard!

So this is my personal exercise in flexibility.  I shall embrace the first person POV and let my character’s voice shine like the sun!

But no present tense.  Never present tense.

1 comment:

Antiquarian said...

If you are looking for some good 1st person reads I have a long list. I LOVE 1st person and find it disconcerting to read 3rd. *shrug* I like to have my stories told to me like I'm siting in a cafe listening to an old friend.