December is always a time when we look back at the past year, it’s very advent seems to spawn a need for reflection and a drive to plan for the forthcoming year with its resolutions and promises to ones self.
Looking back over the year and the many circuitous miles I have travelled along the Publishers Pathway one thing (of many) that stands out to me is the dilemma we travellers along the highway face, first or third person?
When I first encountered this question within the course material, it sagely told me that I could probably best tell my own preference by the style of my favourite author. I remember my horror, for I didn’t know. I could not consciously say in which person Stephen King wrote. I hadn’t noticed. This lead to my realisation that I needed to return to school habits and read to study as opposed to read to escape. See my earlier post on this F2 TO F3 Over the wall and uphill.
Last night I selected a new book for my bath time read (I don’t get showers, how can you enjoy a VAT and a good book in a shower?), a new read of an old book, Stephen King of course and I found my definition of third person writing, one that makes complete sense. I would like to share it with you.
My definition of writing in the third person as opposed to the first.
Stephen King The Eyes of the dragon Chapter 13
‘Now let many long years pass, all in a twinkling – one of many great things about tales is how fast time may pass when not much of note is happening. Real life is never that way, and it is probably a good thing.’
Third person writing gives you the God factor, you are the story’s narrator and as a narrator you can simply move from one place to another or indeed one time to another.
What is a narrator but a storyteller?
That is how I described myself nearly a year ago in answer to the Writers Bureau question in assignment N1 as copied below. Now is indeed a time for reflection and where better to start reminiscing than at the beginning.
QUESTION 1 WHY I WANT TO WRITE
submitted Jan 13th 2011
Throughout my memory I recall the desire to write, to capture the magic of my stories on paper. There is something sacred about the written word, it can transport the reader like no other medium. For me, as a storyteller, there can be no higher accolade than to see my stories in print.
I am a storyteller. For as long as I can remember I have told stories. As a child aged 10 I created magic fairies for my young nephew and gave them secret homes and hiding places in that most enchanted of places in our house, the airing cupboard. If ever there was a scratched knee or tears of any sort – out would come the magic fairy dust (talcum powder) and another tale of how the fairies live and how they were there to protect my nephew and to ensure his safe passage through childhood as “a chosen one”.
As a parent in my late twenties I would walk in Richmond Park with my young son and our dog, pointing out all the secret signs and special codes imprinted on the boughs of trees and within the foliage of the flower beds. For I was a secret agent, my mission one of utmost secrecy and the façade of a normal working life was just an illusion to hide my real identity and allow me to continue my job of saving the world as we knew it. I would include my son in the story lines, swearing him to secrecy. “No one can know”.
What do I hope to achieve from this course? To be brave enough to overcome all my fears and to finally put pen to paper. The course provides me with a map and gives me direction.
I look forward to all the help that you can give me.
Any follower of my blog will have a smile playing on their lips reading these last few lines; I now know the course is not so much a map but a guide-book, one I would not be without. I love having the course material ready and waiting, often for me to catch up. I love the fact I can dip in and out as I want and I love the fact that it has inspired me to “get off my a*** and use the talent I know I have.
It has taken me a while, but now I really understand the best writing voice for me and why.
Thank you Writers Bureau for making me ask the question and thank you, Mr King, Sir, for showing me the answer.