Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some Things

Okay, thing the first: I’m going to be gone next week for a couple of days and I’m looking for some guest-blogging on the topics of selling, bookstore/author interactions, and author/reader interactions. Email me if you are interested.

Thing the second: go tell Shari your obsessions, fascinations and loves or those of someone you know. Not only is she a fabulous lady, but her book is great and here’s your chance to win a free copy. We’ve already sold out of her title once at my store (and it just sat there on the table doing its own selling, there was no pushing from me), and I’ve currently have it on reorder. Besides how am I supposed to get more guest bloggers to do my job so that I can go frolic and read if y’all don’t talk to them?

Thing the third: was important I’m sure, but I’ve now forgotten. So let’s say that thing the third is my general apology to y’all for once again getting hopelessly behind on answering my emails, not updating the stuff on this site like I should, etc. A blanket statement of sorriness, if you will. Someday I’ll balance this whole sleeping, working, eating, blogging and having a life thing.

Thing the fourth (before I sign off to other “things”): what’s your favorite form of narrative? Are you a first person girlie, or a third person guy? Maybe you live for underutilized second person and choose your own adventure stories rocked your world? (If so, free yourself from your mourning because I hear they are making a comeback.) Does the narrative format matter at all to you as long as the story is strong, or can a strong “voice” so different from your own make it hard for you to concentrate?

How do you like your story told and why?


kevin said...

"How do you like your story told and why"

Depends. Stories that are centered around the internals of one character, I find, seem to work best for me in 1st. This is particularly true if the narrator isn't entirely reliable.

Other stories, where the interaction between characters is mor eimportant than what goes on inside just one of them, then third person works best.

For some reason, I dislike second person. Seems presumptious to me.

Madelyn Alt said...

You know, I never liked first person--at all--until I had a character whap me upside the head, and she spoke to me in first person. It was the darnedest thing. After I started writing her story, I discovered how much fun it was to write in first. No more struggling with, "What would this character be feeling/thinking/doing next?" It all just flowed from the character herself.

I still love stories told in third person, but I seem to do better in first.

Mad {madly!}

Kendall said...

I like first and third. I'm repeated baffled these days to hear people down on first person.

What I don't like is an way-over-the-top voice, the kind where the author wants to make sur eyou HEAR MY [CHARACTER'S] VOICE!!! Okay, okay, ease up a bit. ;-)

David de Beer said...

1st, 3rd, Omni, etc. I don’t have a particular preference one way or the other. I only want the story to be written well, and the plot to be interesting.

For the most part I would recommend authors just stick to 3rd person; too few writers bother to actually consider the different uses of pov, so even 1st person can come across as more of an indulgence as opposed to actually having a purpose that benefits the story.

Bruce Sterling’s The Artificial Kid, is one of the few books I read where 1st person was the only possible choice. 1st person gives the reader an inside seat into the MC’s thoughts and emotions, and in this case, it was fascinating to watch the MC start off with a set of prejudices, and watch him go through the changes.

One thing I picked up form my days working in a bookshop, was that most people don’t like 1st person – they would pick up the book, skim it and then put it down, saying: “Ugh! Another ‘I’ story!”

Personally, I don’t mind, just so long as the writing is good. It’s a rare treat to find a 1st person story where the story could not just as easily have been written in 3rd, but for the most part it doesn’t matter.

I also have to agree with Kendall, I get irritated when a writer is takign too much care for me to "hear" the characters' voices. It should be suble, and unobtrusive, not knocking me over the head with a wrench!

BuffySquirrel said...

I love first person, but only when it's done well. Think David Copperfield, not Time Traveller's Wife. Third is fine for the most part--I rarely read a book in third that I think ought to have been written in first, but the converse often happens.

Too many writers I think don't give enough thought to which "person" to choose, and go for first when it isn't appropriate to the story, or even to their style of writing. First requires something a little different from third.

Second person is, I think, very hard to write successfully. I have read one or two short stories that I thought worked, but I've never ventured into reading a whole novel in second. I just don't believe it could work for me.

Bernita said...

First and third.
Second always strikes me as artificial.

Anonymous said...

Foolish question, but how does someone email you, to talk about guest blogging?

lorraine said...

Anonymous, to contact BSC click the purple Bookseller Chick logo in the sidebar to the right of the main screen.

Shanna Swendson said...

I love first person, whether in chick lit, mystery or action-adventure. I remember going through the library as a kid, looking for "I" books. I like the sense of immediacy and intimacy of first person. I think as a kid I managed to delude myself into thinking that the narrator really was talking just to me. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that there are a lot of natural-born oral storytellers in my family. My grandfather could keep me enthralled for hours telling funny personal stories, and I keep saying I should just write down the stories my mom tells about her childhood, and I guess that first-person narration reminds me of that.

I prefer first-person in mystery because I like staying in the head of the sleuth to solve the mystery. I don't like being in the villain's head or knowing anything the detective doesn't know (though I also hate it when the narrator neglects to mention a crucial piece of information that he knows).

eatrawfish said...

I really enjoy first person, but am also pickier about them. If I'm stuck in this characters head the entire book I better enjoy it.

I also like to write in first person and when I really want to depress myself I pick up a Raymond Chandler novel. Marlowe's head is a fun place to be.

I also enjoy third person but have yet to read a book written in second person that I'd go beyond the first page. Not sure if it was the book or me -- but I'll blame the book.