Saturday, August 8, 2009

Points of view: the reluctant/observer

Who tells your story is almost as important as the idea you're writing, hopefully without over-thinking. Over thought is something we will get to when the writing starts, I promise. For now, we're only talking about who is telling the story, and how the hell they're going to tell it to your reader.

There are several ways you can do this, in both first and third person, obviously. This writer prefers first person, and the approach of the first activity in my chosen writing text for this here project. Kiteley calls this the “reluctant” narrator, I call this style the observer. This narrator is more likely to follow someone who is more interesting than himself, presumably. Although, as your story progresses the way your cameraman sees things may become just as interesting or moreso than the events which he is taking in. These observer types will establish authority when it is needed and only then. The pronouns of the first person will appear as scantly as possible with these narrators. Some authors who prefer this are:

-Chuck Palahniuk
fight club
invisible monsters

-Craig Clevenger
contortionist's handbook

There are, obviously many more, and Chuck Palahniuk has written a dozen novels.

Drowning out the pronouns in your writing sounds easy, but it takes a lot of practice. Kiteley's first writing activity is vague and rightly so, since it throws you into this style head first. What you and I will do over the next, hell, I don't know, twelve hours or so? That sound good? Is to follow this prompt: Write a story of around 500 to 600 words (around two pages courier double spaced) and use the pronoun of I no more than twice, but use it in a way that establishes without question your narrator's authority in the story.

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