Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thoughts on Reluctant Narration Prompt

Now, let's talk about what we learned doing this. For most people this is hard to do, so if it pissed you off don't worry. In some styles of writing the amount of times the writer says “I” directly correlates to their competence. If this isn't for you then it isn't for you. I do this, right now, exclusively, and that is part of why this project is happening.

The main problem with this I see is that your character is instantly relegated to the role of follower. He is always going to be the second banana to a more interesting character (like Tyler Durden from “Fight Club”) not to say that this result is not without merit, but it gets worse. Instead of toadying to charismatic like Durden, your narrator's role in the story could potentially become the worthless and incompetent camera man from any horrible first person movie you can think of. The worst I can think of is “Cloverfield”. Don't write that. No one wants to read that shit.

Of course, if you do this well, your character can cruise through every scene and say “me, me, me, you fucker!” and be in every scene like Daniel Day Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” and do it without a blazing neon sign pointing at him, and establishing his authority at the beginning of ever paragraph or sentence.

A great book that makes this point is Dermaphoria by Craig Clevenger.

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