Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In Which I Lose Faith in My WIP While Home Sick

I was home sick with my son today, sniffling and grumbling and playing silly games, when something amazing happened. He took a nap.

"I wrote I AM DRUMS during naptime!" I thought. "Time to crank out some words for NANOWRIMO!"

Then a problem came up -- I started writing in first person without even realizing it. This is not unusual for me, as I've written lots of middle grade fiction in first person. Only this time, I started writing first person without realizing it, for multiple paragraphs, in the middle of a third person narrative. That was part of my NANOWRIMO self-challenge -- the whole trying something different for fun approach.

You see, LUNCH BOX is a bizarre little thing. It's sort of genre-ish (I think), inspired by my students who leave their lunch boxes behind when they leave for the day (and what I joke might one day happen to their rotting food). It's also told in third person, past tense. I chose these things because they turn the story into a noble experiment that takes me out of my recent comfort zone. I churned out tons of stuff like this in the past, but recently I've been so glued to contemporary realistic middle grade first person present tense that I was beginning to wonder if I had what it takes to break out of it.

So that's why I started writing LUNCH BOX this way. And the sudden compulsive switch to first person went on for several paragraphs before I even realized I was making a mistake. And now I don't even know if it was a mistake. Maybe my brain is trying to tell me something? This whole forcing the story to be a certain way never works.

Then again, this is an experiment, and experiments need parameters if they are to be valid.

No comments:

Post a Comment