Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Are you sure you want to be a published author?

Just discovered a blog posting called "Things I've Learned Since My First Book Got Published"which made me grin (even tho' I haven't actually had a book published):

http://cmpriest.livejournal.com/879864.html

p.s. See, told you we'd return to writing-related posts soon!

12 comments:

Hera said...

I am the only one who reads those pieces and thinks it still sounds wonderful!
I have a question. I know you screen so you don't have to post this! What do you think about first person? And what did you use? My last book I switched from first to third two thirds of the way through, with this one I'm struggling to commit...

CTaylor said...

Hera - I know what you mean. I still want to get published no matter how rough the ride!

I used the first person in my novel. Most of my short stories are in the first person and it seemed the most natural way to tell the story (and the way I was most comfortable with).

I like the first person because it's easier to find the 'voice' and, without wanting to sound wanky, I feel like I can become the character whose story I'm telling and see the world through their eyes and react as they'd react (kind of like acting I suppose).

That said... it was much tougher than I thought to sustain 1st person all the way through a novel (rather than a short story) because EVERYTHING has to be told from that person's POV you have to find clever ways to incorporate information about events/conversations they couldn't possibly have heard/seen. It also means you can't get light relief from skipping off and exploring someone else's life for a while before returning to your main character.

In my next book I'm going to have three main characters. Not sure yet if I'll use 1st again (which will be tricky in itself as I'll have to give them distinctive voices) or use third. At the moment I'm most tempted by third.

What sort of issues are you having with your current book?

Hera said...

Thanks for that, you know I think I'm going to go for first person. I have been writing in third and I suddenly felt it was getting a bit, and then, and then and then, if you know what I mean?? And it was all from the main characters point of view anyway. I think maybe I'm being influenced by the fact that I've read that first person isn't well received.

CTaylor said...

Oh Gawd - don't tell me that! I DO know of some magazine editors that don't like the 1st person but I've read so many 1st person novels I assumed it was fine.

If you think the 'and then' is annoying with 3rd person watch out for every sentence starting "I... . I..... . I....." with the first person. Am having to watch out for them whilst editing (and there are, ahem, quite a few)!

HelenMH said...

Great link - it really made me laugh! I've also started writing my novel in the first person, although my short stories are some first person and some third person and I love experimenting with POV. I don't think I'm far enough into the novel yet to start encountering the problems of first person, so it's good to get someone else's thoughts on that!

A. Writer said...

Just thought I'd add my two pennies worth!

My first book was in the third-I found that the easiest.
My second is in the first and I'm struggling with it. Like you say, I'm finding it hard to stop the I... I.... I....

Fantastic blog. Definitely food for thought-but I still would like to be published.

SallyQ said...

It's a great blog! But no, it hasn't changed my mind either.

I wrote my last novel in 1st person (as diary entries). I took the conscious decision not to write the next one in the 1st person because, as Cally says, it's very limiting and you can't go off into someone else's head.

JJ said...

Oooh, I loved that link. No it hasn't put me off either, I'm completely prepared to put up with all of that!
JJx

Bernadette said...

I agree - great link. The one other thing I would expect is all the people who say "oh, I'm going to write a book when I have the time" as though you do it just like that, and as though the rest of us have all the time in the world! I get that just from having short stories published.
Incidentally, relating to a previous post re Jude's book, thanks Cally for the Society of Authors link. I would never have thought I was eligible to apply, but find that as I have had a dozen short stories published, I can! (Still subject to commitee acceptance.) So I will be doing that at some point soon. Maybe that will help with the 'being a real writer' issues I have (whatever that means.)Especially as I had FOUR rejected stories back this morning, all in the same post but in separate envelopes!
Finding your blog was the best thing to come out of Miss Write for me (and writing the book of course) so thanks a lot to you and all your commenters.
Bernadette xx

Bear said...

I changed my current novel from 1st person to 3rd person about 25,000 words in and I find it so much easier to write about and explore all of my characters. I feel it gives them all depth as well as continuing to help my main character shine through.

Sarah*G* said...

I too am writing in the 1st person and I found that link amusing but it did not put me off the publishing process and so on one little bit. In fact made me want to experience it all the more! One day it will! I hope!

CTaylor said...

Thanks all. It's interesting to see how everyone feels about POV and what works and what doesn't and why.

Bernadette - thank you so much for your very generous comment. It's wonderful to know that people find my blog inspirational and useful.