“He [Third Person] caught up with some tweeting authors”

As you probably know by now, disgusted by too many writers’ disgraceful tweeting behavior in a Twitter “pile on,” I stopped using Twitter early in 2020. That does not mean, though, that I do not have a quick “peek” now and then at what random writers might be tweeting more civilly at hashtags like #writingcommunity. Mid-July was I think the last time I had a scroll. So, I thought, it’s Friday, why not?…

I re-read them pre-publication more times than I can possibly count. Yet I cannot say I always “love” my stories; occasionally they make me uncomfortable. The novels are written by me for readers to want to read and not for me to “love” the tales.

Note: “POV” is Twitter writer shorthand for “point of view.” These are two examples of the same paragraph written from a “first person” point of view and then the “third person” point of view:

I walked in and sat down. She put a drink before me and I accepted it. She was something like I had never seen before. Impressed, I said, "Hello..."

Or…

He walked in and sat down. She put a drink before him and he accepted it. He thought she was something he had never seen before in a woman. Impressed, he said, "Hello..."

The first person stems from what “I” [the main character usually] sees. There is no allowance made for what anyone else is seeing or thinking – which is the huge downside, I believe, to a first person book. I feel that first person “POV” may work best with “narrow” tales like detective stories:

[Page 1 of Raymond Chandler’s 1939 detective classic, The Big Sleep. Photo by me, 2015.]

The second example above, the third person, has us as the reader looking on at what “he/she” or “they” are doing and thinking. The tale probably has a main “he” or “she” character. However, importantly that approach allows an “endless” number of “thinking” and “perspective” characters and situations, as well as the presence of an “invisible narrator” to present an “overview” and “background”:

[Page 1 of Herman Wouk’s 1971 The Winds of War. Photo by me, 2016.]

So if you are writing a book about, say, a world war, a “first person” perspective, I feel, probably will not work very well.

I have used the first now and then. Generally I prefer the third person as above in The Winds of War. I believe that third is better suited for stories with multiple characters and “lots” going on.

And if you have read any of my novels, well, you probably know that already. 😉

It is never too late to return to a “dormant” manuscript. You just re-open it and continue. In fact, the pause may in its way also do some creative good.

Note: In author-tweeting-speak, “MS” there is short for “manuscript.”

My Capture The Cause novel is my longest to date. It was not planned to be that way. It is merely because it is a “BIG” story so just turned out that way.

I think it is about 170,000 words.

For the umpteenth time, why authors choose to shout their rejections from social media rooftops baffles me. Is it somehow cathartic? If so, maybe consider screaming into a PRIVATE pillow perhaps.

For who wants to buy a book written by someone who goes on and on and on about their failures? Seeing such, might a potential reader not unreasonably suspect an author is not very good then?

No one succeeds all that time, true. Still, it is probably best to keep it to yourself when you don’t.

I write what is necessary, I feel, to advance the tale and to make sure the reader knows what is going on. I do not write to “confound” readers. So if I believe it is a relevant action, and better illuminates the situation, yes, I may mention some “ordinary” activity…

[From Tomorrow The Grace. On Kindle for iPhone/IPad. Click to enlarge.]

Otherwise I tend not to describe what I feel does not “need” to be described.

I assume that a reader knows, for instance, that people do use stairs and how they do.

I do already. If you use a ridiculous “ID,” I would change it. Who is going to take “VampireEater666” very seriously as an author?

When I started my most recent series with Conventions: The Garden At Paris, I had a vague idea of where it could go longer-term, but I had thought it would be only that one book and I would never get there.

However, when I finished writing that novel, I realized the story was certainly not “finished” and I could indeed go on. Thus from where Tomorrow The Grace – the second volume – came.

When that one was “finished,” I thought hard on it and I realized again that the tale was STILL not quite “finished.” I figured I should take it to its “conclusion.” From that came the third novel, Capture The Cause.

I also wrote them deliberately so they might be read as either “stand alone” books OR in chronological order from “1775” to “1815” because I wanted readers to have that choice. So it is possible to read Capture The Cause without reading the previous two novels, although it would help to have read the first two.

With the completion of Capture, I have now gotten pretty much to where I had generally imagined back in January 2016 when shortly after my mother’s death I was sitting at our then-Bristol-living friends’ dining room table and had started writing Conventions.

Now for my latest reply to the “beta reader” stuff.

My books are read pre-publication by only a very few and trusted people who know me well and know what I am trying to do. None have – insofar as I know – writing aspirations of their own. They read the story simply as a reader would.

James Fenimore Cooper’s pre-publication main reader was his wife. If that was good enough for the likes of, say, The Last of the Mohicans, that is more than good enough for me. I would never let some random stranger(s) sourced from somewhere on the net anywhere near my pre-publication writing.

“Fantasy bond” that is “not reciprocated?”

Uh? Let’s be clear, shall we?

LOL!

While I understand the point, the word “brave” is I think much overused in terms of authoring. For starters, that is actually not “me” on the pages; they are characters invented by me and placed into a story. I do that in doing my best to entertain and maybe now and then educate a reader.

I don’t think of myself, in writing, as somehow being “brave.”

My (now late) uncle telling me months before his death in 2015 that he thought I wrote better than he did and urging me to keep writing…

[From the dust jacket of one of my now late uncle’s 1990s novels. Photo by me, 2021.]

…and his crime/police novels had been published by major publishers for some 25 years.

In a sense, I am…

[Devon coastline, Dartmouth, Devon, at about 6:30am today. Photo by me, September 23, 2022.]

…albeit, okay, about two centuries after those people and events.

As he [using the third person, you notice] throws out there a hint about a geographical location and the timeframe for the new manuscript. 😉

Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂