WHY CAN’T I STAY IN ONE TIME-ZONE???
Posted March 14, 2012on:
- In: Creative Alphabet
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It is frustrating.
I write; go back and read. When, exactly, did I switch from ‘gets’ a coffee, to ‘got’ a coffee? When did I ‘jump up’ and ‘shouted’? Where did I ‘went’ and ‘get’ in the same sentence???
First-person, present tense; points of view; perspective?! It is so very hard to stick with a singular method throughout. I toss my hands up and scream in abject discouragement!
Of course, I toss my hands up whenever I have to figure out what style I’m writing in; and yet it’s so very important to understand.
As the story unfolds through the eyes of a character, an author must remember not to give credibility to something the character doesn’t know. I know it’s hard to stay in one ‘head’. I want to tell you something, but, ‘oops – can’t do that – you won’t find that out for a few more chapters’. Hence, I’m constantly going back, re-writing sentences; paragraphs; chapters! I start using those pronouns (I think, I never could figure out sentence structure) that don’t belong.
(The AUTHOR obviously knows.) We can infer; postulate; assume; hypothesise; imagine; conjecture; put forth; surmise; speculate; suppose… Am I getting my point across?
I look at Dick. I know he remembers he left the stove on. Does he now? How, the heck, do I know that? (First-person I, not I, me – the author; I – me the character)
I look at Dick, who, jumps up and shouts, “I’ve left the bleedin’ stove on!” Well, NOW I (the character) KNOW. Now, I can reveal that to the firemen later when they ask about the fire, and probable cause. I can say, with all honesty, “Well, I do know Dick said he left the stove on.”
Note: I can’t say the stove was left on, because I don’t KNOW that. I only know that Dick SAID he left the stove on.
For some reason we just can’t KNOW what’s in another’s mind. I know; I don’t get it either. I mean, is it or is it not MY book? Are they or are they not MY characters? Of course, I know what’s in her mind!
Ah-Ha! Yes. YOU (or rather I) do. Your (my) character, alas, does not. Unless she is a sikick…pshi…pcshyc…phsyicic…mind reader… Characters have to play by the same rules as the rest of the world.
Silly little rules. Nevertheless, important. Dang rules.
I am the biggest rule breaker, I think. I have always had a rebellious streak. Still, even I can’t get away with re-ordering the entire language. (I don’t know why… all language started somewhere…) I have to follow the rules, or at least be aware I am breaking them. (That is sometimes enough to give leeway; when you know you’ve done it wrong, but it’s done that way purposely, it somehow makes it right. Re-read that if you didn’t get it.)
If I am the only one who will ever read my epics, then sure, I write without care or caution. Who wants that? What author only wants themselves to read their works; their art! So, yes, I must restrain my rebellious ways and modestly follow as many rules as I am able, before my spirit takes hold again and winds a whisper of smoke around my imagination; the tantalizing aroma of the fire drawing me away from the order and structure into anarchy and re-writes…
It is hard to control the imagination. Some days, your most valiant efforts are simply not enough and whatever you were planning had best be set aside; for no amount of scolding will draw it from the edges of time and play, where alternate realities roam freely, waiting to be attached to comfortable, familiar thoughts and governed into neatly ordered compartments; before refusing to fit.
Yes, dear friends; I am struggling with what it is I’m struggling with! Who is speaking? Who is guiding? What is the compelling goal? What is the best way to convey information? Figure this out and you will have found your voice. Your point-of-view. Your Perspective. Pay attention to it and guard it closely, for when you least expect it… it will abandon you… like a playful Sprite… it will be back… if you’re nice… And have a lock-box ready…
PS: For those who are going to complain; I’m sorry, my brain mis-fired and won’t let the information I want out. I’ve decided I’ll drag it out another day, for today… this is my brain… (Maybe I need to change the blog name… This is my brain? This is my brain on words? Come back brain. Come back…) Tomorrow… will get here soon enough, don’t rush it!