Saturday, June 27, 2009

3rd person fly-on-the-wall


My current short-story is written in a third-person point of view, but not in the usual 3rd-person omniscient or 3rd-person limited. It's more like 3rd-person fly-on-the-wall. The narrator reports what she sees and hears in a scene, but nothing more. She doesn't get in anyone's head, she can only be at one place at one time, she reports objectively.

I chose this because I wanted to create distance between the reader and the story. I don't know if such a pov exists. And if doesn't, I wonder why. After all, writers are creative people who tend to challenge status quo.

So far in this story, it's working but not terribly well, but I sense sparkles and possibilities, which are very tempting. I think it may work if I keep experimenting and being sensitive to how the story comes across to a reader. I am not sure.

In the mean time, I decided to try a more common approach: a 3rd-person limited, told by three different characters in the story. I am enjoying the freedom it allows me to dwell inside a character's head and emotions. What I give up is the distance I wanted to create, but maybe distance isn't what's good for this story.

Strategy:
  • Re-write the whole story in new pov.
  • Put it aside (and maybe clean house again, drats!)
  • Re-read both versions.
  • Revise the better version.(Let's get into the argument of what constitutes "better" on a different day, shall we?)
(I sound so waffly! Any of you writers go through this whole I-think-A-but-maybe-I-should-do- B-although-A-seems-to-have-potential-but-I-don't-know-what-about-C process?)

1 comment:

Solvang Sherrie said...

I drive myself NUTS with those kinds of questions!