I is not a cop-out


Now I have to revise.


In general, I don’t do well with things that are hyped up. Like, god forbid I take part in a trend, right? So I refuse and resist beyond all reason (just ask Angie) and I deny myself the wonder of things like capri pants, ballet flats, and Harry Potter. FOOL! (And yes, Angie, you were right about all of the above.)

In short: me? Not so good with the fads. And in literature, writing in the first person seems to be a very, very big fad right now. It’s something I’ve always sort of thought of as a cop-out, like, shouldn’t you be able to tell a story without having to pretend that YOU are actually telling the story?

BUT. (Butt!) I’ve read a lot of great books written in first person (like anything by Paulo Coelho and Amy Tan) and I know that this stupid prejudice of mine is just that: a STUPID PREJUDICE.

Not only that, but I’ve been thinking. And let me tell you, me thinking only leads to bad things. (Often tears. My own, of course. I don’t make other people cry.) In this case, the bad thing I thought of is that I probably need to rewrite The Good Daughters. In first person.

(I bet if I’d asked Angie, she would have told me that from the start.)

Actually, I DID start The Good Daughters in first person, but that’s because I was originally only going to tell it from Madeline’s point of view. Then as I got into Grace’s story, I found her more and more interesting, more and more important, and I decided she needed to tell her story too. And then Ma swooped in and demanded her say too (as mothers are wont to do) and suddenly there I was with three, THREE, key viewpoints. NOW WHAT?

(Also, at that point I still thought first person was a cop-out. FOOOOL!)

Naturally I switched to third person.

And now, now that I’ve written all 300+ pages of the novel, now that I’ve spent years typing and thinking and procrastinating and then finally typing some more — NOW I’m pretty sure that the only way I can tell this very emotional, “domestic,” not-action-driven story is by letting each of these women tell her own story in her own voice.

Irony. Bite me.

6 responses to “I is not a cop-out”

  1. Alex Avatar

    Stupid prejudice is right. Capri pants and ballet flats are COMFY. Which should overrule stupid prejudices any day of the week. Comfiness > faddishness. (And it lasts longer, too.)

  2. Kristan Avatar

    LOL oh don’t you worry, I gave up on THOSE prejudices long ago! I’m even wearing capris today, hahaha.

  3. Adam Avatar

    I’m no literary genius, or even clever person, but I liked the way Faulkner used the 1st person in As I Lay Dying.

    Good luck on your endeavor. (I’m sure you can make a great story any way you can imagine.)

  4. Kristan Avatar

    Hmm, I haven’t read that one yet, but I should…

    Thanks for your vote of confidence! :)

  5. angie Avatar

    Ego has suddenly increased tenfold. That’s worth reading your short story. Haha, no seriously, I want to read it when you’re ready.

  6. Kristan Avatar

    LOL good, because you’re my (un)official editor, remember?!