Obsession-Every Writer’s Goal

Since I’ve been back in the U.S. I’ve felt some frustration with my writing. I was doing a lot of reformatting, I was scrapping a bunch of writing I actually liked. Overall I felt uneasy and unenthusiastic about my manuscript.

Maybe I was getting burnt out. I lacked direction. I had so much material but wasn’t sure how to turn that into a book. I took a break, almost two weeks I didn’t touch it. I went to New York. I saw friends, I partied, I didn’t write.

I’m happy to say, since then I’ve really hit a stride. All the “thinking” I’ve been doing is paying off. I have a much better structure for the novel, which includes only the most necessary parts. The pace is fast, exciting, not bogged down with extraneous plot lines.

I’ve finally gotten back to the point where, as a writer I feel completely obsessed with the piece. I think about it when I’m not writing, I replay scenes in my mind, dialogues, I work on character traits. I take every opportunity I can to write, edit, revise. In my opinion, as a writer, this state of euphoric obsession is exactly where I want to be.

In the midst of this, I’ve made a few important decisions which I feel happy about.

First, I have decided to break the book down into three “parts”. I’ve found these breaks naturally in the material, and I like how it further divides the manuscript. The first part has thirteen chapters, each fairly short. I am now working on formatting the second part.

Also, I have decided to add several segments with different narrators.The majority of the manuscript is written in third person. Recently I have added several pieces from different first person narrators.

This serves two purposes: First, it makes the narrative more interesting and varied. I get to experiment with different voices. And for the reader it keeps them on their toes. Secondly, it helps to fill in important information gaps that otherwise would be hard to fit in.

Personally, my favorite novels usually have several different points-of-view, different narrators, different voices. I find it more interesting, a more complete and satisfying experience as a reader.

To other writers (or readers!) out there, what is your opinion on different narrators in one novel. Do you enjoy it? Find it difficult to follow? Distracting? I would love to hear from you. And as always, Happy Writing!

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4 thoughts on “Obsession-Every Writer’s Goal

    • I absolutely agree, it needs to be a clear change. I will most likely use different chapters so there is no confusion. Thanks for the comment and stopping by my blog!

  1. Like most things, it’s not the idea that is good or bad, but the execution. The most important thing you must consider is the story itself. Does the story allow for multiple narrators? Do multiple narrators enhance the story, making the overall effect clearer and more powerful for the reader?

    If you take something like Joyce’s Ulysses or Virginia Wolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, then you see how multiple characters enhance the overall theme of stream of consciousness in the story, and how we are all connected through our different tendencies of streaming thoughts.

    But whatever you do – don’t put in multiple narrators just to put them in, just because you thought it would be an interesting idea. The story must always come first. Multiple narrators (and narration in general) is how you bring that story to life.

    • Mark, thank you so much for the thoughtful comment! I appreciate all your advice, so far it has been very helpful.

      As I mentioned briefly, my first inclination for putting in multiple narrators was to give more depth to secondary characters who otherwise would only be glossed over. Going deeper into their psyche, their backgrounds, etc allows certain plot points and motivations to be made clearer.

      I also get to further play on the stereotypes of “good” and “evil,” which is a central theme to the novel. My idea is to get the reader to identify or even route for someone who they normally would consider a “bad guy”.

      I will continue to experiment with this idea. Thanks again for the input!

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