I have written here before about writing surprises…how writing doesn’t always go as anticipated (especially when you are a feel-your-way-forward type of writer).
You think you’re going one way but–guess what? You are actually going some where else.
Here’s what happened!
As an avid writer I am also an avid reader and when I would go to the bookstore/library and swoon over which books to pick, I would often choose them based on the cover, cool title, cool font on the title, book blurb, first sentence, general premise…
There were two things that, if they showed up in the book I was holding, usually meant I would put the book back.
I might even wrinkle my nose and say ‘Ugh! God, no!’
That’s because I had two writing pet peeves.
- alternating narrator perspectives
I can’t tell you how much eye rolling I’ve done over prologues.
If I opened a book to the first page and saw PROLOGUE I would snap that book shut so fast.
And if I was reading a book that suddenly switched the narrator on me I would glower at that book and say REALLY? REALLY?
Why the dislike, you wonder?
- Re: Prologues. Because I resented the coy hint dropping of a prologue, and the (to my mind) needless blabbing. Why blab when you could just drop us right away into the story line? Why do I need this teaser trailer and/or extra background?
- Re: Alternating Perspectives. Because I resented the jump the author makes me do with my empathic orientation. I just spent all this time getting to know one character’s perspective…and now you want me to jump and get to know another character? WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME JUMP SO MUCH?
Now, here’s what’s funny.
Both my novels, Hill of Greens and The Daisy Chain, are told in … get this… rotating narrater perspectives.
In Hill of Greens I rotate continuously between SIX PEOPLE and in the Daisy Chain I rotate between THREE
And it works, I tell you! They’re short, swift, shifts in viewpoint and it’s absolutely essential to the story that you see how the characters see each other through each other’s eyes as the story unfolds.
And now I have the third novel in this Daisy Chain series and recently I started to write it…and when I was done I read it over, and I was like: what the heck IS this? Did I just write a PROLOGUE?
But it works, I tell you! I feels necessary to the story, to connect it to the other two, to set the stage, so to speak…
Ok. I’m trying to make sense of this but really I have no good rationale for any of this.
Other than to say, as I have said before: in writing, you go where you must.
Dear Writers, have you ever found yourself writing something you never thought you would write, ever in a million years? Do you have writing pet peeves?