Every year, I try and find a new way to challenge myself as a writer. This year, I wanted to try to write in first person. All of the other books that I’ve written have been in third person, except for the very first draft of Servant of an Empire. The reason I changed to third person was because it felt like every sentence started with the word I. It reminds me of the scene in Princess Diaries where she talks about how many stinkin’ times she uses the word ‘I.’
I was really nervous, especially since all my attempts at practicing it weren’t going so well. But I’d also spent much more time trying to get into my characters’ heads, so that I can really understand how they think, so that I can imitate the way they talk.
So the first day of NaNoWriMo, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In fact, I was expecting to crash and burn. If not, the best case scenario would be a wooden, I-riddled first draft.
I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was I able to figure out a way to avoid the dreaded ‘I’, but I was also able to make clear and distinct voices. Or rather, Yaru and Nara were able to let their voices flow.
Remember, these are just first drafts, but here’s the difference:
The man huffed, slashing the sword from side to side, almost burying the blade into the wooden crate. If this idiot puts even a nick in the surface, I’d made him eat the Vor through his nostrils. “Not worth it,” he said. His voice was gruff, like sandpaper against stone, and his thick lips sneered down at me.
The parade stops as the monks congregate around the holy links, seeking the word of Gal. I snort. They should know better than to think that Gal would spend any time in this place. With the dust layering every building, and the stench of livestock, if I were a creator, I’d steer clear from this place. I’d probably spend my days floating across the sea’s foam or in the air, tumbling like… I don’t know, some kind of tumbling thing. A bird maybe.
I love both of them, but what I particularly love is how distinct they feel. I know which one is Yaru and which one is Nara. Now I’m excited to see how the rest of it develops.
How about the rest of you? How are your novels coming along?