nascentnovelist

November 30, 2011

Writer Wednesday with Krista Holle

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 11:48 am
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Today, I’m lucky enough to have author Krista Holle share her experiences with points of views and staying true to your writing style here on nascentnovelist. Krista Holle is a romantic novelist, which I assumed meant that she liked flowers and candle-lit dinners while writing, but which apparently means she writes about people liking flowers and candle-lit dinners. The jury’s still out on whether or not she’s a romantic, or if she just enjoys spinning tales about the lovelorn.

Her novel, The Lure of Shapinsay, goes on sale in mid-December. Until then, you can catch sneak peeks at the book at Krista’s blog, and follow her on twitter and facebook.

My $20,000 Mistake

Okay, so it wasn’t really a $20,000 mistake, but more like a 20,000 word mistake. Please understand, I’m a romance writer with a flair for the dramatic. I write a sexy type of romance and not the kind with the undulating body parts. Hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone. While working on my most recent novel, The Gingerbread Man, a historical novel centered around the taboo relationship between a plantation mistress and her slave, I kept feeling a huge disconnect to my work and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then it hit me. This was the first novel I had attempted to write in third person.

To better explain my dilemma, I need to explain my desire as a reader. When I read a book, I want to be the main character so I can fully experience the character’s life—goatee, ball gown, motorcycle, whatever. Give it to me warts and all. This is very important to me and transitions over into my writing. I want my reader to be my main character. In The Ginger Bread Man, I want my reader to be Winnie and feel the horror Winnie feels when she first sees August lashed by a team of paddyrollers (Poor August didn’t have a pass). So 20,000 words into the novel, I realized my reader would be viewing Winnie’s life and not experiencing it. Back to the drawing board.

I’m now convinced that the first person point of view works best for my style of romance writing. Compare a before and after. Winnie wakes up to discover her husband is not the person she thought she married.

Third Person:

Winnie brushed a tear angrily aside. “I am your wife now. You stole with bear paws and antlers what I would have freely given!”
“Don’t be angry,” Cary said gently as he rose from the bed, his finger tracing playfully along the ravaged sheets. “The next time we couple, I’ll give you a strapping son. Would you like that?”
It frightened Winnie that she could be so easily chained to Featherstone. “One must be a wife before she can be a mother,” she cried.

*****

First Person:

Hot tears stung my cheeks, and I brushed them angrily aside. “I am your wife now. You stole with bear paws and antlers what I would have freely given!”
“Don’t be angry,” Cary said gently as he rose from the bed, his finger tracing playfully along the ravaged sheets. “The next time we couple, I’ll give you a strapping son. Would you like that?”
A baby? My stomach knotted at the very suggestion. It frightened me that I could be so easily chained to Featherstone. “One must be a wife before she can be a mother,” I cried.

Can you feel the difference in the writing? A few rearranged words and of course a change in the point of view can make a huge difference. In the second version, I hope my reader will be inside Winnie’s head and not viewing her from afar. Many authors write quite well in third person, but after writing four novels in first person, I think I’ll stick to what I do best.

7 Comments »

  1. It is quite a difference, and I think a lot of readers prefer 1st person.
    I’ve written novels from both perspectives. I really enjoy writing in 1st person, but aesthetically I prefer 3rd. In 1st I feel like I keep saying “I” all the time. And I look down at the page and realize how many I’s there are…3rd person gives me a name and a pronoun to work with. It’s got to be the silliest reason ever to like 3rd person, but I’m just like that.

    Comment by Rain — December 1, 2011 @ 9:50 am | Reply

    • I prefer 3rd person because I like to keep a bit of distance from ym characters, which would be the exact opposite than Krista, I guess. But I did write my NaNo Novel in first person, and it was surprisingly fun.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — December 1, 2011 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

    • Me too.🙂

      Comment by nascentnovelist — December 2, 2011 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

  2. That was a big difference sorry you had to go back and rewrite but I liked the 1st person narrative better. Although as a rule I really don’t care if its 1st or 3rd person as long as its a good read.

    Visiting from #commenthour

    Comment by Michael — December 2, 2011 @ 2:44 pm | Reply

  3. I think sticking to what works is great advice. I’m about to start writing and has not even thought about what tense I want to write in.

    Comment by chasing joy — December 2, 2011 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

    • Just play with it! Tenses and voices happen after a while. You’ll find yours.🙂

      Comment by nascentnovelist — December 2, 2011 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  4. […] Krista Holle: My $20,000 Mistake Krista shows and tells us the difference between first and third person, and why she prefers one over the other. […]

    Pingback by Writer Wednesday Revisited | nascentnovelist — July 31, 2013 @ 6:50 am | Reply


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