The First Person

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASister and fellow scribes can relate to this…

When you sit down to write a script, a book, a grocery list, you – more often than not – have a plan.

Whether said plan is scribbled down on a fast foot napkin, the back of an overdrawn bank statement or it’s rumbling around in your noggin, we, writers, usually have some idea of how we’re going to tackle that ever intimidating blank screen or page.

Well, thanx to Judith, I was now dog paddling upstream with no land in sight.

And the only thing I could cling to – or rather, the only thing I allowed myself to look forward to – was the fact that I was going to write my new novel,  Address: House of Corrections, in a way I had never done before.

First person point of view. 

Ever since I read Alice Walker’s Possessing the Secret of Joy, where she told the tale from the three different first person point of views of Tashi, Olivia and Adam, I always aspired to do the same one day. And now, i had my chance with “A:HC.”

I couldn’t wait to hear Merry’s voice. Yaw just don’t know. I was so chomping at the bit to write her words.

But to my chagrin, that’s not what happened. The story spilled out in third person.

And yes, I heard merry’s voice. but she wasn’t narrating. This omnipresent being was telling the tale. And guess who this witty, all knowing person sounded like?

Me. 

I don’t know how it happened. But somehow I had crept up into the tale.

And although, thanks to my years as a screenwriter, I was showing rather than telling and organically bypassing Merry’s thoughts to reveal her story from her eyes and her eyes alone, it became painfully clear to me that my narration was taking on a very subjective slant.

Surprisingly, I was writing from a first person point of view.

Yes, the factual and fictional events and characters existed before I was born.

But who was I kidding? Every syllable I penned was being shaped by my experiences and filtered through my cranium.

My research.

My imagination.

My baggage.

All on display.

On the page.

Hell, at least Merry was a fictitious character. But here I was butt naked, exposed for everyone to see — If they would only read between the lines.

Right then and there, any fool with sense would have stopped writing. But you’re reading this blog entry so….

 Momma always said I was hardheaded. LOL!:)

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