This week's writing prompt focuses--surprise!--on writing, specifically whether participating authors prefer to use first, second, or third person point of view (POV).
For those who don't know or may have forgotten, third person POV comes in more than one flavor. There's "straight" third person in which the author or narrator is an observer, offering opinions as aside comments as he/she reports upon the events happening in the book. There's third person omnicient, in which the author plays God. The author narrates the story and delves inside each character's head to reveal each character's thoughts, feelings, and motivations. I find that particular variety of third person cumbersome. Finally, there's limited omniscient which I prefer. In the limited omniscient, I reveal the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of some of the characters, generally the hero and heroine and a sprinkling of secondary characters when I think doing so adds depth or interest. Of all my books, only Rowan contains first person POV content and that alternates with third person POV chapters.
I read a lot of books, especially "new adult" romances, that are written in alternating first person POV. Most of those are written in alternating first person POV, which sometimes works and sometimes not, depending upon how well the author can express the thoughts, feelings, insights, motivations, and speech of separate people. Whether in singular or alternating first person POV, the reader gets a deeply intimate and limited view of the story because we're looking at events from that character's point of view.
I've noticed that newer, less experienced authors often default to first person POV. It's easier than third person, because only one character's perception of events matters. Done well, first person POV really packs a punch. Robert B. Parker and Sara Paretsky use first person POV to great effect.
Finally, there's second person POV which is seldom seen and for good reason. It's extremely difficult to do, much less do well. I cannot recall when I last read a book in second person POV, although many blog posts tend to take that conversational tone. I certainly wouldn't attempt to write a novel in second person POV.
I'd be interested to which perspective readers prefer.
This week's writing prompt fall under what I do when I'm not writing.
Harry Chapin would be disappointed in me. Like the father in his song "Cats in the Cradle," I focus on my work. Billy Ray Cyrus knows the sentiment well: listen to his song "Busy Man."
When I'm not writing, I'm ... writing. Paid gigs, that is. My "day job" is freelance writing and editing. Lately, writing gigs bring home the bacon, although I'm not so good a frying it up in a pan. I'm not a bad cook, but I'd never be selected to compete on Master Chef either. And that's just fine with me.
Lately, I've been attempting--and mainly failing in the attempt--to do things that don't require me to sit in front of a computer. Watching television when my brain has turned to applesauce doesn't count.
For our anniversary--30 years as of June 25--my husband enrolled me in a pottery course: six week of playing with clay. Being an all-or-nothing type of person, I jumped right to the pottery wheel. It ain't easy, folks. Those potters you see at craft fairs and on TV make it look easy, but there's a good bit of skill to throwing pots/mugs/bowls/pitchers/vases/etc. that isn't obvious until you actually try to do it. I suppose that's true regardless of what craft you attempt to learn.
I once heard that in order to learn what to do, watch the worst person at that particular activity. Then don't do what that person does. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
Anyway, thus far I've managed to throw one small bowl, two large bowls, and one mug. I hope that one of the large bowls will be glazed and ready to go by the Springfield Book Fair, because I think it would make an interesting door prize. Whether anyone would care to win my amateur effort at pottery begs the question.
Another attempt to occupy myself with non-computer activity when I'm not writing is riding. Say that fast a few times and try to distinguish between the two verbs. In English. Last week I brought home WMS Madline Lucille, otherwise known as "Diva." She replaces the lovely Lady Anastasia as my trail mount. Yes, she's a Morgan.
When I called the farrier to reschedule our missed appointment, I told him that I'd purchased a new horse. "I wanted to find something younger than Stasia," I explained. He laughed and replied, "That's not hard."
Well, no, that's not hard. At 33 years old, Stasia is ancient. I like to stay she's living on borrowed time and she's borrowing it from me.
Anyway, Diva and I will take our first ride without the trainer in attendance tomorrow. We're headed to Buck Creek State Park. Y'all are welcome to come watch the circus and then don't do what I do. You'll be an expert in no time.
This week's writing prompt for the #MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge concerns a favorite holiday memory. The one that comes to my mind is from a long-ago Christmas and concerned my introduction to animal rescue.
You know me and shouldn't be surprised that my favorite memories center upon animals.
When I was 14, my parents received a call from the parents of my best friends that a dog needed a home. Immediately. The situation involved a woman who'd gotten a divorce and could barely afford to pay for rent and groceries for herself and her children, much less the family dog. Being Christmas Eve and with four kids hearing of the situation, my parents didn't have the heart to refuse.
On Christmas Day, Dad brought home an older female boxer, the ugliest dog we'd ever seen. We already had a male boxer, but this dog ... wow. Aside from being desperately thin, Duchess had a jutting underbite. However, she also demonstrated a protective attitude such that Dad didn't fear intruders when he had to work out of town. Obedience trained to the nth degree, Duchess occupied that "practically perfect" status of champion house pets. Our other boxer, Butch, proved to be a bad influence on her.
Rehabilitation began with food--basically as much as she could eat. We made sure to feed her separately from the other dog. It was safer for everyone that way. She regained weight, but never grew into a beauty. Her beauty was all on the inside.
In those days, we let our dogs run loose. (Not smart, I know. I certainly don't condone such practice today). One day, Butch came back, but Duchess didn't. We never learned whether she'd been hit by a car, taken in by another family, or met some other fate.
She remains one of my favorite dogs of all time. Decades later, my father still reminisces about her.
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This week's writing prompt in the #MFRW 52-week Blog Challenge is "What is your favorite indulgence?"
I'm sure MFRW didn't intend that to be a loaded question, but ... wow ... that could go in so many directions. Since this is a public forum, I'll keep the answer suitable for polite company.
And now I've got you wondering, haven't I?
My favorite indulgences are actually pretty tame: naps and certain comestibles. I'll start with naps. Of all my wallowing in self-indulgence, this is probably the more precious.
I do not remember a time when I did not appreciate a good, long nap. Even as a child, I enjoyed that midday snooze. I know it's time to ease off the workload when the urge to nap becomes overwhelming.
I never understood the concept of a "power nap." Getting to REM sleep takes me longer than the 15 or 20 minutes dedicated to a power nap. How does anyone actually get any rest in such a short time?
The next indulgence has to be alcohol. I enjoy wine. I enjoy beer. I enjoy hard liquor. I especially enjoy 21 year old Lagavulin single malt scotch whiskey. Mmm. <insert happy dance here> Laphroaig 15 year old French cask is good, too. The fine liquors I enjoy come at a pretty penny, so I don't buy them very often.
I received my first bottle of aged Lagavulin years ago as a thank-you for catching an entire class of cheaters taking an exam for certification. By that time, the directors of the organization knew I enjoyed scotch.
"What do you like?" the certification director inquired.
"You don't want to know," I answered.
He insisted. I told him. A few weeks later, a bottle of some very fine scotch was delivered to my desk.
It's nice to be appreciated.
And then there's chocolate. I'm not as picky about chocolate: I like pretty much all of it, from Hershey's milk chocolate to Lindt to Ghirardelli to Esther Price to the boutique stuff. It's all good.
#HollyBargoBooks | #HenHousePublishing | #SpringfieldOHBookFair
This week's writing prompt is "Do you keep a diary or a journal?"
The short answer is no. Now for the long answer.
I never saw the point of keeping a diary or a journal. With a nosy family and a toxic school environment, I saw no need to maintain a a written record of my experiences or the angry and depressing thoughts that accompanied them.
This does not mean that my childhood was one of unrelenting misery or exclusion. I had many good moments that I treasure. But these are private and not for public consumption.
That's the problem with diaries: they're supposed to be private. However, anyone can break those flimsy locks that only keep out the incurious and the honest. Putting down my most private thoughts and feelings into something someone else could read that said someone else wasn't supposed to read--no, that makes no sense. I don't need what's in my head revealed to all and sundry, except as I choose to reveal it.
That's a risk I still have no desire to take.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is wanting to Blog Swaps in 2018. For more information:
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