Monday, March 28, 2016

Narrator

There are many people that think that first person is a great way to tell a story. There are stories that are told very well in first person. If you think about it, many modern day stories make the protagonist the narrator. How good of a story teller is your protagonist? If they are not the talkative type, you wouldn’t get much of a story out of them. If they are the talkative type, you may not get to the story. So, I do not personally like the idea of the protagonist telling the story unless they are normal. The problem with normal is that it’s boring.


Sherlock Holmes is indeed written in the first person as well as Frankenstein and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The narrator in these are not the protagonist, but another character closely associated with the protagonist. To me, this makes more sense. A person of action or of special ability may not have the ability or the willingness to tell their own tale. This also makes them interesting. Can you imagine Holmes willing to tell his own tale? Surely not. He always has other things to consider. That’s what makes Holmes Holmes.


You might say that all these tales are from a bygone era, and today we live in a self promoting world. I say people are still people, and characters are still characters. Take Batman for example. If you want to write a first person story on Batman, can you really imagine Bruce Wayne telling the story? No. That doesn’t make any sense because he’s a man of secrets. The obvious character to be the narrator is Alfred, and that in confidence.


Young adult books (YA) are written in first person. This is to lend believability to the young readers. There are also a set of rules authors of YA have to abide by. That does not make it easy.


What does this all mean? Well, I say don’t be too quick to jump into a first person narration because everybody else is doing it. Think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. How does it fit with your characters? How can it fit in with your story? What is the effect to the reader? Prove your assumptions. First person narration is a much more complicated matter than third person narration and should be handled with care.

So far, I’ve only written one story in first person. That was Letters to Olivia. That story was also experimental for me. It was in a set framework, emails which amounted to texts. I had to apply my knowledge of software engineering, space travel, and space communication in order to make the circumstances for the emails in a future setting believable. I think it worked out, though the story line may have suffered.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Secret Partners

Concept Art
On a faraway planet, there was a mountain ridge that was secluded from society. On that ridge, sat a secret government lab. It was currently being used by two intrepid scientists who were about to make a breakthrough.

Jedcos measured out the ingredient. His orange hand was shaking like a photon imbued electron getting ready to raise its energy level.

“Don’t drop it. That stuff’s expensive and highly lethal. You wouldn't want me to find another ethically challenged scientist that just does what I ask to replace you, would you?” said Doctor Zilther.

If you want to read the rest of this story, please check it out in my ebook Mel's Shorts.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Entrepreneurial Adventure

I have been thinking a lot about marketing. I mean consider this situation. Person A writes book. They get it published by a publisher to get a small percentage of the sales. Then they are told to market it. Now if person A is a new writer, and this is their first book, they have to all of the sudden become a marketing manager with little or no training or preparation.

Now consider Person B who also writes a book. They decide to self publish and cut out the middle man for their first book for whatever many reasons. They get the benefit of the full sales profit once one is made. They have extra work to do to make the publishing happen, but they do it and the book is out. Now they also have to market their book. They also have no experience or training. They have to become marketing managers of their books as well.

What is the moral of these stories? Well, no matter if you publish with a traditional publisher is self publish, you have to market your book. So why not catch a tiger by the rail and start early?

You see writing fiction is not just writing, it's an entrepreneurial adventure.

The way I started my entrepreneurial adventure is with this blog. Yep, I’m writing my first novel and keeping a blog at the same time. Then I am also putting myself out there on social media.

Why would I do that if my book is far from being finished? Exposure, my friend, exposure. Think about it. Why is Kim Kardashian famous? You can’t think of one thing she has done, can you? She’s had some good marketing and exposure. Not that kind of exposure. Don’t be crude.

So, exposure should turn into readers and readers should translate into initial sales by the time my book comes out.

Frankly, I’m looking to the long term. There is no get rich quick scheme here. Have fun and be savvy.