January 4th, 2017

Me typing?
  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 12.1: Variations on First Person

Writing Excuses 12.1: Variations on First Person

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/01/01/12-1-variations-on-first-person/

Key points: First Person variations! (1) Epistolary, letters and journals, in-universe artifacts. (2) Reflective narrator, there I was, surrounded by... the storyteller over the fire. (3) First person immediate, I'm talking to you! Often present tense, lots of YA. Will I survive? Keep reading and find out! Think about the meta-element (how did we get this to read? Who is the narrator? Where is the line between the story universe and mehaving a book in my hands to read?), and the fourth wall, which might be where the shadows of the story are written?

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[Brandon] Awesome. So, as I said, there's a lot of depth to exploring even within first person. I wanted to assign you some homework. Which is to take the same idea, a writing prompt you've had, and write a short narrative based on it in one of these three first person formats. Either epistolary, reflective narrator, or first person immediate. Then, I want you to try it in the other two. So that you can personally explore how these three different forms of first person are different tools that achieve different things. Just do a short narrative. Whatever it is. You could even take something you've already written in one and change it into the other two. But until you've tried all three, until you've tried doing a piece of them, I don't think it'll really pop out at you how this all works.

[Brandon] Now, we will be back next week with the Chicago team, where we'll be talking about how to specifically create a powerful first person voice. I wanted to give you a warning that the week after that, we're going to be doing a wildcard. The four of us will be back together and we'll be talking about Risk Assessment, which is the bonus story in the Schlock Mercenary volume Force Multiplication. So this is your spoiler warning. If you want to get that and read it before we talk, we'll be having Sandra Tayler on as a guest because she was the author of it. We will discuss in depth with no holds barred spoilers about that bonus story.

[Brandon] All right. Thank you guys so much. We are excited to have you in season 12 of Writing Excuses. This has been Writing Excuses, and you're out of excuses. Now go write.

[Mary] Writing Excuses is a Dragon Steel production, jointly hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler. This episode was mastered by Alex Jackson.