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Zenith667
07-18-2014, 06:42 AM
Hello,

I've got a WIP, that I had stopped working on some years ago, but as of late I started to think about resuming it. The problem is, I think it's a bit awkward / crazy, and I worry it may be in the bad sense.

So I'd like to hear your opinion about the core things of the story, to have an idea if I should have hopes that it could get somewhere, or not.

The story is about a 16 years old guy, who travels somewhat involuntarily throughout very strange worlds. The story is first person, and this guy is 'telling' what is seeing and experiencing, throughout the places he is walking through. He is occasionally talking to people, but:
a) sometimes it is not clear whether he is talking to somebody or having hallucinations and actually talking to himself (Questions & Answers)
b) most of the other characters, besides of the fact that only belong to their scene, may not be very sane. So you would not have like ordinary "character building" for them.

Also,
a) it may be unclear whether the MC is passing through worlds or he's simply having hallucinations.
b) there would be possibly creepy scenes, such as 8-year old girls dancing and laughing, holding human heads in their arms.

I worry:
a) having this story presented as first person, if the MC can be understood as psycho, could that reflect poorly on the author?
b) would anyone enjoy reading something psycho? (if indeed it proves to be so)
c) it may be awkward to express emotions, as first person, such as "I got scared", "I felt guilty about ...", etc. And I wonder how it could be interpreted by the reader.

Any opinions?

JRTroughton
07-18-2014, 12:47 PM
It would be interesting to try, but it's hard to gauge how well it will work without actually seeing some text. It would be a good challenge, that's for sure.

I wouldn't worry about characters reflecting poorly on the author. They are still characters, even if written in the 1st person.

LAgrunion
07-18-2014, 01:49 PM
My two pennies...



I worry:
a) having this story presented as first person, if the MC can be understood as psycho, could that reflect poorly on the author?

My guess: probably not. There are plenty of novels with crazy MCs, and I doubt readers usually think ill of the authors. People will just think you have a good imagination.

b) would anyone enjoy reading something psycho? (if indeed it proves to be so)

Sure. If it's interesting, I'm sure there is a market for it. I'm open to it.

c) it may be awkward to express emotions, as first person, such as "I got scared", "I felt guilty about ...", etc. And I wonder how it could be interpreted by the reader.

It sounds like you're writing some kind of psychological fantasy/horror. I don't see why you can't make it work as a first-person POV.

ClareGreen
07-18-2014, 02:10 PM
OP? Read Jeff Lindsay's 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter', either for the first time or again. Ponder your questions as you read.

JimmyB27
07-18-2014, 02:27 PM
c) it may be awkward to express emotions, as first person, such as "I got scared", "I felt guilty about ...", etc. And I wonder how it could be interpreted by the reader.

The way you've written it here is what we call 'telling' rather than 'showing'. Don't tell us he's scared, show us. Not "I got scared.." but "The bottom dropped out of my stomach and my mouth dried up" or, you know, something good.

Also, 'Fictional novel(ette) is a redundant phrase. All novels/novellettes are fictional by definition. :)

Skabr
07-21-2014, 03:59 PM
Hello,

I've got a WIP, that I had stopped working on some years ago, but as of late I started to think about resuming it. The problem is, I think it's a bit awkward / crazy, and I worry it may be in the bad sense.

Any opinions?

Hi Zenith,

I think you should go on with your novel.

You've written it (I don't know maybe half or more than it) and it means you must have seen something in it that interests you. THAT is a proof that there must be readers who would like to read it.

You may have to edit it to reduce the confusing parts or polish some stuff, but do remember that people like weird/non-usual stuff. Take WALKERS/ZOMBIES for example. Some people disgust there sight but others are mad about Zombie fiction. Just an example...

I'd say: GO FOR IT!

And do post here if you face any other problems.

Good luck,

Skabr

zanzjan
07-21-2014, 06:51 PM
A better place for posts like this is the Brainstorming Sandbox, where you might get more responses. If you'd like me to port the thread over there, just let me know.

Either way, welcome to SF and AW. Be sure to check out the Newbie Guide (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66315) and Room Stickies. Once you get 50 posts, you can also post an excerpt in SYW and get more direct feedback on if your story is working. Meanwhile, hang out, and feel free to come say hello over in the SFF Cantina (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284867).

Zenith667
07-31-2014, 11:29 AM
Thanks guys for your encouragement!

I had abandoned that WIP a few years ago, as I had gotten discouraged by reviews of someone close to me (not a writer), with words such as "oh, it gives the impression you're a psycho!"

Too bad I didn't think about writers forums years ago (and basically, didn't even know that there are such things as writers forums at that time).

DragonHeart
07-31-2014, 04:12 PM
It's easy for your friend to say that because they know you and have that physical proximity/attachment. 99% of your readers will never meet you in person, but if it bothers you that much consider using a pseudonym. There are plenty of mad/crazy works out there but you don't hear much about the person who created it beyond the brilliance of the work itself. Think of Fight Club, for example. Writers occupy an interesting niche in media in that we can be as visible or not as we like due to the nature of our work.

As for the actual subject matter, it sounds a lot like you'll have an unreliable narrator. That's fine. Strange worlds, disturbing scenes, all fine. Dante's Inferno and Gulliver's Travels come to mind.

First person is a different writing style but it's not necessarily awkward or harder to write than third person. I'm working on a story told in first person right now and once I got the hang of unfiltering the character's voice, it actually started turning out really well. If you're worried about how to write it this way, the best thing I can suggest is to research. Read first person works, as many as you can get your hands on. Bonus points if they cover similar themes to your own work. Deconstructing stories in the style you want to develop is exceptionally useful.

You even have a small reading list already.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (suggested by ClareGreen) - the narrator is a serial killer.
Dante's Inferno - strange, disturbing worlds in the form of hell/purgatory
Gulliver's Travels - more strange world traveling
Fight Club (movie or book) - unreliable narrator

AceTachyon
08-01-2014, 10:29 PM
Just write it.

Write it, write it, write it.

Fullon_v4.0
08-01-2014, 11:42 PM
I would totally read this O_O Go write it. Now. Really.

Howard Beale
08-01-2014, 11:58 PM
Go read A Skanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick or even something like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, they will give you an idea of the mechanics of writing a piece such as the one you are proposing.

I'm writing something similar now myself.

Do it!