WEDNESDAY: notes from a novel in progress

BY MARK VICTOR YOUNG

Copyright is held by the author.

I begin
in the 1st person
to wade deep into the stream of “my” consciousness.
I hope the confessional tone will draw the reader in
to the narrative.
I sound, perhaps, self-obsessed. I, I, I…
I will filter
through my own prism
the motives and actions of others,
so the reader might come to question my
reliability.

Why should I limit myself to one point of view? he thinks to himself,
switching to the more conventional 3rd person.
He keeps the reader
at a distance
this way,
to emphasize the story — bring the plot to the fore
and let the personality fade into the
details, descriptions.
He wants to grab the reader by the throat
on page 1
and not let go.
He has something to hide, maybe.

You keep the reader off
balance
with a sudden switch to the disorienting,
almost accusatory,
2nd person.
You made a mess of the 1st two drafts
altogether.
You scrap everything you’ve written up to now.
It lacked Profundity,
Historical Context.
The characters were 2-dimensional.
But still,
there is something missing. This 3rd draft is caught
up in your breakneck pace, but
maybe you don’t know where you’re going?
You begin to feel too much
is resting
on your shoulders.
You aren’t up to the task.

We believe we can fix this — we much prefer
this comfy 1st person plural
to any other POV.
Our superior numbers will bring weight to the chronicle.
We will avoid the traps of previous drafts:
solipsism,
distance,
finger-pointing.
We are in this together and our opinion,
our agreement,
brings justification.
We are ever of one mind.
We, us, our…
who are we?
How do we keep this story going?
We are never lonely, but always, ultimately, alone —
something we must conceal from the reader.

And I end up
back where I began.
Alone at last.
Four drafts that went
nowhere.
Some balled-up paper in the waste
basket
and a blank page.
I begin again.
Let me start with my name.
1st person
singular,
present tense.

4 comments

  1. Pingback: Featured author: Mark Victor Young | C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m
  2. nancy johnson

    You got my attention! Keep on going….and thanks for privilege of being included in the process. – n

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