Last week I began a new manuscript, my second attempt at writing a purposeful piece of fiction for young readers.
My first manuscript is currently with three editors at three different publishers. All fingers and toes are crossed and will stay that way until either I receive a phone call or another rejection letter. I'm hoping to at least score some feedback. The story centers around a boy who lives in a small town that is divided by class, all because of his great, great grandfather.
I'm writing my current manuscript in first person. And boy, does it really allow you to dive into the personality of the protagonist. I have found writing in first person to be more raw and organic, for the story to really come alive, even more than when writing in third person. I attribute this to the tale being told through the eyes of the protagonist, the person who actually experienced every action and reaction that happens in the story. After all, it's his/her story and it happened to him/her.
The strange thing is, I enjoy reading stories written in third person more than first person. Weird? Probably. But maybe I just haven't found my third person voice yet. Maybe it will take another manuscript, or even two! That's the price we pay as writers. We spend what seems an eternity writing a manuscript and it could never be seen by anyone except our closest writer/reader friends whose constructive feedback we trust and cherish.
Whatever point of view you may choose, whether first or third person, we can all learn from the best. I recently watched another HBO docu-special on David McCullough, Painting With Words. It's only about 45 minutes long, but it's so telling about the life of a writer. He says some of the most quotable lines in this 45 minutes that I've ever heard. He said, and I'm summarizing, that...
Well... come to think of it.... they are David McCullough's words, and he should be the one to tell you. From writer to writer.... from his point of view.
I would like to give a shout-out to the Viewpoint School Varsity baseball team of Calabasas, California, who beat Upland Christian 7 to 2 for the CIF Southern Section title on Saturday. (I just happen to be the pitching; hence the major props here.)
We made it to the title game last year and lost. We also graduated 6 seniors from last year's squad. Anyway, in March if you would have told me we'd be playing for the title again, I would have personally checked you into the nearest insane asylum. Goes to show that great things come when you least expect them. It also goes to show that dedication, persistence, patience, and a positive attitude can take you a long way in life (especially when submitting to agents and editors).