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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-01-13 05:29
Subject: [personal] Miscellaneous updatery
Security: Public
Tags:contests, personal, podcasts, process, sale, stories, tech
I've been trying to post a new podcast for about a week, but the podcast plug-in continues fubar. WordPress updates it about twice a day, so I assume attempted bug fixery is ongoing.

In the same vein, I owe a voting poll in the recent caption contest [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ], but the new (to me) WordPress poll plug-in is defeating me thus far.

Apparently my blogging fu has become disfungshuinal.

In other news, various combinations of writing related program activities, editing tasks, life issues and day jobbery have kept me away from substantial new writing for a while. I aim to remedy that this afternoon after work by digging back into the novella "Chain of Stars." After that I have a short piece to write, then a collaborative piece to review.

Also, recently sold flash fiction "Golden Pepper" to Flash Fiction Online.

I continue to think deep thoughts about point of view in fiction. It's become quite apparent to me that POV is far more subtle and nuanced than I've ever before understood. This thought process will hopefully disgorge a detailed process-oriented blog post one of these days. But since I'm thinking about it, what sorts of questions and concepts would you like to see covered in a discussion of point of view?

Originally published at jlake.com.

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Elizabeth Coleman
User: criada
Date: 2009-01-13 15:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm curious to see a comparison of your old way of thinking and the new. Other than that, I'm interested in any advanced technique/theory you can come up with.
I've also been getting a more subtle understanding of pov. I make a point to note the differences in everyone's focus and narrative style --this character focuses on people, that one on daydreams and internal monologue, that one on physical sensations. I've got a list I make myself read at the beginning of every scene, which starts out as, "What is the character's starting emotion? When grounding the scene, reflect those emotions in the physical setting. Immediately inform the reader who's pov this is, through name dropping and an example of their specific narrative style."
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Zachary Spector
User: blackmonkeymage
Date: 2009-01-13 15:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
How big is it?

That is: How far away from the viewpoint can you get before you have to change viewpoints? The chapter introductions in Accelerando had planet-sized viewpoints, but those were quite short and I don't think I'd want to read a novel that used those exclusively.
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User: ext_137244
Date: 2009-01-13 15:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
On POV you might find this post interesting:

http://www.gordsellar.com/2009/01/13/pov-and-sins-worth-risking/
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scarlettina: Write hard die free
User: scarlettina
Date: 2009-01-13 16:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Write hard die free
Have you ever changed decisions about from whose POV a story has been told? How early in the process has it happened, and what drove the decision?

I ask this because I've been rereading some of my old work and find myself questioning choices in a couple of cases. I also find that sometimes I stymie myself before I even begin, arguing with myself about which POVs would and wouldn't work and why. (That, of course, takes us back to the whole "getting out of my own way" issue, which is another subject for another time.)
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2009-01-13 18:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:*writing
I'm currently fighting with (and interested in hearing other takes on) the conventions of first person: how it gets framed or not framed in time and context, the extent to which the narrator is addressing an acknowledged "you," the use of hindsight in the narrative voice.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-01-13 18:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If I come up with an extra copy of the Green ARC, I'll send it to you. I use single-threaded tight first for 165,000 words, and there's a bunch of what you describe -- an acknowledged "you", as well as hindsight.
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2009-01-13 18:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:*writing
The hindsight one is bugging me right now because I've become aware of how many books use it for the first page or so, to get the story moving, and then drop it thereafter. It provides a convenient way to tell the reader, "hey, this thing you're about to read is important," but without the hassle of actually figuring out the frame -- when the narrator is narrating from, and to whom, and why. And I think it goes hand-in-hand with the casual, conversational style of first-person narration that's become popular, especially in urban fantasy. It doesn't bother me as a reader -- few "sins" of pov do, unless they kick me out of the story -- but as a writer trying to figure out how to get a particular story in motion without using that trick, I'm tearing my hair out.
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Jay Lake: writing-Green
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-01-13 18:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:writing-Green
FWIW, in GREEN, the implied present of the narration is sometime shortly after the end of the book, so the retrospective comments taper off over the first 200 pages or so. Ie, I didn't use it as a set-up then abandon it in chapter 2. (Actually, the book is unchaptered, but that's another story.) It would seem to me that getting a story in motion without the hindsight narration is easier, but maybe I'm not understanding your problem?
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2009-01-13 19:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:*writing
Eh, my problem is just that I don't know what I want to start with, and 75% of my attempts drift toward the "I should have known that X was going to be trouble" kind of hindsight framing, and I'm annoyed with and don't want to use that. (But I don't find my non-hindsight attempts any more satisfying.)

Actually, my real problem -- as I just posted about on my journal -- is that this story wants to start with the protagonist waking up from a dream, which is too unforgiveable of a cliche for me to go with, no matter how well I execute it.
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sheelangig
User: sheelangig
Date: 2009-01-13 21:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

It's the wet noodle gauntlet for you, my lad, for "disfungshuinal".

Argh.
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User: ext_56672
Date: 2009-01-14 11:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've been curious about how "voice" has driven the "POV" in my own stories. Do you find an strong overlap/connection between the two?
-Deven
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