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 on: July 03, 2014, 02:18:37 PM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie
These are wonderful. Golden! Thank you.

Yes, Nikki, I will get your book. Looks intriguing.

 on: July 03, 2014, 10:19:00 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by judyr
It's helping me to put my MC's thoughts as narrative. When I'm revising, if I find all of my sentences starting with I, sometimes I add setting or actions of supporting characters to break things up.

 on: July 03, 2014, 10:02:02 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by ColoradoKate
Also, because you and the reader are in the main character's head, you can eliminate almost all of the "I saw," "I looked," "I heard" by simply showing what was seen and heard.

Instead of "I saw a thin man leaning against a poplar tree," you'd write "A thin man leaned against a poplar tree." It's a given that the MC saw the man.

Instead of "I heard the tardy bell ring," you'd write "The tardy bell rang."

Instead of "I think about running, but it's too late," you could write "Should I run? No, it's too late!"

Instead of "I felt confused," you could write "What the heck was I supposed to do now?" or "A hundred ideas ran around in my brain like hamsters on a wheel."

 on: July 03, 2014, 09:52:55 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by Mikki S

Does anyone have good techniques to share? How to get away from the I factor? Every sentence begining with I want, I feel, I think, I crouched, I saw.

JoJo, you could always buy my book and see how I handled that issue!  Grin But, just in case, here is a short except from the first chapter of Cheers, Chocolate, and Other Disasters:

The new girl stood in front of me with a look of pure hatred on her face, which
had turned as white as an Arctic bunny. I had never seen her before in my life. It
was exactly 8.37 a.m. on Monday, September sixth.

Since my mom says I never tell a story straight through from the beginning, I
guess I’d better back up an hour or so.

The power in our house went off last night, which meant our alarm clocks
didn’t ring. When Mom woke us all up by pounding on our doors, it was already
after seven a.m. Sheesh, tryouts for our eighth grade cheerleading squad were in
fifteen minutes. I leaped out of bed and threw on the first clothes I could find,
which happened to be the shorts and T-shirt I’d had on yesterday to muck the
stalls. They smelled suspiciously of horse poop. Plus, I realized I had a sore throat
and two new zits. Crap, three disasters so far, and I hadn’t even left my bedroom.

I jumped around on one foot and then the other, trying to get my mudsplattered
sneakers tied and finally gave up. I raced down the stairs with laces
flying, bounced into the kitchen, and croaked, “Mom, you’ve got to get me to
school, right now. You know I have tryouts this morning!”

“AJ, what’s wrong with your voice? And what have you got on, you smell like
a barnyard. I can’t leave now, everyone is late and I still have to make lunches.”
She was slapping milk and cereal down on the table for my twin sisters, oblivious
to my crisis.

“Okay, forget it, I’ve gotta go.” I bolted out the kitchen door as Mom yelled,
“Tie your shoelaces before you end up in the ER!”

I ignored the warning and raced down the street, hoping the morning breeze
would blow some of the stink away. Halfway to school I realized I’d forgotten my
backpack. Things were definitely not looking up.

The day was already getting hot when I ran onto the football field. The track
shimmered in the distance, and the grass had a kind of musty smell to it, instead of
its usual freshness. Girls were lined up in front of the coach, who glared at me as I
slipped into line. He thought there was no excuse for tardiness, so before he could
say anything, I tried some damage control.

“Sorry, Coach, but we had a terrible family emergency this morning. I came as
soon as I could.”

He frowned. “Miss Devlin, nothing short of death makes tardiness excusable.
Did someone in your family die?”

“Uh, no sir. It wasn’t that kind of emergency.”

Snickers trickled out behind me.

He glared at me for a moment before going back to his lecture. The girls on
either side of me moved away, and one covered her mouth and nose and gave an
elaborate cough. Apparently, the breeze hadn’t worked.

The coach finished talking and walked down the line of girls eagerly waiting to
show him what they could do. He didn’t say much until he got to me.

“Miss Devlin, you are a disgrace. I trust you will not have another family
emergency anytime soon.” He walked away, leaving behind a whiff of shaving
lotion that smelled like an old wet dog. At least, I hoped it was shaving lotion.

Coach was dividing the girls into groups of three, and I was sure I would be
with my two best friends, Julie and Jaime. Before I could call to them, Coach came
over and grasped my arm with his bony hand.

“Miss Devlin, you are to team up with Miss Baker and Miss Wilkins. Since
you’ve never worked together before, you need to talk about what you’re going to

“But, Coach, I’ve been practicing with Jaime and Julie. We always…”

“Miss Devlin, I am perfectly aware of what you ‘always’ do, but this is not one
of those times. You will team with Miss Baker and Miss Wilkins. Is that clear?”

Aaghh! I couldn’t believe my bad luck. Amberley Baker was a total klutz,
always stumbling and dropping her books and papers all over the place. Lisa
Wilkins was tall, thin as a popsicle stick, and had eyes the color of a glacier.
Amberley’s clumsiness and Lisa’s forever talking about her European experience
of living in Italy for a couple of years made them two of the most unpopular girls
on campus. Now I was stuck with them. But you really don’t even know them, said
that little voice I try to ignore.

“Miss Devlin, I am waiting.” Coach’s voice had gotten quiet, which was
always a bad sign.
The first thing you do, is to eliminate as many dialogue tags as you can. One of my ICL instructors told me that usually about 90% of all dialogue tags are unnecessary to any story and should be eliminated. That's for all POVs, not just 1st person.

Then, you write something about the action, or what is going to happen, or what the MC is thinking, before  you start with "I saw," "I ran," etc. It makes the story more interesting, but the main thing is that you are eliminating the "I 'did something' " at the very beginning of the sentence.

If you have the "I did something" in the middle of the sentence, it takes the reader's mind away from always reading about "I ran, I saw, I etc."

Example: "Halfway to school, I realized I'd forgotten my backpack." The 'halfway to school' wasn't really necessary, but it meant I didn't have to start my sentence with "I realized". And it tells the reader where AJ was when she remembered her backpack. Not really necessary, but it adds a bit to the story line at that point.
Hope this helps.

 on: July 03, 2014, 09:28:34 AM 
Started by jfields - Last post by Fancy
Yay! POV! Hopefully I'll be able to participate more this month.  Grin

ditto! I can't seem to stick with one POV, hope to learn a lot this month!

 on: July 03, 2014, 08:20:48 AM 
Started by jojocookie - Last post by jojocookie

Does anyone have good techniques to share? How to get away from the I factor? Every sentence begining with I want, I feel, I think, I crouched, I saw.

 on: July 03, 2014, 07:09:15 AM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by judyr
Nice article! I like the part about not noticing the color of the drapes when you're running for your life.  Grin

 on: July 02, 2014, 03:08:26 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by ColoradoKate
Oh, cool! Thanks for sharing that, Jojo.

 on: July 02, 2014, 03:02:22 PM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by jojocookie
Guess what today's post is at Fiction University?




 on: July 02, 2014, 10:48:30 AM 
Started by ColoradoKate - Last post by judyr
That does make sense, but now I think the third person narrative I like is limited third. So I guess it means the story wouldn't be a lot different than first person. Still, I wonder if editors prefer third person.

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