Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Person Singular with Narcissistic Tendencies

I have been busy lately punching up an old manuscript called Bullet for One, a revenge tale featuring private eye John Coburn going after the killer of a friend. It's an unashamed I, the Jury riff and when you see it, you will know what I mean. The reason the edit has taken so long and has been so time consuming is that I wrote this book back in 1999, and I have learned a ton in the last ten years, so much so that what I am seeing in the script is nothing but overwritten whale vomit. But I think, deep down, underneath all those extra and unnecessary and redundant words (see what I mean?) is a really good story worth exposing.

Another problem I have discovered is the issue writing in the first-person has caused. The narrator is "I" this and "I" that and, boy, it sounds like he sure has narcissistic tendencies. It's all about him! There's too much "I" going on and my next edit will attempt to reshuffle lines so that "I did this, I did that, I did it again" doesn't happen so much. But it has made me wonder... if that how first person books are, just because? If so I have never noticed. I think this requires that I run through some of the more popular private eye books to compare. I will, possibly, learn one way or another, and I think that will be great (see what I mean?).

It has been fun looking at how the younger me, myself, and I used to write, and it's wonderful to see how much I, myself, and me have learned. Perhaps we and me are in the right place after all. Don't you think?

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