You know the quote: “The lunatics have taken over the asylum!” I hear it all the time in movies and TV, not to mention reading it in books.
For today’s post, let’s assume that my fictional characters are the lunatics, and the asylum is my mind.
Everyone on board?
Good. (Jenny, are you with us? Yes? Good!)
I started out this Camp NaNo wanting to work on my non-fiction travel memoir depicting the things I experienced working as an overseas English teacher/underground missionary. It took three or four tries for me to get it right, but I finally got started with it properly. (Of course I counted what I’d already written as part of my word count, because (a) it’s allowed and (2) it’s all part of the writing process.)
About a week ago, I got sidetracked off of this nonfiction tangent, and got inspired on how to write the fiction I’ve been struggling so hard with. As you creative types know, I had to stop whatever I was doing and get it down that moment! There just wasn’t any other option!
I’ve actually been enjoying the fiction-writing now! I’ve been enjoying it so much, that I almost don’t want to go back to the non-fiction. I blame Stephen King for this.
In his book On Writing, he talks about how he can’t stay away from a story for a day, because he likes to handle it when it’s still white-hot, while it’s still got a ton of life!
Well, of course I can’t read something like that without wanting to go and work on my own stuff. So last night, after reading this, I put the book aside, went into my creative space, and started writing like there was a psycho holding a gun to my head.
I love it. I love love LOVE it now! I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with this stupid thing, and hope to be DONE with it…for good or ill…by the end of the year! (I won’t put any aspirations like “in three months”, because that doesn’t play for us brooding Sims.)
For me, the difference is that I’m writing my fiction in first-person. I don’t know if third-person just presents me with too many problems, or if I just needed this time of percolation to get it right. Conversely, I’ve started to consider going back to what I wanted to do before, and write my memoir in third-person.
Perhaps it’s because it’s easier for me to get lost in the mind of a fictitious person than it is to remember what I’ve been through. Perhaps it’s because I prefer to look at all that happened through a detached lens. (It was all pretty crazy.) I don’t know. But, I suppose it’s worth a shot!
Have you ever read a non-fiction autobiography or memoir that was written in third person? What did you think of it?