I started writing entries for my fiction blog this weekend. I had Friday off which really helped. I find that when I start a very long story told in the first person, I need time alone to really get the voice down. Do it wrong, and it is just Cranky Shon telling a story. Do it right, and the character has a voice different from mine. The fact that this is a non-sex story has me a little nervous. I feel much more confidant talking about sex in the first person than I do anything else.
No story survives the first word you put on paper and this one is no different. My character, Jimmy, is one foul mouthed bastard. Then again, the world has gone to shit and the living dead walk the earth so I guess he is allowed to be upset. I’m curious if he’ll calm down any.
What concerns me is a lot of my first person stories have a lot of hostility. When I start typing, I just turn to internal editor off and let things spill out. I don’t look to type hostile words, but I find that if I am being true to a character, I have get to what annoys them , or delights them, as a person. Often that comes across as aggressive when my goal was more to be honest.
My wife gets frustrated with me because I can be extremely easy going. Someone could stab me and I could speculate on their motives to the point that I am sympathetic to my stabber. I am a diplomat at heart and I believe that 90% of the evil committed in the world is due to a lack of empathy. As a human being, I can be pretty damn soft.
As a writer, I can be mean. I don’t think I am mean for sake of being mean. I think that everyone has a personal diplomat that makes them acceptable for human society. When I write first person, I think it is important to strip off the diplomat. I think the meanness is truth.
I think this inner layer of meanness is what is lacking from a lot of erotica. For a successful personal connection between two people, there is a high level of relationship management even between the greatest lovers. There are the love handles we refuse to see, or that thing they do that reminds you of your father. We keep those things to ourselves because our loved ones have no need to ever know what is inside out heads.
Readers though, they should know.