Welcome to Morning Pages — it’s time for a monthly roundup. I hope you have your pencils sharpened and ready to write. Want to join in on the fun? Pick a prompt, set your timer* and get ready to let the words flow. Feel free to post the results of your work in the comments below where we chat about writing and (if the mood strikes us) get a craft discussion going.
If you want critique from other commenters, use #YESTHANKS in your comment. Otherwise, you can tell us about your flash fic and the process you went through to write it. And of course, I’m always open to hear what you think about my excerpts! You can follow the links below to find them on Patreon (but please bear in mind: I post MPs as-is without any polishing).
*you can write for as long as you want, but most folks choose 15-30 minutes.
What I learned this month: Subjective omniscient is not for me.
I’ve read a lot of subjective omniscient stories (a favorite is Fredrick Backman’s Beartown, which I highly recommend, though it has heavy themes). For those who haven’t tangled with subjective omni, it’s a style of narration that, much like true omniscient, uses a narrator who isn’t a physical character in the story. This narrator has their own personality, voice, and opinions. While they’re all-seeing and all-knowing like true omni, the ‘subjective’ part also allows them to peek into characters’ heads and tell the reader what those characters are thinking and feeling.
Increased psychic distance makes it different from third limited, because the reader doesn’t actually experience the story as if they were any of the characters, nor do those characters get a narrative voice. It’s more complicated to write than third limited, imho, because it’s difficult to direct the narrative to prevent head-hopping and even harder to prevent voice bleed between the characters and the narrators.
I’d never intentionally choose to write subjective omniscient (I find it crazy difficult to craft), but being an editor means I occasionally encounter writers braver than I in the wild. I recently tangled with a short excerpt from a writer who struggled with head hopping but wanted to write in subjective omni, and holy hell, it was so much harder than editing for third limited.
So. Much. Harder.
Right now, I’m torn re: whether I want to edit it, or whether I’m simply not a good fit for writers who use subjective omni. I think I’d like to practice a little more, but my gut is telling me that I’d be a better dev editor for that style, and would perhaps prefer to refer those writers to a colleague for their line/copy needs.
I imagine this isn’t the most titillating of revelations for members of the general bookish public, but here we are: the things a fiction editor ponders on the daily.
“Did you hurt anything?” “Only my pride.”
Baseball ‘verse: Marshall Bedford doesn’t appreciate smack-talk from batters–especially when that smack-talk hits too close to home.
“Write a scene from the perspective of a bereaved character.”
Oceana ‘verse. Somehow, even the cat knew he was grieving.
“A character has unsettling (and perhaps prophetic) dreams.”
Oceana ‘verse. The worst thing about a far-seeing talent was how difficult it was to tell dreams from prophecy.
“How would a shapeshifter escape an arranged marriage?”
He thought he’d have a pliant, quiet bride. He was wrong.
Answer the prompts or dive straight in and respond to others’ comments — let’s share our knowledge, our experience, and have a discussion we can all learn from! Don’t want to miss a post? Subscribe to the blog in the sidebar to get notified about new posts.
- What’s your favorite POV to write in (ie: first, third limited, omni)?
- Do you pick a single POV, or do you like to have multiple POV characters?
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