Monday, 28 February 2011

The Second Person

Most books are written in first person I, or third person he/she/it. I have read that only the most creative and experimental write in second person - the "you" point of view. 
So with this in mind (she says) I am reworking a story into second person as I also understand that it is the least used point of view in fiction, and there's nothing like experimental to get the brain cells moving.

Second person requires the reader not only to step into the head of the protagonist, but into his very shoes. 
The writer has to become at one with the reader and convince the reader that the events are happening to him personally and that he is seeing and experiencing these events through his own eyes. writing-in-second-person-point-of-view

It's also said that 2nd person writing can become annoying for the reader.
Good writers shouldn't have a problem with this, should they ?

Here's a couple of "off the cuff " paragraphs written this morning. I will post the other reworked story when it's complete - and if it's not too annoying. 

You probably won’t believe this because you don’t seem to know it yourself.
 Maybe you do but don’t talk about it or rather you don’t talk to me about it. 
So that’s why I have to say this because I know, and even if you think I don’t understand, I have felt what you feel and it scares me too. It's scary when your thoughts appear to have a will of their own and the world around you carries on regardless. 
That’s what we don’t have and that’s why you are afraid, as I am afraid.
For if we don’t have control, then we are nothing. 
Like this morning, and every morning since it happened. 
You are awake and you lie there in your bed and you wonder why you are trapped and encased like a mummy in a tomb where there is no light, because you don’t want to open your eyes. Then you realise that the sheets and the covers are wrapped in a tangle around your legs where you thrashed and fought in your sleep against so many evils. You muscles are stiff and taut and all that moves are your eyeballs behind the lids. You keep your eyes closed for as long as you can, trying to move first your toes and then your legs and arms, slowly remembering that you are a being in the here and now and that the terrors of the last few hours are not with you in this room.

To be continued ... perhaps


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Signing on the dotted line ... ...

When Mr Ed Miliband produced a document of blank pages called a Fresh Ideas Pamphlet for Labour supporters to suggest new policy proposals, it seemed like a good way to get views across.
Now the two Eds, Miliband and Balls, have come up with another form to fill in before shadow ministers do or say anything in public. This involves getting specific approval on the precise words they intend using, especially ones about money.

'The public has a right to expect us to adopt a responsible and thorough approach. We hope this process will support rather than hinder your work in developing a clear and ambitious agenda for a future Labour Government’, they say.

This is all well and good. There has to be a consensus of opinion in these matters so that the party are all singing from the same proverbially hymn sheet and everything is open, transparent and not misleading.Yet there is something disturbing about having all your words and actions vetted before they are put to the public. It seems to be more censorship than necessary discipline and I wonder where this will end.

Our government is renowned for bureaucracy and especially towards paperwork.
Forms have been brought in for the police, teaching, the NHS and many others, which control and restrict how these jobs are carried out. The police are kept away from the public, nurses away from patients and teachers away from vital contact with the children. One further step and we as citizens will be filling in forms about our beliefs and our morals and have vetted what we intend saying to our own families. Freedom of speech will become something from the distant past – if there ever really was free speech in this country. Maybe the census forms this year will surprise us by asking what hasn’t been asked before.

Perhaps the paperwork that Labour politicians are being asked to do will keep them busy and off the streets towards the next election. Maybe we will then have a fresh new government at both local and national levels.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Battle of the Hard Copy

In the battle of book versus e.reader, I thought I would argue for the case of The Book to the bitter end. Until today, when I find that Asda is selling a 5in View Quest Mediabox for £52.
Not that I have £52 aching to be spent, but it is half the price of a Kindle and not only has hundreds of books which can be stored, but you can also watch videos, listen to music and use a voice recorder on it.
It might have been the voice recorder feature that made my ears prick up – figuratively speaking – but anyway I started to look into this wonder tool which was clearly more than a gadget and definitely something that would improve my quality of life. In fact, it was becoming a puzzle how I have managed without one.

But then the reviews started talking about how "the device lacks a link to the internet through the 3G mobile phone network which would allow books to be downloaded anywhere". Hmmm… what’s that mean ? and I am on Vodafone and don’t want to change.
Then it was mentioned that it’s very bad for eye strain and can’t be read properly outside because of the LED backlight and if you are not going to get an e-ink screen you might as well get e.books on your laptop (or in my case my lovely, neat Notepad computer)

And all the time in the back of my mind is the thought that these items are helping towards the demise of real books, bookshops and libraries. Haven’t I just last weekend signed petitions for keeping libraries open? There really is nothing better than having a “hard copy” book which can be read anywhere, anytime and unless it’s the complete set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, easily transportable. Add to this the fact that I bought 3 new books from Smiths last Friday and have just ordered 2 from Amazon today and I really have to wonder what I was thinking of.

So I have rethought the idea of getting an e.reader. Even if they start selling them as BOGOF offers, I won’t be moved.
 Anyone want to debate for the other side ?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

How To Unclutter Your Home

Most of my family and friends (and quite a few on Facebook) know that my little bedroom has been decorated and I have been trying to have A Big Clearout with the hope of a tidy house making a tidy mind.  
Collecting (hoarding) “stuff” we know makes for a stressful life. By having too much, it becomes clutter and mess around us makes for a mess inside our heads and we can’t think straight or even at all in my case. 
The sorting of this room has been an ongoing project since moving into this house erm … 7 and a half years ago. The room did have to be changed from an office/ junk room to a bedroom and back again during this time and I have been poorly and my grandchildren always mess it up and the dogs leave hairs all over and it’s been a bad winter and … ok, yes it’s time it was done.

I made sure I had a good long think about this before I started… and looked at some “advice” that is widely available online.  
Seems the first step is to admit you have a problem. OK that’s easy - I have a problem. I have too much STUFF around me which is making me feel cluttered and I can’t think straight to sort it.
The next suggestion threw me a little as it said to buy a book called Unclutter Your Home by Donna Smallin. My room in question has many books. As have all the other rooms in the house, except the bathroom that is. Leaving books in the bathroom too long makes them go limp. Now books are one of the things that cause clutter – so others tell me. I don’t agree of course. Clothes, pots and pans and too many ornaments are clutter, but books could never be. That goes for the ones that have been read loads of times and the ones that have not yet been read (by me).  I have a feeling that Donna Smallin is wanting to sell her book more than she wants me to de-clutter my house, anyway.

Other suggestions range from imagining what disaster would befall me if I got rid of something, to begin by tidying out the car. I would be as well not to do either of these things as 1) I will become paranoid about impending disaster and 2) if I start on the car I will not have time in this life to do anything else.
So, I am sorting things into “stuff which I don’t use, don’t need and should have been thrown out or given away years ago” and “stuff that means something to me and no matter how new or old they are, or whether I “need” them or not I want them”. These are the things that are I will keep, put on shelves or in drawers tidily, naturally.
There is a final suggestion to reward yourself with a bunch of flowers, a candle or a book. The first two sound like more clutter to me, but a book ? 
Now that sounds a good idea.