Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mind Reading

I usually save these guys for Wickedly Romantic posts, but I had so much fun with the last one, I thought I'd give you a little early Thanksgiving/late Halloween treat!

And treats are what my writing is all about. I give the nooky treats, the funny treats, the romantic treats, and the action/adventure treats! I love them all, and IMHO a book just isn't complete without a taste of each one.

Now that I have two books in print, many have compared the two, and most reviewers have said that they are very different, which I think is a good thing. I could probably write the same book over and over again, but it would get boring eventually, and we can't have that!

The main reason for the difference between the two books is that when you write in first person, that "I" persona comes through in the narrative. Tisana, the heroine in Warrior, is very different from Jacinth in Slave, hence the altered writing style. The third book, Rogue, is written in the voice of a rather timid piano teacher, and her slant on things is even further removed from Jacinth's pithy commentary.

The hardest thing for me to do was to find my "third person voice" to write the fourth book, Lover. It began as a first person, which, due to popular demand, I converted to third--and let me tell you, there's more to it than just changing pronouns! In that book, you'll not only get inside Lynx's head, but you'll also get a taste of Cat and Leo's thoughts, which is something many readers felt they missed when reading Slave and Warrior. This is why first person is such a romance genre no-no: Romance readers want to know what the guys are thinking! I'll admit to being curious myself, but have always felt that a naked Zetithian pretty much wore his feelings on his, um, sleeve! In addition to that, I've always heard that men's thought processes are nothing like women's--which is proven to me on a regular basis--and as such, felt unqualified to write them. I've been working on it, however, and I hope my readers will be pleased with the results. Fugitive, the fifth book, is also in third person, and I'm finding it fun to add a little man to man conversation into the mix, not to mention the fact that the setting can jump from one planet to another with the turn of a page!

So, all of you third person lovers (and writers!) out there, why don't YOU give it a shot: What is this guy thinking?


  1. He's thinking, "I need to find a pair of pants that fit me better."
    Ha! No, this is a lovely pic. My upcoming entry into the Casa series is written in first person. The book has a strong suspense element, and part of the suspense involves not knowing what anyone else is thinking except the heroine, but I completely understand why traditionally romance novels fit better into third person. Knowing what those heroes are thinking is half the fun! I'm hoping that in my case, what the handsome detective is thinking comes through clearly enough by his actions, but I guess we'll see . . .

  2. Hey, Christina!
    Maybe that's my problem: I grew up reading Mary Stewart's romantic suspense novels. The suspense in those books was not only the outcome of the mystery, but whether or not the hero would fall for the heroine. You didn't know it would happen until she did, which was something I always enjoyed.
    I hoped that my Zetithian guys were saying and doing enough to convey their thoughts, too, but perhaps not enough for everyone!

  3. He is thinking... Why is it that chicks love these pictures of dudes with their pants falling off? LOL! Either that or, come on hurry up, I'm late for my pedicure appointment.

    I'm not a big fan of first person as a reader, but every so often it just works for me. I read my friend (and RITA winner) Kristan Higgins' Catch of the Day this week and loved it, even though the hero's POV was never shown. In this case, it just worked. In others, it doesn't work as well for me. I haven't written a book in first person and probably won't. I need all those different POVs I guess!

  4. Hi Marie!
    As pretty as he is, the pedicure appointment is probably more accurate!
    I'm finding another plus for writing in third person: when you have to explore more than one point of view, it's easier to come up with 90,000 words!
    I have to make a run to Indy today to take Sam to the doc. Be back later this afternoon. In the meantime, enjoy a little post-election sigh of relief. Whether you approve of the outcome or not, at least it's over!!!!

  5. He's sad that his team lost and now he wonders if blowing his pedicure appointment was worth it.

    Third person is far more flexible than first, but first can sell a female character who might not otherwise be as "acceptable" to female readers.

    I'm thinking of Linda Howard's heroine in Drop Dead Gorgeous. She's highly competitive. She has a huge ego, and more than a little bit of princess attitude. She's not the nice, sincere,compassionate,likeable heroine we expect.

    I'm also thinking first person works for you in Slave for the same reason. Jacynth is tough and world-weary, initially displaying more masculine traits than feminine ones.

    I love seeing heroines who are human--with real charater flaws, not just a small neurosis. If using first person helps a writer succeed with a character, I'm all for it.

  6. Hey, MM!
    It's interesting that everyone is focusing on his feet, which you can't even see in the picture! I'm thinking he's worried that the towel will mess up the James Dean look he's worked so hard to achieve!
    It's interesting that you mention first person making a less likable heroine more agreeable to readers. Some people didn't like Jacinth at all, while others thought she was a hoot. I guess it's all a matter of personal taste, and as we have all learned by now, you can't please everyone!

  7. LOL, Christina! Sorry, Cheryl, the photo sort of short-circuited my brain... I'm not sure I can figure out what might be going through his mind! ;)

  8. flchen 1,
    Actually, that was my intent! Everyone's brain could stand a nice short circuit now and then!

  9. He's fondly remembering where he left his pants. That would be on my floor:-)

    I think it's cool that you write first person! I've never tried it...I need to head hop or I get bored. Plus, I really enjoy writing from the hero's pov. But I can see where a strong heroine would be fun to immerse yourself in that way!

    Thanks, as always, for the eye candy:-)

  10. Hey Kendra!
    Pants on your floor. MMmmmmm! Now, that's more like it!
    I will admit that I'm enjoying getting inside the guys' heads, too, just so I can write all of those erotic, lust-filled thoughts--which is the way we want them thinking, as opposed to thinking about football or whether or not their hair needs combing!

  11. very hot love athletes whoooo

  12. He's thinking he's been working out too much and lost a little too much weight--time for a new pair of pants.

    Or, he's had one too many beers...and isn't thinking much about anything, which is the reason for the wardrobe malfunction. :)