Viewpoints

Is there anyone out there? Just wondering because I'm considering what is the best way of telling a novel-length story where the viewpoints of two different characters (A and B) are equally important but also to some extent mutually exclusive (because A knows things that B doesn't know, and vice versa).

The options I've considered so far are:

1) Alternating chapters of first person narrative from A and B.

2) Third person narrative with viewpoints switching quite often.

3) Third person narrative from A's viewpoint combined with excerpts of B's diary or similar.

4) Something else I haven't thought of.

I guess number 2 is the obvious choice, but I'm not sure it's the right choice. Advice appreciated!

38 plays

Hi, I know this is a writers' group, rather than readers, but I was wondering if anyone else had heard about the 38 plays: 38 days thing? The plan is to read a Shakespeare play every day for the next 38 days. I have ordered my complete works and am nervously enthusiastic!

Happy Fifth Birthday, Camwriters!

Did you know that Camwriters was founded 5 years ago today? OK, so I know there hasn't been much activity lately, but we've had some good times. If anyone feels like posting anything today to celebrate, it would of course be much appreciated!

In the meantime, let me ask you a question: How do you think it's best to render characters' accents? Do you go for a phonetic approximation to how they speak (as in Steinbeck's 'purdy' for 'pretty')? Or do you simply describe the accent and then use standard spelling (perhaps with some nod to things like word order and dialectal vocabulary)?

Tropes, tropes & tropes

Hi folks,

I'm not sure if people here will have encountered this before, but I've only recently discovered TV Tropes. It's written in an informal style, and I've found myself with far too many tabs opened as I follow all the links to see what it says about each label. It has examples of particular books, shows and films, too.

I think I read my new favourite phrase on the Firefly page - "whimsical in the brainpan"

NaScriWriMo?

I just came across the LJ community scriptfrenzy09, and thought, 'Ooh, that's a bit like NaNoWriMo but for scriptwriters!' The information is here.

I thought people might be interested. I know I've always fancied scriptwriting myself, but I've never got any further than a couple of scenes from a comedy play setting the Three Musketeers during the Trojan War (don't ask[1])...

The only problem is that it doesn't give you much time to come up with your ideas, because it starts on 1st April. But still, if you have some ideas simmering in your mind, then it might be a nice project. I wish I could participate... If only they did NaTheWriMo, I could get my thesis out of the way and get on with some other writing!

[1] Oh, OK. They were called Ethos, Pathos and Aristos. Don't groan!

Works in Progress meme

Every seems to have been doing a WIPs (works in progress) meme lately.

Everyone in the community, please have a go at this (in a separate post) and use it as a way to introduce yourself to everyone else.

Here is what you have to do (I've changed it a bit, by the way):

Post a short extract from each work in progress you have. With them, post the working title of the piece, and if you like you can say a little more about it!


And here are my answers:

1) Mary jiggled the paperweight in her hands nervously, taking some comfort from the way the rough piece of stone pressed harshly against her skin. In ten minutes, or maybe only five, he would come, and there would be no turning back, knowing her inability to say no to anything.

- from Stonecraft, a sort of modern fantasy about a Cambridge student with an amazing item.

2) It had been such a long time since they had put anyone in Hades, but now here was the perfect candidate. And it would be a good opportunity to check everything was still working properly. It wouldn’t do her any harm – what better place for an unloved woman with classical leanings than an afterlife that would fascinate her eternally? Besides, keeping company with Virgil, Dante and a whole host of like-minded dead would fit in very nicely with her listed research interests of Latin literature.

- from Eschatology, a story about what happens when you die.

3) The sunlight flooded into the room like golden water, picking out the details of the many exhibits. The metal objects shone from their nooks and crannies, and stone artefacts cast shadows behind so that they seemed almost to float in the air. Most gloriously, anything with a hint of gold in it erupted in yellow flame, shining forth as if illuminated miraculously by God. As one’s eyes adjusted to the light, it became possible to see just how far back the room stretched, with object after object lined up on shelves or in glass cases. I felt a familiar satisfaction that always issued from this indulgence.

- from Footnote Five, a novel I'm writing that's about an antiquarian and a classicist.

4) I took a sip. “I have been wondering,” I ventured, already fortified slightly by the alcohol, “what this job entails. And why you singled me out.” I cast a suggestive glance around. “And where the other applicants are.” I had decided that the worst case scenario would be that he turned out to be a rapist or serial killer (or both, which I suppose would be the very worst case), and so in that event or any other, I may as well be bold with my questioning. The knife was nearby in any case.

- from Vampyres, a story about... you guessed it.

5) Bodie leaned against the doorpost with his arms folded and one eyebrow raised. "What have you done to Cowley's office?" he exclaimed, looking around at the leather and chrome chairs, the grey desk, the white-painted walls. "It looks like a doctor's surgery!"

- from CI5 HQ, a piece of Professionals fanfic.

6) “Alright, keep your ‘air on!” Bodie put his foot down and they sped away into the night. The streetlights slipped past them silently as they headed towards the address the control room had given them, where Cheryl’s call had come from. “So are you going to tell me what happened?”

- from The Lions and the Unicorns, a piece of Professionals fanfic.

7) After a few moments, Cowley put the drained glass down on the desk cautiously, so that it made no sound, and he bit his lip as though trying to work out how to phrase something. He turned the small item in his left hand over and over as he thought. Then a frown crossed his brow, and finally he turned his gaze on Bodie and Doyle, apparently decided on his course of action. “I’m sending you out to the Embankment,” he said, nodding gravely as though this gave a taste of what was to come.

- from... well, it has no working title actually, but it's another piece of Professionals fanfic!
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Community Re Vamp

Well, this community is getting a revamp, and I'd very much appreciate it if there was some input from members. Now's a good time to tell me what you'd like to see here, and what would keep you coming back.

For now, I'll kick us off by bearing my soul and sharing a poem I wrote. Set in Cambridge, indeed. Feedback and discussion appreciated.



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