Stay True to Yourself

Have you ever come across the notion that writing in first person is bad? Of course, people can like whatever they want but I suspect they don’t like it because they were told to. Somebody told them that adverbs are bad, that cliches are bad while they themselves have never encountered these cliches themselves. Writing in first person was very common at the turn of the 20th century, which is why I believe they think it is bad because it is old, or maybe it is the industry that suddenly decided that this form of writing is bad, arbitrarily telling the readers that this is not what you want, like short stories and novellas, people don’t want that, they say. There’s no money in those and I suspect that first person stories tend to be shorter as well… But I’m not here to investigate this but tell you that I love writing in first person.

When I write stories, they tend to concern one character, the story has to start somewhere and that means the protagonist is the only thing that matters, at first. I tend to write without reason, there’s no logic at play, no plan, but it ends up coherent anyways. As if I’m not making a story but rather finding one which I’m trying to convey.

There is merit, however, to listen to industry visdom, because you do want people to read your stories, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon yourself, because if you are not true to yourself you are not true to your stories. Such stories are dull and they will chip away at your heart until you hate writing. I want to enjoy the process of writing, that’s my goal, and if nobody likes what I write, that’s a shame, but there are limits to how much I’ll change to please others.

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