Stephanie Meyer

Young Woman Looking Away from BookSince I can remember, romance books have been written in third person (character described by narrator) past tense (action already happened):

“Oh, screw you, Burkett.” Reese Colton threw his cards down as the man across the table collected the two paper IOU’s along with a pile of money. Testosterone and laughter filled the fire station kitchen. “You all suck!” Reese said before draining the drink at his elbow.

Every once in awhile I’ve picked up a book where the author wrote in third person present tense (current action):

“Oh, screw you, Burkett.” Reese Colton throws his cards down as the man across the table collects the two paper IOU’s along with a pile of money. Testosterone and laughter fills the fire station kitchen. “You all suck!” Reese says before draining the drink at his elbow.

I’ve actually read a book like this. It was odd at the beginning, but then I got into the story and barely noticed the present tense.

But now, more and more books are being written in first person. One point of view. The whole story told by the main character — usually female. Lots of young adult stories like Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series is written this way as well as EL James’s “50 Shades” series. I even picked up a mystery recently that was in first person.

Some writers do this better than others. Of course it seems to matter less if the story pulls me in and I become totally engrossed. I don’t even notice that it’s a single narrator. But other times …

Yeeeah, there are a lot of books, especially romances, where I miss that other perspective. I love being in the hero’s head … not just the heroine’s interpretation of his actions … but the actual jesus-she-smells-good-and-that-dress-hugs-her-luscious-curves-in-all-the-right-places kind of thought process. Why do I like that? I think because it makes me fall in love with the hero even as he’s falling in love with the heroine. I want to know he’s so hot for her he can’t get her all the way upstairs to the bedroom before he presses her against the kitchen wall and shows her just how much she means to him.

And you know, it’s not always the hero. I love suspense stories. When an author writes well from the villan’s perspective, it helps me as a reader understand why s/he believes they are totally justified in kidnapping and torturing all the clarinet players in their high school marching band from thirty years ago. (No, that’s not a book, but it sure could make a very disturbed villan. LOL!)

But with everything that the masses say is trending — television, phone apps and twitter, it looks like more and more books are being written in first person and readers are not only buying them … they’re buying them in HUGE quantities. It makes me wonder if some of my favorite authors are going to go in that direction.

What do you think? Is this a passing fad or are first person stories going to become the norm for our reading pleasure?

I know. I know. So many of you out there really don’t care for the The Twilight series.

I love the premise of the story. I loved the books. There I’ve said it. It’s not a popular feeling among my collegues and I almost didn’t say anything about my love of these stories because I know so many who visit here don’t like the stories at all.

Yes, some famous authors and some not so famous authors have said that Stephanie Meyer is basically a hack writer. I don’t know about that. Many say the same thing about Nicholas Sparks. But both of these authors have found a voice and stories that resonate with readers.

Isn’t that what we want as authors? Isn’t that why we tell our stories? To connect with readers and hope they fall in love with our characters even as they fall in love with each other? As much as many people don’t like either Meyer or Sparks, they definitely have connected with a significant number of readers, including me. And at the moment I couldn’t tell you what has me devouring these books when I pick them up. Maybe because they are quick reads and fit the bill when I’m looking for something that isn’t deep with complicated twisting plots. Ya know, kind of a “beach read”.

What do you think? Love ’em or Hate ’em? (I don’t think there’s any middle ground.) And will you be among the masses (like me) making your way to the theater to watch the movie? Here’s the trailer…

As you’ve heard me say, I’m one of the few writers I know who don’t write to music. Quiet. Silence. Dead air. Anything rocking near me completely scrambles my wiring. My thoughts completely short circuit.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love music. I listen to it while I’m cleaning (which I’ll admit isn’t very often *g*). I play it in the car while I’m driving. (Which keeps me focused because it drowns out all the other “channels” running in my brain.) And I having it playing during dinner.

But when I have to concentrate, I can’t even have instrumental music playing. Annnnyyyywaaay … that’s not really the point of this post. It’s just the prelude to a conundrum that has me going hmmmmm…

When I slow down to focus on all the “channels” in my head, there is always a song playing. And since it’s not a conscious thing, it is very random. This morning I woke to the “Truvia commercial”.

It’s not always a jingle playing, sometimes it’s a complete song including backup singers. Which is even funnier since I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and keys to me are only something to start a car and unlock the apartment.

I wish someone could crawl into my head for a little while. Perhaps like the alien in Stephanie Meyer’s book “Host”. (Awesome book by the way.) You know, just hang out, get the lay of the land and tell me where I fall on the weirdness scale. Are all tortured artists several frenquencies shy of a full bandwith? I’d like to know.

Or am I quietly singing to the universe solo?

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