Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Two Lines

It's still Tuesday so I'm going to chime in for Two Line Tuesday, the weekly web feature brought to you by the fine minds over at the Women of Mystery blog.

From an as yet untitled short story ...

I'd heard the resonating heart beat of my child before, but today the thunderous twang rang louder, more definitive, and sounded exactly like a saw blade being bent to a steady rhythm.

The ultrasound technician squinted at the monitor before saying, "He's going to be a big one."


I can't decide if I want to stick to first person or write the story in third.

And from my recent reading of Me talk Pretty one Day by David Sedaris. I think writers will relate with this passage.

Unlike the faint scurry of fingers on a plastic computer keyboard, the smack and clatter of a typewriter suggests that you're actually building something. At the end of a miserable day, instead of grieving my virtual nothing, I can always look at my loaded wastepaper basket and tell myself that if I failed, at least I took a few trees down with me.

While I got a chuckle out of Sedaris's passage, I for one am grateful for the ease of writing and editing on a computer. The clickity-clack of an old fashioned typewriter might be comforting, but with my fat fingers and poor typing skills it would take me years to finish a novel.

How about y'all?

21 comments:

Penelope said...

Me Talk Pretty One Day is my favorite of Sedaris' books. If he comes to the panhandle for a reading fork out the fifty bucks and see him. He's a hoot.

In my opinion, I like first person because voice is so much better. For me I find it easier to be funny in first than in third.

Karen

the walking man said...

Not being able to define the different voices one can write in, I have to plead no contest to ignorance as to your dilemma.

But if given the choice between computer and typewriter; I say that in movie scenes typewriters work very well to impart building something. Everywhere else half of the clatter is from strike throughs so I too would have to choose computer.

Kristen Painter said...

Typewriters are very romantic, but that's about where it ends. PC are the only realistic tool for modern writers.

I have to say, it's weird reading a female first person POV knowing a guy wrote it. lol

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

I love to read first person and nearly always write in it. I laughed at Kristen's comment:

"it's weird reading a female first person POV knowing a guy wrote it."

Goes both ways. I write first person male all the time.

Loved the quote from Me Talk Pretty One Day. You are right. Every writer can identify.

Terrie

Aaron said...

Awesome quote for writers and I can't wait to read the new story!

Rocketstar said...

Totally agree, the sound of the typewriter wins hands down but the ease of use is also no contest.

Bubblewench said...

I miss typing on typewriters.. for some reason it seemed more 'real'

Linda McLaughlin said...

Travis, I loved your 2 lines and enjoyed the Sedaris quote, too. I'm with you on typewriters; I wouldn't be writing either if PC's hadn't been invented. I like to change things too much. FWIW I liked the first person POV of your story.

Linda

Monnik said...

My daughter absolutely hates books written in the first person. I've no idea why.

I think for a short story, first person is enjoyable, much like reading someone's memoirs or journal. For full blown novels with complicated plots and many characters, I like third person with an omniscient POV, because I think it lends itself to character development. (Says she who has no real writing experience whatsoever...)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I still have my first novel, hand written on notebook paper at the age of 12. I compose on a computer now, but nothing beats those virgin papers, when writing was all new and my i's had hearts over them.

Connie Willis writes her novels longhand.

yellowdog granny said...

you should write it as the fetus

i like sedari's books..i like his sisters humor too..

Annie said...

I find that I drift into first person...sigh...

Mom In Scrubs said...

First person makes it easier for me to find a viewpoint and "get into" a story.

I love that Sedaris book.

Excellent analogy to the sawblade; I was a bit confused until you mentioned the ultrasound, then did a mental "A-HA!" Thanks for that.

Mom In Scrubs said...

Oh, and there ain't enough wite-out in the world for me to write with a typewriter, being the obsessive-compulsive anal-retentive perfectionist that I am. Sigh.

preTzel said...

I love my computer keyboard. I can't stand old typewriters. Takes FOREVER!

I like first person as well.

And the passage? ROFLMAO!

Georgie B said...

Actually, I like writing in all three, but most of the time I stick to first and third. Second I do when I need to challenge myself.

As for using either a computer or typewriter, I would love to get my hands on a good typewriter again. However, when I need to simply get away from it all for a little while, nothing beats an old fashioned pen and paper.

Which I then take and transplant to the compute when I'm done.

Melissa Marsh said...

Thank the Lord above that there are computers. It's made my writing life much easier. I actually started out writing on my mom's manual typewriter - I don't think I could ever go back to it.

Miladysa said...

Great quotes!

I need to get back into the Two For Tuesday :-D

Joshua said...

i like the rare 2nd person point of view myself

huddlekay said...

I have stacks (I mean stacks!) of papers everywhere. I keep telling myself to shred them, but I can't do it yet.

At least when someone comes to my house and I tell them "I'm a writer," they'll believe me.

Vodka Mom said...

I LOVE to read first person. Just a personal thing.

I have written three children's books, and feel like a real writer now that I have a stack of rejections. However, I still have only received 2 rejections for my last book that is sitting somewhere, in slush piles with 7 publishers. I'm hopeful each day when I DON'T receive a rejection. sigh.

wish me luck...