Analyzing a few books, part two

Two weeks ago I took a sample of of my cozy mysteries collection to see when the gruesome crime was discovered, setting off events in the rest of the book.  I didn’t learn much, but perhaps someone smarter than I could.  This week I want to see what cozy mysteries are more prone to- first person or third person.

First Person means a book is full of “I”s and “Me”s.  The reader only gets to know what the character knows, sees, and thinks.  They don’t get to hear another character’s thoughts or see something going on around the corner.  Basically, the entire thing is filmed from behind the protagonist’s eyes.

Third Person is more like god-mode.  The reader can see more than the protagonist does, although it’s by no means required.  It’s as if the ‘camera’ is floating above everything, filming whatever it likes.

The choice is purely the writer’s, of course, but it can have a lot of impact.  For one thing, readers like Kevin won’t touch first person with a ten-foot pole.  For another, third person can open up a bewildering number of possible avenues, not all of which will necessarily be viable for the story someone wants to tell.

With that cheery note, let’s press on!  All the books are in the same order as they were last time, so a particularly invested reader could see what sort of relationship might exist between the two characteristics.Read More »

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Analyzing a few books

This pile encompasses a big chunk of my cozy mystery collection.  (At least, the ones that aren’t in storage.)  I picked them because they’re all about the same size, which makes them easier to stack in a nice pile for pictures like this:

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For the next three ‘writing’ posts, I thought I’d look through them to answer three questions I am constantly second-guessing myself on about my own writing- how early should the precipitating murder occur, how long should the book be, and should I write it in first or third person?  (No need to ask Kevin’s opinion on that third one- he adamantly loathes first person.  Won’t read it for anything.)

This isn’t going to be scientific, I’m just going to see what my personal collection says and share it with you all.Read More »

I am not fast

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My preferred use of down time.

I am not a natural athlete.  This is something of a disappointment to my family, all of whom play volleyball (except my grandfather who was such a great basketball player that the navy shipped him from base to base to play games to increase morale).  I flinch when there’s a ball headed at my face, run like a turtle in molasses, and have a defective knee that protests when I try to do things like squats.  My favorite pastime is sitting somewhere comfy, reading, and snacking on something tasty.  When my friends invite me to do things like, “Let’s run this exhilarating 5k!” or “Want to go camping this weekend?” I have to choke back hysterical laughter.
Read More »