Not too long ago, I wrote about some characters I couldn’t get out of my head. Well.
These characters have apparently decided to camp out for a while. I can’t let them go. I guess that means this is a story I need to tell. I have never been this focused on a short story. Often I lose interest in the story I’ve thought up, and I go back to nonfiction. But I have written the beginning to this story twice, once in my notebook, and once on my laptop. And I have written the first paragraph at least four other times since then in my notebook. I don’t know why I am so stuck on the way that the story begins. I don’t actually have a problem with the way that it began in either of the other two drafts.
Except that obviously I do.
Like I said, I’m pretty entangled with these fictional people. Today, on the train, I wrote another beginning. This time in present tense. Oh, no. Not that again.
For some reason, I seem to need to view these characters from all angles. The story, so far, until today, has been in third person, and in past tense. And now there’s a present tense first paragraph…And (slight digression) since the train I was riding home today changed from a K train into an N train while I was riding it, much to the consternation of, well, me, and all of the other people who were suddenly not riding the right train, I ended up walking the mile or so home from the first available stop and I had some time to think about other ways to write the same story. And I thought, first person! What about first person? And I rewrote the first paragraph in my head all the way home in first person.
But. I think I’ve reached my play-with-possibilities limit. First person didn’t seem right (though neither did present tense)…and then I started thinking about why, exactly, it didn’t seem right. The thought of writing this story in first person makes me all kinds of uncomfortable, as in, it might be too raw, or too hard to write. Which makes me wonder if first person is the right choice after all.
There’s a distinct possibility that I’m overthinking this thing.