LRose has created a fun challenge with Creative Nonfictional Fiction: Let’s Play!. Just reading the description of the prompt (with it’s several “And wait, there’s more!” moments) got me excited and ready to tackle the game. The challenge is slightly different depending on whether you are a fictional blogger or non-fictional blogger. Since I do both, I figured why not take on both assignments?
The first part I did was for fiction people. You were to take a story you wrote about a third party of the opposite sex and rewrite it as a first person, with the first person being yourself. You could not change any other character or plot point in any way, except to add a sentence or two which incorporated whatever you were doing in real life last Tuesday between 1:30pm and 2:30pm. I told you it was crazy fun, didn’t I?
Here is my story: The Tangled Web I Weave
The first thing I noticed when I started this challenge is that I have not written hardly any stories from a third-person male perspective. In fact, this is the only story I have written where the male perspective was without question. (I had one more that in my mind was being narrated by a man, but that was not made clear within the confines of the story). So, that made this story the obvious choice for switching to first person.
Unfortunately, I think the story absolutely falls apart if the main character is female. At least it falls apart within the confines of the gender stereotypes that I grew up with. In the part of the world I live in, even to this day there are many families that would have more problems with their son embracing his art as a career, rather than embracing a career of science. Thankfully this stereotype is becoming less, but it is still prevalent. Conversely, most girls would be allowed to go where their passions lie. It wouldn’t be a question of whether they could go to MIT instead of perusing an artistic career, but which would they choose for themselves? If they chose MIT and had the aptitude, the parents would most likely be just a supportive as if they had wanted to pursue their art.
In order for the female lead to work within the confines of this story, the circumstances would need to be written completely differently (which, of course, was not allowed within the rules). It would need to be set at least seventy five years earlier and I’m not sure the teacher would be asking her directly, or if she would come to the information by other means.
For the nonfiction people, they are to take a day in their lives, and write about it in the third person of the opposite sex. Additionally, they are to add one part of the day that is complete fiction. Okay, this was fun too. I made a couple of fictitious changes, the biggest ones being my occupation and the fact that my male counterpart gets to actually leave the office for lunch. All the rest is right on point.
Here is my story: Disgruntled Detective
The difference with this story is that when I write it in the third-person male point of view, I just throw all my filters out the window. I write it the way it would go down if I didn’t have to be politically correct, or act like a “southern lady”. Apparently I have a lot of gender issues I didn’t realize I had… In real life, I use “southern lady” skills as I must at work, otherwise I would get nothing accomplished. Really, I don’t think my male character would get things accomplished any better, but my subconscious is apparently resentful, thinking a man can express himself more truthfully than I can.
I’m really not sure yet what to take from this exercise, other than I definitely have a few prejudices I didn’t realize I was harboring and I need to see if they are truthful or harmful, and if I need to make corrections. I will need to ponder and re analyze, but I do believe this has been a good exercise.