Commitment Issues

I have commitment issues. Big time.

As someone who has made plenty of bad relationship decisions before finding their “gem,” I find it hard to make a commitment to anyone, especially if it’s long-term.

I’m talking about antagonists, though the rules of relationships still apply. You’ve seen this with couples before, possibly friends of yours. She likes him. She wants more. She wants to make it permanent. And why not? She’s great! Smart! Savvy! She has a job! Together, they could have a very happy life — or, at least, a great long-term relationship.

Unfortunately, he’s not so sure. He thinks he’s in his prime and should keep his options open just in case a lingerie-model-sports-fanatic-sex-addict-gymnast who never wants to talk about her feelings comes along.

Sorry, pal. She doesn’t exist.

Okay, if she does exist, she’s not going for him. She’s going for an old, wrinkly, rich dude who can do great things for her career.

In an alternate universe, he spends his evenings hiding in the bushes outside your bedroom window with a pair of binoculars.

To be honest, I hold out for antagonists just like the delusional friend. With a bit of decent, honest work, I can come up with someone who could make me decently happy. We’d have a nice, long-term relationship. But would they be the antagonist of my dreams? Probably not.

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First Person Tense. It’s Tense.

Every time I kill someone, their soul lands on the far side of the Styx. The ferryman that navigates the river knows the faces of my victims well since I kill them regularly.

This is the opening of my debut novel, THE FOURTH CHANNEL.

Debut. n. Fancy word for “I rewrote this enough times to qualify for a half dozen new novels”.

Right away, you can see that I went with first person perspective. I did this for a very technical and artistic reason that will blow your mind: This guy said all new writers should avoid first person and I took it as a challenge.

In my defense, his reasoning is that first person perspective demands a strong, unique voice and I was convinced I could do it. I wanted to grow as a writer and thought it would be smart to go the hardest route, upstream without a paddle, dragging the remnants of sad first drafts behind me.

So I did. It took me a few rewrites, but I accomplished it! Ha! Showed you, James N. Frey! Proudly, I handed my brilliantly crafted novel off to someone for editing — an anal-retentive, OCD programmer with a strict, by-the-book grip on grammar who upholds the Oxford comma with an unholy passion: My spouse. And then I waited for his gushing over my story to begin.

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