#WriterlyWisdom with Sonni de Soto

As the For The Men Antho blog tour continues, author Sonni de Soto joins us today to discuss the writing of her contributing story, ODD MAN. This story is unlike any other erotica story you’ve read. Sometimes, we read erotica to escape for a little while, to enter into new worlds or scenes where we know that we’ll be ‘comfortably-kept’ because we aren’t required to do much more than read. But, this is not the case with Sonni de Soto’s story. de Soto wanted to challenge her readers, and we adore her for her crafty use of 2nd person POV. In ODD MAN, de Soto forces readers to intimately consider, react…feel everything that her main character feels. And she doesn’t hold any punches as she places us directly inside the mind of her main character. His anguish & triumph become our own. Here are Sonni de Soto’s thoughts behind the writing of her incredibly moving story, ODD MAN. You can read the #SexySnippet of ODD MAN, over at lovely Janine Ashbless‘ place: http://bit.ly/OddMan_SexySnippet
“Deep Point Of View”
by Sonni de Soto
I’m a huge believer in writing things that scare you. In trying and inhabiting voices that aren’t your own. And, honestly, I’d never written a second-person story before this one and I just wanted to know if I could. But I didn’t want to just write in that POV to write in it; it needed to serve the story.The thing that intrigues me—and irritates me—most about second-person narratives is the uncomfortable space it forces the reader into. One of the ways it does this is by placing this interesting sense of distance for the character from their own story. For my protagonist, Rob, he is telling his story as if it’s not happening to him. Or, at times, as if he could advise himself, could—almost like a video or roleplay game—go back and have a do-over. It plays on the very human nature to know exactly what you ought to do while knowing, undoubtedly, you will to do the exact opposite.

That distance within second-person narratives allows the story to shift responsibility. When Rob tells his story this way, he isn’t doing these things; you are. Not just you specifically as the reader, but also in English’s funny way of creating a general, almost universal you. The tale then hovers in this odd, discomforting space where this deeply personal story becomes all of ours. A strange collective experience of this one man’s moment in time.

odd-manEven more than first-person, this 2nd person POV thrusts you, as the reader, into that character’s experiences by changing the game from the normal declarative, this-happens-then-this-happens-then-this-happens nature of narrative to something more imperative. You, dear reader, are going on this journey with me, whether you want to or not. And I think it invites us—as both the reader and the writer—to confront things about human nature, like jealousy and inadequacy and those times when we flat-out hate the ones we love most, that the character doesn’t want to and that we, as his collective stand-in, would under any other circumstance avoid.

Which, I think—I hope—makes the story’s resolution that much more rewarding because you—we—will have gone through something that, if not scares–challenges us.

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