I recently attended a performance by The Flying Karamazov Brothers, a juggling and comedy troupe. They were fabulous!
As I left the theater, I thought of a parallel to writing. I wondered what the "nine items of terror" would be for writers -- the disparate elements that writers must expertly juggle and interweave to create a "grand finale" (the completed work)?
Let's see. . . How about we start with Point of View (POV) as Item of Terror Number One. Should I use first person, second person, third person distant, third person close, multiple-person, omniscient, alternating. . . or should I just pour myself a stiff drink and call it a night?
The differences between third-distant and third-close drive me insane. I no sooner think I'm using one than I realize I'm using the other. Omniscient seems easiest, but detached. I think it's harder for the reader (especially a child or young adult) to "connect" with the main character when something is written in omniscient POV. First person POV requires a consistent, age-appropriate voice. You have to choose your vocabulary carefully if the narrator is a child or teen. Would they use that word? Would they perceive things differently? And when you're in first person, you can only comment on things the character sees, hears, knows about, etc.
Recently I came across a tip: If your third-person character is constantly talking out loud "to himself," you may want to switch to first person. That makes quite a lot of sense to me. I tend to stick with third person, but struggle with whether to "zoom in really close" or remain more objective.
I could go on, but I think that's enough for now from my POV.
What "item of terror" would you add and what is "terrifying" about it?