Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Point of View

I very rarely write in third person POV. Which explains why I'm so confused these days. I can not for the life of me understand why, when I sat down to write the new words of a new novel, third person casually fell out and took me away. It feels unnatural and, yet, the story demands it. I feel I have no other choice. I am the one to tell this story even though I desperately wish the main character would take it away from me. She's not.

It has never occurred to me that we might choose what point of view we want to write in. All I know is that third person feels like the right fit and I'm not able to verbalize why. It's third person limited which means I can't tell my readers what anyone else but my main character is thinking or feeling. It allows me to have a unique voice just as loud and insistent as first person. I keep asking myself, "Why is it third when it could easily be first?"

Right now, it's only a feeling. "I" insists on being "She". I wonder, if it is a problem.

What point of view are you writing in? Are you comfortable with one or another?


  1. I am writing in first person POV. I am not comfortable with second or third. Well done you.

  2. I started Uncut Diamonds in first person and it just wasn't working. It wasn't until I switched to 3rd person limited that the entire story opened up. Strange how that happens.

  3. I think different stories come out of us in different POV's and that was how it was meant to be.

  4. It's the opposite for me, Melissa. I've always been a third person (and past tense) girl, but when I recently started a new WIP, first and present jumped from the gate. It's, like you said, what the story calls for. I think we need to be away of organic things like this, and work with it.

    Good luck with your book!

  5. The same thing happens to me- while I'm most comfortable with first person, the story decides for me. One of my favorite pieces (that is now lost and gone forever, along with Clementine, on an old hard drive), was third person- I even tried writing it in first and it was all wrong. )

  6. There's a lot of 1st person in YA (which I'm working on now), so I was tempted to go with that, but 3rd person somehow seemed more natural for my current story (plus, Jane Austen only wrote in 3rd person, so if it was good enough for her...).

    I agree with you that stories just want to be told the way they want to be told and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it.

  7. I think that the novel and characters dictate what is right for them.

    I my trilogy, the writing is in the third person, but the tense is the present tense. It cannot be any other I realise, when I examine it. But, when I began to write, that is how it was and I went with the flow, not thinking about it.

    I don't think that I have written in the first person, when I come to think of it - apart from autobiographical bits and pieces, and diaries.

    Isn't it exciting that the words and ideas appear to choose for us ... or does the subconscious do the dictating? Hmm.

    Great post!

  8. anything but 1st would be a big challenge for me.

  9. I love first-person POV, but I switched my WIP to close personal third because it has two narrators, and I don't trust myself that their voices will be truly distinct. I hope it's working . . .