Blue Eyes and White Lies

A writer, lover, thinker, and midwestern, book-loving sexpot.

Choosing a Perspective

18 Comments

One of the things I have difficulty deciding on is whether or not to write in first person or third person. I love the first person voice. It can be personal and expressive. A narrator can often take a mundane story and turn it into something special. But it’s not easy to do. Especially if you’re writing a supernatural mystery-thriller-romance like yours truly.

After getting pretty far into my novel, I’ve realized that the first person voice just isn’t going to work. I love it, and I wish I could keep it, but I’ve decided my vision is more important and to fulfill my vision, I simply must write in third person. This will free me up to follow different characters and create a better story. It sucks that I have to rewrite all that I’ve written, but I think it’s worth it. I’m looking at it like a trial run, and now the real race begins.

But what about you, friends and patriots? What perspective do you like to use when writing? How does that affect your work?

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Author: Dallas Kelly

I love telling stories and interacting with new people.

18 thoughts on “Choosing a Perspective

  1. I like writing first person… but as a relative beginner that’s what’s easiest for me right now. I like being able to tell a story.

  2. Personally, I find first person POV a little too close for me to write comfortably. Understanding a character’s motivations and portraying their mannerisms and style of speaking and such is a challenge on its own; actually getting so far into a character’s head that one sees the world through their eyes is something I haven’t accomplished, if even attempted, since my Mary Sue days of junior high.

  3. The only fiction I’ve written has been in 3rd person. I may try first person one day, but it will take a serious mental transition for me. I was so wrapped up in academic writing and research for so long that anything close to first person got beat out of me pretty good.

  4. I recently started writing in first person. It was new to me so i thought I would give it a try. So far it seems to be working out. I am enjoying the limited viewpoint. We will see if the trend continues.

  5. First person is typically my favorite. It allows me to express things the way someone sees them. I am very intellectual.

  6. Kudos to you for even considering a different perspective! I wonder if some of your first person narrative may be preserved in the story as you go along? In any case, a third person perspective will open up things for your reader to experience, more diversity, and you can tinker with it. I hope you have fun.

  7. I currently write in third person. OF course, I’m still cutting my teeth as a writer, but I may play around with different perspectives in an upcoming project.

  8. I write in first. Yeah, it sucks having to go over things and rewrite but it’ll be worth it in the end

  9. oh you are so reading my mind!

    I have a trilogy and I wrote the first part in 1st POV, the other two in 3rd person limited – the first book has been a PITA to edit, and I’ve now resigned myself to the fact I need to re-write it – eek – it doesn’t ‘pop’ or involve me (as a reader) as much as my other work and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that it comes over naive and Mary-Sue (even thought it really isn’t!!)

    anyway – I thought I’d express my commiserations with having to face a re-write and will eagerly follow your progress! Becca

  10. I write most comfortably in the first person – it lends intimacy to the relationship I build with my character and the reader and allows me to express things that you wouldn’t know from the outside in an authentic experiential way. At least that’s what I tell myself – maybe I’m just more comfortable writing in the first person.

    A lot of what I read is written in the third person and it works well for me. Most recently I found myself totally engrossed in the Game of Thrones series and I found that the third person as it is used there can be just as intimate as the first.

    What has you feeling that you must give up the first? I’m also curious as April is above about how/whether you could preserve some of it and give some texture to the writing.

  11. Up until recent I thought I liked writing in first person but I’m finding it way easier and more comfortable to write in the third. Do I like it more? I cannot say but it depends on the story I want to write.
    Good Luck on rewriting the perspective of your story 🙂

  12. I did the same thing. Wrote the whole first, second and most of the third draft in first. Then decided I’d rather do it in third for the same reasons you’ve mentioned. I do like it a lot better, but even with the search and replace function of Word, it’s been a nightmare converting it. I still keep finding stray “she”‘s where there needs to be “I”‘s because it changed even text inside quotes. I send mine to a pdf format and listen to it so I can find those easier. Have you tried that? The pdf will read out loud.

  13. I’m a first person writer myself. That’s where I’m comfortable, being way deep into my one character, which works for my sort of stories. This doesn’t mean that I think third person writing is shallow. The same in-depth perspective can be given with a few other bonuses first person doesn’t provide: more characters’ perspectives which can showcase a more richer, layered story; plus the whopping twist of showing exactly what each thinks about the other. I think you have to do what’ll work best for what you’re writing.

    Though I am reading a book in third person currently, and it’s so poorly done (~1972). One paragraph is from one person, the next from another with no transitions, no warnings. It’s very jarring, unfocused, and frustrating. It’s also become pretty unrelevant to the story. I think, therefore, HOW you write matters more than the POV you choose.

    I’ve also chopped up and rehashed my book several times, and it’s tedious and time consuming and overwhelming, can keep me up at night and make me fret for days or weeks before doing it, but the outcomes have always proven to be amazing. I say go with your gut.

  14. First person works best for me.

  15. I like to write in first person, to make it feel like I, and the reader, are feeling what the characted is feeling, seeing wht they are seeing, touching what they are touching, etc. I haven’t really written much in 3rd person but I might try it in the near future.

  16. You can change perspective between chapters or sections. I’ve read plenty of novels that do this successfully. My work-in-progress is literary speculative fiction, and I’m daring to have several characters writing in different perspectives — first person, second person, and third person. There’s an advantage to this, in that I’m able to explore their contradictory interpretations of what’s happening.

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