Hi everyone, I'm new here. I have written a story about a true even that took place in New Zealand in the 1950s. A young man from England, living there at the time, was hanged in 1955 for a crime he didn't commit. The first draft is around 500 pages. I am writing it from John's perspective from prison as he waits his date with the hangman. He writes his life story down for prosperity. While there, he wrote letters home about his innocence and he hoped that one day his innocence would be proved. I believe he was innocent of murder, guilty of manslaughter. It was a horrific mistake but he was sentenced to death by the government for his sexual activities (New Zealand was in the grip of being taken over by alleged Communism, American movies and film actors, music, pulp fiction, fashion, milkbars (drug stores), hairstyles, and gleaming motorbikes - all of which the country thought was degrading and an extremely bad influence on their youth and they wanted it stopped). I have been told by a critic to write it in the third person narrative, but I am not happy about that. This is John's personal story about what led up to him being in prison. The Prologue informs us what it was life was like in repressed, conservative New Zealand, the politics of the time and capital punishment. Is there any other way to write this without it sounding academic? I am looking for the personal touch in that I want the reader to know the sort of man John was.