1. X. Sheonn

    X. Sheonn Member

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    I changed my novel from first person to third person...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by X. Sheonn, Dec 31, 2016.

    I'm not sure I made the right choice. I'm not sure it helped. I changed it because my brother told me I wouldn't be able to do the things I wanted if it was in first person. So I've been working with it that way for a couple months now, and I think it made it worse. But in other ways it opened up other ideas I hadn't considered. I just don't know. What'ch'all think?
     
  2. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the site!
    The first rule of writing is you do not talk about there are no rules of writing ;) There are only suggestions that you learn well enough to know when you want to ignore them.

    What are you trying to do, and what are the other ideas you've had since trying this?
     
  3. X. Sheonn

    X. Sheonn Member

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    Well, I originally wanted to write it almost entirely from MC's perspective, but still get other people's thoughts and feelings. My brother said that I can't do that with first person, so I tried his way. And, while I've had several ideas that work in third person, it seems that the prose and voice of my book no longer makes sense. It's almost like acting as a character in a play or movie in that I was writing as my MC. Writing what he sees and how he feels. Now, there's a whole lot more to keep track of because I can't just do what he sees. Before, if he didn't see it, I didn't talk about it unless I had a brief vignette from another character's POV. Now I feel like I have to talk about things that MC doesn't know about. Maybe it's a stupid. I don't know. Just let me know if it's stupid.
     
  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    My newest novella was told from 4 first-person POVs, have you tried that?
     
  5. X. Sheonn

    X. Sheonn Member

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    ....No, actually. Maybe I could try that. I mean, when I'm thinking about the other characters I tend to do the same thing that I do with the MC.
     
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  6. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Most of what writers want to accomplish in 1st person can be done just as well in 3rd person limited. Moreover, changing POVs is easier in 3rd person limited because the narrative voice does not have to change. You can use the character's thoughts to reveal emotional reactions. Kristin Hannah does this quite well in The Nightingale. Using multiple 1st person POVs is also doable, but your narrative voice for each POV has to be distinctive, and changes from one character to the next have to be clearly indicated to the reader (say, by chapter breaks), or else it will be confusing.

    There is a third option. You can use 1st person for your MC and 3rd limited for the other characters to whom you want to give some voice. Christina Baker Kline does this in The Orphan Train (although she only has one 3rd person POV) and it works quite well.
     
  7. X. Sheonn

    X. Sheonn Member

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    I actually quite like your last suggestion. I'm not quite sure how to implement this yet, but I like this the best. I'll try it out and see how it goes.

    Thanks everyone for being so helpful. It's given me some great things to consider. Hopefully I can share it with ya'll in a couple weeks.
     
  8. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I wasn't a huge fan of Black Blade Blues doing this, I'd personally felt that it would've worked better if either all of the POVs had been third-person or if all of the POVs had been first person – as opposed to the protagonist being first-person and the antagonists being third-person – but

    1) maybe that was just a bad experience with one specific author and I would've thought that somebody else did it better
    2) even if it turns out that I personally don't connect to the concept no matter how well it's done, clearly there are other readers who do

    Go ahead!
     

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