Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"P"oint of View

I just love this picture! We can think of it on so many levels! But... since this is a writing blog, lets go with that point of view!

I wrote my current WIP in 1st person. I am seriously debating on redoing it in 3rd. Extra work? Yeah! Would it be more effective? Maybe. Can I write it better that way? Maybe. That's what I'm trying to decide.

1st person can be so cool, but also limiting to only one person's perspective. Depending on your story, this can be a powerful way to go.

3rd person can also be powerful. I think it allows you to create a more interesting and complex world. My WIP takes place in a different world than ours. It's a somewhat medieval type of era with fantasy and magic. I would like to bring that out more and wonder if the 3rd person POV might be more effective. Haven't decided yet, because the characters story is quite interesting too.

Since "P" is also for poll --- lets have some fun!


Want to share any of your answers? How do you decide what POV to write?

41 comments:

Sheena-kay Graham said...

All points of view take you into a world created by a writer. I like both 1st and 3rrd person but if you feel limited by a 1st person perspective you should probaby use 3rd. Follow your gut.

Took your poll and shared it on twitter.

Joanna said...

I write in both 1st and 3rd, and so far I have always "known" which POV to go for. If you have the time, Leigh, I really do think you should try and rewrite in 3rd to see what it adds to the story. :-)

Joanna said...

Sorry, meant to add that I LOVE that illustration, and would want to write from both their POVs!!!!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I usually write in 1st, but my current WIP is in 3rd, so that was my vote. The first sentence decides what POV I'll be writing in - and even the thought of changing it would throw me into a spin. Voice and POV are set from that first line.

Tobi Summers said...

My current WIP is the first thing I've written in 3rd person in a long time. I do have an unfortunate habit of writing 1st person from multiple points of view, which is just confusing for everyone.

Cristina said...

My current project is in 1rst person.. and it just felt right.. but yes, there is so much more that you can do with 3rd person... that's a tough decision to make.

Kyra Lennon said...

I just LOL'd at the amount of people who said either POV is okay to write because they rock! Nothing like having confidence! :D

Laura Marcella said...

I have a survey with similar questions scheduled for my post tomorrow! :) Third person is my favorite to read and write, but I'll read anything because all authors rock!!!

Jack said...

You got it, Leigh! It is a diff. POV when thinking in 1st & 3rd. 3rd person is way, Way, WAY HARDER to the 1st person. In one scene you can pop between multiple POVs and still add in the "God" POV as well. It's challenging, yet the most rewarding feeling when pulling it off! :)

Linda Jackson said...

When I first started writing, I wrote in 3rd person. But my last two manuscripts are in 1st person. I like it better. It helps me capture the voice of the MC better. Plus I write MG, which I think works better in 1st person.

But, yes, 3rd person did allow me to switch scenes, which helped with pacing. :)

Steph Sessa said...

I love 1st person POV. I feel like you can really get into the characters head and feel their motivations. I think 3rd does allow more world building, which I love, but I think overall I always prefer to read (and write) 1st person.

Rachel said...

Leigh - what a great survey! I am so glad I stopped by - sorry for the slacking.....its the last 3 weeks of school here ....eek!

I currently write most in 1st person. however my first novel was in 3rd person with 2 points of view (kind of), and so I guess for me...it depends on what I am writing. I also have written in 1st/ to 2nd (meaning the main character was speaking in 1st person to a "you" person).

And i like reading whatever POV...I have no judgement in that :)

J. A. Bennett said...

I had a story in 1st person, and I actually enjoy writing that way. But I found I'm better at world building and character development if I write in third person. It's hard sometimes though when I read a 1st person book I have a really hard time writing in 3rd. lol!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I love the picture!

The current incarnation of my WIP is in first person. I had two points of view before where one was first and the other was third but I think this new way works better for the story - not as distracting. We'll see. :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I used to write in 3rd, but figured out 1st person comes more naturally to me. Now I can't seem to write in any other point of view. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

I started my first book in third peson and about 12,000 words into it I realized it was all wrong. I went back and (awkwardly) began it in first person and found my voice.

You have to do what's best for the story you're telling'

Iain said...

I used to write in 1st person present tense, but made a conscious effort to switch to 3rd person past tense as I felt it would read better. I then discovered that I was better at the latter :oD

Morgan said...

I love 1st... the voice is *usually* stronger and more entertaining. Though, JR Ward smashes out that logic. She's the queen of having a strong voice in 3rd. Gosh, I guess like anything, it's the talent of the author. But I do prefer 1st. :D

Fab post as always, Leibby!

:D

Jennifer Lee Young said...

I know that can be a difficult decision to make especially when you have to start from the beginning again. I think whatever pov you write it in will be fantastic! Good luck Leigh!

Peggy Eddleman said...

My favorite answer: "Doesn't matter! I rock! :)" You kill me, Leigh/Abby. (And every time I write that, I feel like I'm being French. You're le Abby. hehehe!)

I've been writing first person for so long now, I'm not sure I remember how to do it any other way. ;)

Carrie-Anne said...

Third-person omniscient is what I've always come to naturally, esp. since I write long, epic sagas and interlocking series books with ensemble casts. Only very rarely will I do a more or less third-person limited. First-person seems so limiting, esp. for the types of large, sweeping plot trajectories I gravitates towards. I'm also rather annoyed at how overdone first-person is these days. It's actually starting to turn me off when I see yet ANOTHER book in first-person.

Cortney Pearson said...

Love the poll!! I've tried writing in 3rd, but I'm just better at 1st. AND I think I prefer 1st person PRESENT tense, for me! I've gone through and completely retyped an entire story to switch it over, and it really cleaned things up and made my writing more compact. So that's my niche, I guess!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I'm going to say, and then duck behind something, I don't like 1st person POV.

Having said that, I will say I have read some books that do it so smoothly, offer such rich layers, I forget entirely the POV it's written in and thoroughly enjoy the pull of the story. And that's the beauty of a 1st person story when it's done well (and many aren't) you just feel the pull of a good story.

I prefer third person. I write in third person, but I use 1st person as a tool to make sure I have the action down correctly--as in what is my character seeing and feeling. I also use it when I hit a glitch. I'll write the scene in 1st POV. It helps me. I can only speak for me, though. :-)

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Julie Hedlund said...

I've written in my POVs and had to change a couple because the story demanded a change. I think the only one I haven't used is second person. I almost never think about POV in advance. I just start writing in one and think about it later.

Carrie Butler said...

I love writing in 1st person! I get to "become" the character for a little while and really let their voice shine. :)

L.G.Smith said...

I've been writing in first person and I do love it. It is more challenging because of the limited POV, but I like the prejudiced slant it gives it too.

I'm reading The Scorpio Races right now and it is written from two different character's POVs, both in first person. Excellent use of first. So good.

Leigh Covington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Nixon said...

Interesting post!!
Idk why first person is so popular. I wish someone had done a study 10 years ago to see if people wrote more in first person than third. I'm thinking it was the opposite...I feel like more YA is now in first person, and since everyone's reading it, that's what everyone's writing, too.

Personally, I love third person!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Surprised so many selected first person. For me, that would be by far the most difficult.

Aldrea Alien said...

I tried 1st person for my first story, ended up rewritten in 3rd (all 186k words of it).
Now I can't think of writing any other way.
Though reading either pov isn't such a big deal. As long as the story's good, the pov doesn't matter.

Julia King said...

Great post, poll, and POV. haha I'm so silly. Anyway, my first book is in 3rd person from two character's POVs. My WIP is in first. I loved being able to be in two heads, getting both of their perspectives, but it is thrilling to be in only one character's mind. It forces me to show the other characters emotions better.

Suzi said...

I do so much better with 1st for writing, so that's usually what I stick too. But it works well with my stories.

It sounds like if you're thinking this hard about doing it, you probably should. Would be a big pain in the butt, but still. I can see how in a fantasy world it might work better. Then you don't just deal with how the narrator sees things.

Good luck.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Current WIP is 1st, but project on deck will probably be 3rd. Great post - LOVE!

Leslie Rose said...

My fav is third person closed to a single character, but lately I find myself writing in first person a lot. What's up with that? Kooky. Fun survey.

Patricia T. said...

Great photo. I seem to write best in third person, but also love first. It just depends on the story.

Imogen said...

I do a lot of writing in 3rd person, but I really like the 1st person. It's so much easier to get into the MC's head in 1st person. My current WIP is written in 3rd person, but I want to rewrite it in 1st, the complete opposite of you.

Botanist said...

Awww...you left out everyone's favorite - second person present tense! :D

My default stance is close 3rd, but I did rewrite a short story into 1st and found it worked much better...for that story. As with all things, it depends on what works for the story.

Nicole said...

I love to read and write 3rd person from multiple POVs.

Sharron said...

I shiver at the thought of first person. Secretly, I'd like to try it, but for now I'm ensconced in third person.

I usually write omniscient and my editor had fits. I decided to try one POV and am enjoying myself with my little medieval-type YA fantasy.

Jeff Hargett said...

I personally believe that 3rd limited is (usually) best for longer works, especially in complex worlds and settings. I think my fantasy WIP, although heavily done from the protagonist's POV, is far richer from being able to dip into multiple heads and see the world through their eyes. Helped to humanize the antagonist, explain things the protagonist didn't know, etc. But you're right, first person has excellent power potential.

Coleen Patrick said...

It's interesting, I don't remember deciding pov--I think my character decided! :)