Who’s telling this story, anyway

The last two novels I’ve finished were written in the first person, but with my new WIP I’m trying third.

I’ve been struggling a little bit and finally today I realized why. With the first person POV, I didn’t have to think about who was telling the story. It was my protagonists. So all I had to do was imagine my protagnoists talking to a girlfriend, and presto I had my voice.

But with third person, my tendency is to fall into a more detached and literary tone. The attitude is more cool; it feels like I’m toying with my characters rather than living them from the inside out. Pushing them around on the plate with my fork.

I don’t like it — I don’t like how it feels to write it and I don’t like the prose that comes out at the other end.

I’m going to start revising. Only first, I’m going to figure out who is telling this new story I’ve got working. It won’t be anyone who is ever identified and she won’t be part of the novel. But she exists, and when I’ve found her voice I have a feeling things are going to begin falling into place with this book . . .

[tags] writing [/tags]

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3 Responses to Who’s telling this story, anyway

  1. Bernita says:

    That’s interesting.
    Think that’s why close third became accepted.
    I keep wondering about doing over mine in first.

  2. Kirsten says:

    I like first also because it’s fun to keep parts of reality behind the curtain and then spring it on my hapless protag, bwa ha ha. With third you can still do that but as presumably omniscient narrator you need to pull it off more through sleight of hand than straight plot twists. By the same token, stories have punchlines, and good storytellers keep them out of sight until the moment’s just right . . .

  3. Deb says:

    “Pushing them around on the plate with my fork.” Like that!

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