Monday, December 10, 2012

What's the Point of (First Person) Point of View?

There will be no new Blog Ring of Power interviews this year; however, starting next week, we're going to highlight some of the interviews we conducted this year. Each highlight will include a giveaway, so be sure to take some time during the holidays to check back here and on the other BRoP blogs.

Do you ever feel that you write one point of view better than anything else? I wouldn't say I excel at first person point of view, but I've had some success with stories told using that POV, including "A Reptile at the Reunion" and Lyon's Legacy. One of the reasons why I think it worked in those two stories was that my heroines had distinctive voices. However, not all of my first-person stories have worked so well. A long time ago, I wrote a story about the history of Romeo and Juliet's families, told from Cupid's point of view as he sought to end a curse. I got a nice rejection letter on it, but even after I revised it again, reviewers told me the POV felt too distant. I thought at first, "Well, he's a god; he's going to sound distant." Still, I knew the story wasn't ready to put out there yet, so I set it aside. Only within the last week did it occur to me to wonder why a god would narrate a story like this in the first place. I decided he would be sharing this story with another god. At first, I thought Cupid would be justifying his actions to Jupiter, but instead I decided the curse on the two families was so important Cupid had to remain separate from his wife, Psyche, until he fought it. I haven't worked out all the details of the new plot yet, but I've decided to tell the story as a series of letters to Psyche. I just started the latest draft, so we'll see how this turns out and what my OWW reviewers think of this version.

Do you feel first person POV needs more justification than third person POV? What are the reasons you would choose it over third person? So far, I would use it if the narrator has a unique voice or has a reason to be telling the story, either directly to the reader, via letters or a diary, or to another character. Can you think of any other reasons for using first person?

4 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

First person is more popular these days so I've done some stories in that. I don't really notice much of a difference.

Sandra Almazan said...

I know there are some readers who prefer one POV over another. I don't mind reading either.

I just remembered another use of first person: to establish a closer link between character and reader. I think that's why a lot of "modern" urban fantasy uses first person.

Sandy Appleyard said...

My first romance Blessed and Betrayed is done in first person. It's strange because when I joined critique groups, they commended me for using it, since most people think it's difficult. It was what came natural to me. I use it quite often, but like to switch it up depending on the plot changes. Nice post! Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Almazan said...

You're welcome, Sandy!

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