View Full Version : Resisting the Natural POV

04-30-2008, 07:40 AM
I'm looking for some advice.

For many, many years, I've written in third-person. Third-person, to me, was the best way to go because you could follow a lot more characters and you didn't have the sticky problem with reliability in a first-person narrator.

Lately, first-person comes to me more cleanly and naturally. It flows better, I don't get lost in tangles of words and I find it easier to express emotions.

On the other hand, developing character has become more difficult.

I feel uneasy. AW Roundtable, what do you do when your brain beckons you to one type of POV, but you feel that another type would be better? I understand that some stories should be told one way and others another, but what I'm talking about is a massive shift in the way I think and write. (In fact, I've been noticing I've been writing more humor and less serious stuff and the serious stuff has turned into a fight against the inevitable--that is, comedy.)

Has anyone else here had this problem?

04-30-2008, 08:04 AM
Why is it a problem? As a person, you have more than one dimension. You're not always one thing or another. You have many different roles to fill and many different perspectives on life. At least, I assume you do. For example, I'm a writer, a student, a colleague, a daughter, and a friend, to name just a few. While I am always me, how I respond in each role is determined by a number of factors. For example, I'm less assertive in my role of daughter than I am in my role as colleague or writer.

What does this have to do with writing and your question?

As a writer, you don't have to be all one way or another. You can do and be different ways. If humor and comedy are more dominant in your current hierarchy, then why shouldn't they be? What's wrong with that? That doesn't mean you can't also write, or can't return to writing, more dramatic stuff later.

You're developing. You're growing. You're adding to your collection of writerly hats and titles. This isn't a bad thing.

04-30-2008, 08:09 AM
Go with what feels right, not what you're used to. Being a writer is all about branching out and trying on shows other than our own.

04-30-2008, 05:17 PM
Just go with the flow. Different isn't bad ;)

04-30-2008, 05:20 PM
I've always felt that you can get just as close and show just as much emotion with a tight 3rd person POV as you can in 1st. Plus it affords you so much more flexibility. 1st seems easier, but over the course of a whole book, I struggle with it. But, like everyone else said, go with what works for you.

04-30-2008, 06:26 PM
I wrote this somewhere else, I'm sure, but I constantly fight the urge to write in first person. Instead I try to write my serious work in limited third past. I've found that no one ever complains about limited third past, while some people will complain about first.

But I still prefer first, damnit.

04-30-2008, 06:49 PM
It depends on the story--some just work better 1st POV. I did 3rd on one, switched to the sister of the MC--still 3rd then went to 1st--that changed the whole tenor of the piece :}

04-30-2008, 07:34 PM
Jim Butcher insists he didn't find success till he found his voice. And it was in first person.

No matter what you do, someone won't like it. Do what works best for you and for the individual work.

Limitations are not a bad thing. They define the parameters. I can cry about how my shady, damp yard makes it impossible to grow cacti. Or I can grow a wonderful woodland garden. You can't have it all. Take what you've got and make it fabulous. Pick first or third for this particular work and then run with it. Don't apologize, don't look back, just work with the nature of the beast.

04-30-2008, 07:50 PM
(In fact, I've been noticing I've been writing more humor and less serious stuff and the serious stuff has turned into a fight against the inevitable--that is, comedy.)

I think less serious and more humor is a good thing. Could use more of that in this world. :)

04-30-2008, 11:01 PM
Your voice is growing a new octave, that's all.

I always wrote in 3rd til pretty recently, and now I'm currently working on a wip with 1st POV.

And really, have you always read the same sort of books? You probably loved a certain genre when you were younger and then branched out and tried different types of literature. So too with your writing. Let it go, let it flow. The story is going to come out the way it wants to anyway. It's best not to fight. Stories can leave a mark!