Monday, April 12, 2010

Point of View

How do you decide which point of view to write in?

The most common types of POV are:

First Person - The I, we, me, my, mine, us narrator.
I find that I am drawn to books written in first person more than others.  I like being inside the MC's head, feeling their emotions.  Also, aside from short story expiriments, everything I've written has ended up first person, even if I originally tried it in third.  Apparently in the same way I'm drawn to reading first person, I'm also drawn to exploring my own characters the same way.  Both of my WIPs, Anemone and Still Loving Ghosts, are written in first person, but the chapters alternate characters.    

Second Person - The you narrator. 
I've only tried to write in first person once, and because it really does come across as humorous, I made it a funny "short short story".  Any longer than a few pages and I would have gone crazy... along with whoever ended up reading it.

Third Person - The he, she, it, they, them narrator.
Some writers are really good at this POV.  I am not one of them.  I've tried... oh how I've tried.  I just can't pull it off.  It just doesn't feel personal enough when I write this POV.  I always want more.  I want to actually feel like I'm inside the character's head, not just writing or reading about it.  I've written one or two short stories in third person, but every time I start a novel in it, I end up reworking it into first.

Which POV do you write in most or exclusively?  Do you like to read one over another?

(Check out the latest issue of Writer's Digest for an article by James V. Smith Jr. that analyzes the pros and cons of each POV. It's good.)

Happy Monday!   

20 comments:

  1. I like to switch it up, so I have short stories and novels written in various POVs (with the exception of Second Person which, while fun to experiment with, has never really worked for me in anything longer than flash fiction). For me, I like to let the story dictate what POV to tell it in, and there have been a number of times where I've gone back afterwards and changed point of views because something about a story just didn't feel right.

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  2. almost exclusively in 3rd POV. Though i'm considering shaking it up a bit and trying first person for my YA sea sperent idea...

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  3. I've never done second person. It's hard to get it right and maintain interest, I think.

    Mostly I write 3rd person, close. I've got a few things that are 1st, but haven't ever finished a manuscript with that point of view. Maybe I'll like it more when I get there.

    I don't have a preference reading. 1st and 3rd are both fun.

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  4. My first novel was third-person, but everything since has been first person. I think it's easier that way for me to sink into the MC's personality while writing. At some point, I'll probably try another third-person novel, but for now I'm loving first :)

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  5. I've only written in third person, but I think I'll try first with my next project.

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  6. I've written in both. When I'm reading, if it is written in third person I want my narrator to get into the main characters' heads for me.

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  7. I write in all third person for my fiction books, and I prefer to read from that POV as well.

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  8. I'm not a huge fan of anything 2nd person. Ever. Not even mentioned in passing in papers. It causes physical pain to me. Almost. lol

    I think writing 1st person is the easiest, actually, because you don't have to worry as much about POV issues. You're only in your MC's head, and it's easy to figure out whether you're head-hopping or not.

    I go back and forth from 1st to 3rd limited. I used to actually like 3rd omniscient, but it's so hard to find now, I tend to be surprised and a little jolted when I see it at this point.

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  9. I'm pretty devoted to third person. But I have written in first and second. They just didn't click as much with me as third.

    I have noticed, though, that some ideas formulate in my mind and can only be pulled off with a specific POV. Those are the ones I tend to go after; I'm not a fan of variables.

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  10. I write in both 1st and 3rd (but not at the same time ;)). My story just seems to dictate to me what POV is wants to be written in.

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  11. First person POV for me. I love reading it and writing it and don't know why! LOL. :)

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  12. My first book was in First. Which I loved and was so right for that book. Second book, Third. I'm not so sure which I like best, both have their advantages, are able to free up some writing. I'll keep you posted on where third book goes. For sure, not second person. That one is a no-go for me.

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  13. Falen - sea serpent!? can't wait to read that!

    KM - I accidentally tried writing in third person omniscient once. I say accidentally because I was writing with one person's thoughts in mind, but then randomly included other's here and there. It was a mess. I switched the whole thing to first person. LOL.

    Southpaw - LOL!

    Kim - I'm with you, sister!

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  14. I enjoy switching it up!!! Third person is what I started out as and then for this novel I realized that first person has worked the best! Sometimes change is good!!

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  15. My short stories are in 1st person, but my novels are in 3rd. First person feels more natural to me, but that POV just doesn't cut it with Mysteries!!

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  16. The novel I'm submitting to agents right now is in third and it was a real struggle to write it. I much prefer first because like you I love to get inside my MC's head.

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  17. Like you, my stories are always in 1st person. I like getting into the MC's heads and feeling the emotions. However, I like to read just about any POV as long as it's written well.

    And I loved the Writer's Digest article! Good stuff...that magazine is awesome...one of my favorites! It's like getting a special prize in the mail every month. :-)

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  18. I much prefer writing in 3rd person, but recently, I've wondered if I should at least try out 1st, if only for experimentation purposes.

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  19. My favorite is first person by far. But after a few agents reviewed a partial of my WIP, they felt that my story needed to be told by an omniscient narrator...i.e. third person. It took me awhile to get used to writing in this POV, but now it's ok....I think. It's difficult, to say the least.

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  20. I'm definitely more of a 1st person POV writer, but that may be because I write YA which is generally done in 1st person. I do occasionally write in 3rd person, but usually it's for short stories.

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