Finding Your Voice: Writing in First Person by Linell Jepsen @nelj8

This is an interesting phenomenon. I usually write in the third person- except for my novel, Story Time, which was written in the first person- from a number of viewpoints…whew!

I ran into an issue recently, however, that really gave me pause. A reviewer said I was writing in omniscient POV (the God View) in my novel, The War of Odds. I looked at it, and stared at it until my eyes crossed but I just couldn’t see it. Finally, my publisher said that there was no clear break between my character’s thoughts, words and actions- thus- the dreaded GOD-VIEW!

She literally put “Breaks” between the different characters, and now I am back to writing in the third person.

Just because YOU (the writer) know who is thinking and doing what, does not mean your reader knows. That is why it is so important to clarify and to be consistent in your point of view.

Writing in the first person POV has its share of challenges. This is where the old saying “Show don’t Tell”, really comes into play. Most people aren’t going to tell a story by saying, “I have beautiful, but troubled, blue eyes!” (lol) The protagonist will show by his or her ACTIONS that they are in trouble- maybe they observe the result of sleepless nights in the mirror and mutter, “I have GOT to get some sleep!”

There is no good way or bad way to tell a story- each has its merit. The first person narrative garners sympathy in the reader. I will give no spoilers here, but one case in point is the novel, “Gone Girl”. If you want to see a master of first person storytelling and the power of first person narrative, try that novel on for size. You will be in for a shock, and realize how vulnerable we are to really, good liars!

Onio revised (2)

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Genre – Fantasy/Romance

Rating – PG13

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