He Said, She Said, I Said

    Last night, the scene I was working on felt distant, which normally wouldn’t worry me because this is a first draft and I can go back and tweak things later. But I started to think that maybe this story should be told from the heroine’s POV and as first-person. So I started drafting a scene in first person.
    Two thousand words later and I’m still not sure this is going to work.
    When reading, I tend to favor third-person and so this is also the style I’ve used in everything I’ve written so far. But several of my favorite books from last year were in first-person and I loved the hell out of those books.
    An audio book that I started to listen to last year tried to have it both ways – chapters in the heroine’s POV were in first person, but chapters in anyone else’s POV were in third-person. This had the effect of making me wonder if I’d hit a button on my iPod and had accidentally switched to a different book. I’m sure this was not the author’s intent. I listened to about five chapters, but was so distracted by the switch between first- and third-person that I couldn’t finish the book.
    I like being able to read a story from a couple different points of view, learning the motivation from the characters’ thoughts in addition to their actions. But hearing someone tell a story as they perceive it, trying to figure out another character’s agenda through the prism of a first-person character is also fascinating.
    How do you know how to tell a story? As a writer, do you choose a certain style? Does it depend on the type of story you’re telling? Do you ever doubt your decision?

2 thoughts on “He Said, She Said, I Said

  1. Hey fellow Diva! I actually write 1st person, but I did just write my sequel and did the prologue in 3rd because it was from a different POV and the rest of the novel in 1st from my heroine's POV. I did the prologue differently to disconnect the reader from who was really telling the story, but I could never switch back and forth through the book. As you said it would be jarring and confusing. I think if the prologue is different from the rest that's okay, but switching throughout what just be really hard to follow, but it's up to the author I guess. Do what you feel is best!

  2. Hello there! I like the idea of setting the prologue apart by switching between first- and third-person style. Still not sure what I'm going to do with this WIP, but it's in the early stages, so I'll figure it out.

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