Monday, August 31, 2015

I think, therefore I am

,Ana isn't ready to write first person stories.

When I was writing a weekly essay for my CSA newsletters, I wrote in first person. I recounted what I saw walking through the garden, expounded on ideas for the next season, held mini-rants about pesticide drift, and waxed poetic about the sightings of bumblebees and dragonflies.

Writing novels in first person is a different kettle of fish.
It means you'd type "I" a lot.
Your main character would speak and think in this immediate context. You'd be limited to one POV and go deep. The main character would have to be somewhat self-centered or self-absorbed. A bit judgmental. Opinionated.

First person seems to work well for YA/NA stories. Also novels where the "speaker" opens with a reminiscing and the bulk of the story unfolds in 3rd person.
Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is a first person classic, but she did lapse into other characters' POV after the first book.

Have you read a first person book you really liked?


  1. Honestly, I don't usually enjoy 1st person stories (Outlander being the exception). I find it jarring.

  2. I've read some 1st person stories, including one I'm reading now, which I think works okay, as the author also has chapters from another POV, but again in 1st person. However, on the whole, I prefer 3rd person.

  3. I've never read first person stories and I don't think I ever will. As for writing in the first person it really doesn't appeal at all. It would be like being in my own head instead of someone else's. Good topic though.

  4. I enjoy reading "well-written" first-person stories. As for writing in the first person, I used that POV for my cozy. Since I identified strongly with my protagonist, it felt natural. For my paranormal series about mermaids , I use a 3rd person POV.

  5. I read a lot of cozies and most of those are written in first person. And YA definitely tends to be written that way.

    I gave it a whirl once in a short piece of flash fiction for a blog post. The story turned out pretty well, but for my longer writing I'm definitely going to stick with third person.