Saturday, April 25, 2009

Point of View

photo courtesy of herr_hartman


The topic of point of view at our monthly meeting of Saturday Writers got me to thinking about my preference for writing in 1st person. I like the immediacy (is that a word?) it gives me. It allows me to be the character. For me it is easier, because I don't have to worry about inappropriate POV shifts. I just ask myself WWMCD (what would my character do?) If my character's not seeing it or feeling it, I know not to put it to paper.

However, I've noticed that I like to read a combination of 1st and 3rd person, and it depends on the genre. If I'm reading romance (which I don't usually do) or cozy mysteries, I prefer first person. I prefer to "be" the character or at least see the story from the protagonists POV.

But if I'm reading a suspense, thriller or historical, I prefer third person. And I really like multiple POV's. I feel like it gives me a 360 degree view of the story.

And I've even read a couple that switch back and forth between 1st and 3rd. Most of those are pretty clunky, but Harlan Coben does it in a couple of his novels and does an excellent job at creating a story so smooth you never notice it. He's also a great story weaver, but that's another whole topic. He's my writing hero. And I just discovered him last year, and already I've read all his books. So, Harlan if you stop by and read this, get to cracking on that next book. I'm waiting.

What's your favorite POV to write and does it differ from your favorite POV to read?

6 comments:

Margo Dill said...

I write in 1st person most of the time--writing for middle grade students and young adults. I notice a lot of mg and ya books are in 1st person. I like to read both, although I do think first person really draws me in. James Patterson does that 1st person, 3rd person thing in some of his Alex Cross books, which I really like. He is 1st person when he is Alex Cross and 3rd person when he writes about the crazy killer. The thing that drives me the most crazy ever is POV shifts when they are not meant to be there. :)

Margo
http://margodill.com/blog/
"Read These Books and Use Them."

Writer Chick said...

Margo,
I know. There at least needs to be some logical place to change POV's like at a break or a new chapter.

maryji321 said...

I agree that 1st person is easier. For me, it takes the guesswork out who's POV it is. Sue Grafton is one that comes to mind immediately with her Kinsey Milhone character. When I use 3rd person, I have to pay closer attention so that I don't get into headhopping.

Writer Chick said...

I love Sue Grafton. And I agree about the 3rd person and headhopping. I don't know tha tI could ever write in omniscient. That's like totally headhopping to me.

K9friend said...

I feel as though writing in first person comes easier for me. Don't know why, unless it's those early years spent reading Black Beauty, Beautiful Joe, and Mary Stewart books!

Writer Chick said...

For me it was the Donna Parker series by Marcia Martin