Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Circled Back to Multiple Third Person POV
You might remember my raving about possibly changing POV for my NaNo novel, from multiple third person into first person. After my first read-through, I was almost convinced that the first person was the way to go. I thought it would make the reader connect more to the MC. I knew it wasn’t the only way, because after all, there are plenty of amazing third person books out there where I connect with the MC very strongly. Another reason was that the protagonist is strong enough to carry it off, and also – perhaps most importantly – I feel first person comes more easily to me than the third person. This is quite strange because I started writing in third-person, and a major part of what I have written is in third person. Yet, I am quite sure that my first person stories definitely are better written. So I did an experiment. I wrote the beginning of my NaNo novel into first person. And it worked. I knew the story could work in first person, and I was all geared up to re-write the whole thing. I started doing the new outline, as I would have to get rid of the scenes from other people’s POV and incorporate relevant information through the MC. However, as I was doing that new outline I began to have doubts about my choice, because some of the scenes I was looking at – the scenes from other characters’ POV where MC isn’t present, seemed to add richness to the story. Those scenes offer my story an alternative perspective. Now by this time, I was perfectly sure that this story – written by an accomplished author – could work in either first person or third person. But obviously, it was going to be harder for me not being very experienced at revisions and editing. I continued to work through the outline, and kept stressing over it. And then suddenly, it was clear. I came across a scene from non-MC POV; I realized his perspective makes the story that little bit deeper, and voila, problem solved. Multiple-third person was going to stay. As for my ability, well I was going to have to learn to do third-person well eventually, so might as well start now. It’s not that I can’t do third-person, but I was just going for an easier way which the first person offered me. Though I have come to a full circle, and spent a whole month doing it, I am glad I went through it. It’s been frustrating, and often I want to kick myself for wasting that time, but I know that it was worth it, because having tried both, I am more sure of my choice than I was before. I am happy now, instead of having to wonder two drafts later whether I made the right decision. Also, having gone through this next time I will be more careful making POV decision BEFORE I write, so lesson learned. Experience Gained. Now it’s just a little matter of turning the first draft into a pleasurable novel.