I should have done this post just at the beginning of November so some of you could have seen it in time for NaNoWriMo. But alas, here it is, better late than never.
You might recall I did a post about choosing the right POV a while ago. So I’m going to try not to just repeat everything I said before. But honestly, I face this question every time I start a new book.
And it is infuriating.
At other times, you just know that the story would be best if you wrote it in first person. Or third. Or one-hundred-and-seventeenth. 😔
But most of the time, for me anyway, it’s a constant battle. I wrote my recent WIP Promised Land in the point of view of first person multiple, meaning I switched between two characters. And that was tricky, but now when I try to go back to third person . . . it’s like putting a round peg in a square hole. I feel like I’m totally separate from the characters, even though I know I describe scenes and settings far better in third person than I do in first.
So what’s the answer?
There’s no easy one. Everyone will have a POV in which they write better or, at the very least, enjoy more than any other. But not every story fits in first person, and not every story fits in third person.
Generally, however, a story in which you know you need to get into the head of many different characters OR you need to get into the head of one or two minor characters, third person is probably your best option. Take it from someone who just wrote a novella in first person multiple, it’s not easy.
When I wrote One Light Shining, it was always (all six drafts of the unpublished thing) in third person. Because there were always a number of characters I wanted to bring into the story with their own point of view. Can you have too many POVs in one story? Oh, yeah. Absolutely. First person, even multiple, certainly stops you from writing in too many POVs.
But first person is limiting. So assess what you’re writing. The outline. The characters. How many characters’ heads do you need to get inside? How many do you want to get inside? (There could be a difference.)
Alas, the POV battle continues! Fight on, brave writer. The POV is only the first battle of the war that is writing. 😉
Hmm, I like that . . .
You’re turn. What POV do you enjoy the most to write? Have you experienced this conflict in your writing? Let’s chat in the comments!