I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective lately and how that plays out in my work. What I have been thinking is whether third person is really working or not and if I am doing it right. That is why I am asking for your help as my wonderful readers to give me some guidance in this area. I have done some research, which has made me feel better about the way I am going about it, but I want to hear from you in order to guide me in my writing.
I have been writing in third person for this book that I currently working on and at the start it was fantastic as it provided me with a lot of scope. In fact, I naturally go to write in third person as it flows better from me than in first. However, if you have been reading my posts lately you may know that it is because of third person point of view that I have momentarily disconnected from my characters. It is not that I don’t love my characters or my story, because the reality is that I want to keep writing it because I am so passionate about it. The issue is that writing in third prevents me from creating emotional intensity with my characters as I would like due to its omnipotent nature.
At the same, time I love it because I can change from the point of view from one character to the next easily. For instance, in one chapter I wrote recently I began in the point of view of the sidekick in my story and went along with him until he found the main character Killian. Once they were reunited, I changed the point of view to Killian as now the story was going to move through an essential plot point and it was focused on him.
I know that if I was writing in first person I couldn’t do that, or can I? Therein lies the rub.
What I Already Know
The first person narrative creates emotional intensity and connects the reader with the character. In this POV the character is speaking for themselves with ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’. It is limited to only one character’s point of view and expresses their own knowledge of situations. An example of this would be the Hunger Games.
Whereas, with the third person narrative you are using ‘he’, ‘she’ and ‘they’ and is used primarily for complex plots and where multiple POV’s are used. You have an omniscient presence within the story but have control of it. You can stay separated from your story like the narrator in A Series of Unfortunate Events or you can move closer to tell the story from one character’s perspective like in Harry Potter.
- What are the rules of point of view switching with first person? I have done research on this and I can’t really find anything of value in this department.
- Can you switch from difference character perspectives in first person? Is it allowed and how is it done?
- Do you wait until the end of each chapter and change, or can you change in the middle? What are the rules and do you have any examples of how it is done?
- What are the limitations to first person other than the glaringly obvious, as it is from the mind of one person?
I have written a lot of my book already, but I am happy to change it entirely to first person if I can figure out the best way to do it. Not only this, but I must consider if it will truly benefit my story from the change. What would you do in such a situation or have you been in this predicament before? I honestly would like to know if you have overhauled your book and changed its perspective.
My Questions About Third Person
At the same time, I know that for fantasy it is better to have third and I do enjoy writing in that perspective. However, there are striking limitations to it.
- Do you have any advice for creating a deeper connection within the third person perspective? Because if I am being truthful I would love to stay in third person because I feel like it suits the style of my story. So any advice here would be lovely!
- How do you implement inner monologue with third person?
- How do you express your character’s feelings in a realistic way through third person?
Do you see what I mean about all these glaring questions that are remaining unanswered. The attempts to answer the issues on perspectives that I have found on the net have been inadequate to answer all of these. I wonder if any of you have these issues and I really hope that if you are you find the answers helpful when they start rolling in.
For all of you who are willing to help out by leaving your comments about these questions I have, I thank you from the bottom of my soul. You are helping me and my work, as well as all the other writers who are here looking for advice. When I create a post about this later with all your helpful tips I will be sure to credit you!