I – sorry – Rob always seemed to end up writing in first person. He didn’t think about it too much really, until he was watching a creative-writing class on the internet in which the writer giving the lecture said that it was the easiest perspective to write from: The beginners mode. Rob supposed that there was some truth in those words, but also felt that writing from the first person was a very good way to really get inside a character’s head and feel what they are feeling. Rob felt that his work just needed to speak the truth, and that the reader needed to be close to that character’s decision making process, so the they could clearly see the reasons to their actions. Some people would argue that if the writing was good enough, the reasons would be clear anyway. But the level of depth allowed from the first person perspective can take the reader deeper into the character’s world, and even out of their own, meaning they happily ride along with the character even if they wouldn’t in real life.
I (Rob) do think that it suits certain stories a lot more, too. Obviously, very complex plot lines with many different characters, would be very tricky to write in the first person because you would have to hop from one person’s head to the other and it could get confusing for the reader. But then I do prefer stories involving fewer main characters anyway; I always feel that the more characters you have, the thinner you spread their personalities and you end up caring about them less. My least favourite type of scenario in these cases is the dinner-party scene, where all of the characters are happily sitting around one table, so you can flick back to that page when you can’t remember whose narrative you’re supposed to be following: If I have to flick back then the story, to me, has failed – I’ve eaten dinner and I’m full. I don’t want to go back for more of the same.
No, I like the first person because then, the story is my story. I… I… I… all the way! And the fact that you’re reading “I” all the time must have the subliminal effect of drawing the reader in.
But that might be another part of my organic style of writing, less characters, less planning, and I’m not a planner. Plus, some of the best stories I’ve read have been in the third person.
Rob sighed and asked himself, ‘do I really need to worry about this first and third debate anymore? It just is what it is.’ He took a deep breath and began to check through the text for typos, missing plenty, and then hit the publish button.
- Claudsy’s Blog: Characters on First and Third (2voices1song.com)
- “Why am I telling you of all this?” (paperpenandnoplan.wordpress.com)
- Point Of View…Does it Matter? (shelleykwall.wordpress.com)