When beginning writers first start out to write a novel they tend to stick to their comfort zones. After all, write what you know, right? For many, the lure of writing in first person is awfully appealing. On the surface, it seems easier write from inside the character’s head through first person.
But is it really that much easier?
It may be for the first chapter or so, but eventually, you’re going to get stuck and it’s become a dead giveaway sign of a novice novelist.
Writing in first person is a challenge. You have one perspective and one perspective only. You’re only giving the reader a glimpse into one head. That first person character (FPC) can’t know what anyone else is thinking or feeling, they have to rely on the other characters’ actions to figure those things out. That person can only be in one place at one time and it makes it difficult to show action happening in other places in your story. Try to switch up perspectives and you end up confusing your reader and your story gets muddy.
Before you decide on one, ask yourself these questions:
- Why does this story need to be told in this POV?
- How deep do I want to go with POV?
- Do I want the reader to know what every character is thinking, or a select few?
- What events are happening elsewhere in the story that are crucial to the telling?
Does that mean you should never use first person? No. All perspectives are tools in your craft toolbox. You have to choose the one that fits the story best and each one is going to have its own set of challenges. The trick is understanding the why behind the technique and learning how to use it effectively.
Are you stuck with your story? Talk to us today and we’ll help get you out of that rut. Sometimes all you need is another perspective.