Friday, April 2, 2010

A Question from a Writer - First Person??

I'm just completing my first paranormal manuscript in a first person (most natural for me). I know urban fantasies are primarily first person, but is there a bias one way or another in other categories?

My mind is already leaping ahead to the next project. Should I continue to write in first person, or tackle the awkward jump to third person?

Karen, this is a great question but one that, unfortunately, there isn't an easy answer for.

There are actually several issues here to deal with. The first is yor comment that urban fantasies are primarily in first person. Don't get swayed by "a trend" and stick with something because you think it is the only way to write it. When it comes down to it, whether the story is in first or third person doesn't really matter. What we are looking for is a well written story and if it is in first person then great, if it is in third person that's fine too.

What I do find is that many people attempt to write a story in first person when the story would be better in third. As you said, it is easier for you to write in first, but that is not to say the story is suited for that style. I think most people stick with that style because they can hear the characters better. The problem though is the lack of depth in terms of POV and perspective that comes from writing in first person. In fact, many of the stories I reject that are in first person are rejected for jsut that reason.

I think the second element is the bias. In this case, it is really an individual preference. Some agents like it, some don't. Same with editors. When you are determining who you want to send your project to, that should be one of the considerations.

Hope this helps?


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