Tuesday, April 12, 2005

First person

Alyssa's post over at Romancing the Blog (link above) just happened to touch on something I was already planning on blogging about-- use of the first person. I've always preferred to write in the third person, and I've always preferred to read books in third person too. But lately I've been reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, which are written in the first person, and I'm greatly enjoying them. And yesterday I picked up Stephanie Bond's Blaze MY FAVORITE MISTAKE, which is also in the first person. (How many Blazes have been written in first person? Not many, I'm thinking. This is the first I've ever encountered!) I also recently read and greatly enjoyed Wendy Markham's novella in NEVER ON A SUNDAE, which was written in second person (different but interesting).

My point? I no longer shun first person stories, perhaps because I've read enough that they no longer strike me as unusual. As a reader, if a story seems right to me in the first person, I'll read it. (I have to admit I don't care for the trend in chick lit of alternating first and third person chapters... I'd prefer the author choose one or the other.) And as a writer, if a book needs to be written in first person, I'll write it that way.

I have written one book in first person (my upcoming children's story, THE FIRST GRADER FROM OUTER SPACE) because that's how the story came to me. I've also written one book in limited third person (NEVER LOVE A STRANGER, which is third person exclusively from the heroine's point of view). And as a reader, the viewpoint no longer matters that much to me. Tell me a good story and I'll read it.

1 comment:

  1. I spent a good 3 years in my early twenties reading nothing but Private Eye novels - all of which are traditionally written in first person - so I'm used to it. I really don't like second person though.