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Thread: POV question

  1. #1
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    POV question

    I read a book not long ago in which the story was told in first person, present POV. And I really liked that it was told that way. It gave it a little more depth, edge, that raw, in-the-moment stuff. So I thought about doing that with my story but a writer friend has advised against it. Said a lot of times that's a faux pas for a first-time writer (one that's trying to be published anyway). Is this a truism for the publishing biz or is this, again, just another writer's opinion?



  2. #2
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    There's nothing at all wrong with choosing first-person POV for your debut novel. There is a danger, though, that first-time writers tend to fall prey to, and that is that they get carried away describing their own feelings and sensory perceptions, turning the narrative into a torrent of "I saw, I felt, I heard." One other caution: in first-person POV, the main character absolutely cannot relate or have any knowledge of any event or observation that occurs outside his/her direct perception; some stories can't easily be told with that restriction. Other than that, go for it, and good luck.0
    Last edited by jayce; 06-11-2011 at 03:59 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hi Jennifer,

    The Hunger Games was first person present, and I loved it. Couldn't get the voice out of my head for weeks. It made me decide to write in present tense (I always write in first person). Unfortunately, after about 20 pages I'd started slipping back into past tense, and then had to make the tough decision to change my 20 pages of present, to past. Which totally sucked.

    So I'd recommend going with what feels natural to you, otherwise you might find yourself slipping into whatever does!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cheryl Morton's Avatar
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    I had the same question, Jennifer. I'm going to rewrite my memoir, and I'm thinking about rewriting it in present tense. I'm wondering too if that's risky for a first book.

    Cheryl

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    It's definitely something to think about. Though if I have to limit it to strictly what that 1 person sees, hears, feels, thinks etc., I might have to switch it up. Because I want to make the feelings, struggles, etc. of my other main character evident as well. And not have it limited strictly to the things the MAIN main character perceives (body language, etc.).

    Hunger Games, eh? Might have to check that one out!

  6. #6
    Rae Morgan
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    I would find writing in the first person, for a whole novel, restrictive and more difficult than in the third person.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer Hord View Post
    Though if I have to limit it to strictly what that 1 person sees, hears, feels, thinks etc., I might have to switch it up.
    You don't have to limit it. You learn to "show it" rather than tell it, the same you would if writing in third person. You may want to experiment with first and third, present and past tense, etc., till you figure out what feels the most natural to you. FWIW, I've written 3 novels all in first-person present-tense, including my first one--as have many other authors--so no, it's not a faux pas for a first-timer. Play around and have fun with it!

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    I don't see why you can't do that. Try it and if it doesn't work, try a different perspective.

  9. #9
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    Think I shall play around with it, then. Thanks for the input!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    I think writing in third person can be as restricting (to the only MC's POV, I mean, the one whose knowledge is restricted to the events around him/her only).

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