writing about writing


Posted by Flood on June 7, 2006

I've been having problems lately with my big project. It's in first person right now and I like the tone, but at times it moves slowly because the protagonist doesn't have all the pieces to the puzzle while moving through the plot.

Third person would allow for greater exposition, not in back story, but in the readers understanding of what's going on. Giving the reader the whole picture as it unfolds might maintain interest throughout the story to see what happens. I would like to think I am a strong enough writer to keep people rapt in the first person, discovering with the protagonist what's happening, but it's a lot more work.

In the end it might be worth it, though.

My understanding is that there are gender lines for POV, in this respect. Women tend to write more in the first. I can't find an argument for why that is, other than "the implied intimacy of first person, as well as the fact that many men tend to be event and action oriented, not character oriented" [Linda Adams]. This makes sense in action scenes with many characters. It wouldn't flow well from in just one character's mind.

First person can sound gimmicky or amateurish. The author could conceivably think that it will be easier to deal with one POV. Sometimes it can read like the author is finding out what happens with the reader, giving little confidence in the writing.

But. I really like what I have so far. It's just taking a little longer to get where it's going. I know about the dangers I could get into. I hope.

This is exactly why I need a writer's group, like Jaye mentioned in her interview earlier this week. How are you guys faring in the world of POV? Do you prefer one to the other as readers, or as writers?

BTW, speaking of Jaye, she starts a new feature today, so be sure to check it out.


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