On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Writing First Person/Third Person

Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.comA short blog today, I think. I was judging a contest last night (I can judge contests every week of the year, it seems) and ran across some beginning writers and I hope I wasn't too hard on them. One was writing a story in first person and it came to me that I, personally, feel that writing in first person is harder than writing in third.

Since I've never written anything except this blog in first person, I can't say that this might really be true, perhaps I should say that lack of technique may show quicker and be more obvious when someone writes in first person than in third.

I don't have any prejudice against first person, though I do prefer reading and writing in deep third person point of view. I like the variety and it's less limiting. In the Heart books I've only written in the hero and heroine's POV, but in my Luna books I've had at least four points of view for both books (but not the free online serial -- that was h/h only).

So, my advice: if you're a brand new writer, you might consider writing in third person first just to get the basics down. That's MY POV on this matter. ;)

May whatever POV you take today be rich and rewarding!
Robin

4 Comments:

Blogger Crystal Jordan said...

Wow, and I'm a new writer writing in the first-person. This does not bode well. ;-)

What's the difference between deep third person and, well, shallow third person?

11:43 AM  
Blogger Dadio said...

That's great advice. Thanks very much.

I'm going through a career change right now and am finally putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) and writing some of the many stories I have rattling around in my head.

I have a question for you though. How do you know when a story is finished?


Dadio

12:52 PM  
Blogger Milady Insanity said...

Well, I come from the same school of thought, but after 6 rewrites and no ending, the first-person POV seems to work for me. Slower to get into the right--or 'write as it were--mindset, but it seems to work.

We'll see if it blows up on me or not, LOL.

Dadio, do you mean finished as in fiddling around with rewrites and stuff or 'the end' kind of finished?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Ok, Crystal...if you have experienced writers/critiquers in your group, I think this will be fine -- in fact, I think all critique groups should have intermediate or advanced writers. You can learn from each other when new (I had a beginning writer buddy), but to really master techniques, new writers usually need pointers.

Deep third person -- that is NOT having a person think about anything they wouldn't (like I have blonde hair and blue eyes and nice curves) normally. The only time I think about my hair is if it's a bad hair day, and then I might think about the cut, but certainly not the color or anything else. Don't pull out to describe your character, have someone meeting your character do that in a different POV.

How do I know when a story is finished? Since I'm a pantzer, I write out of sequence and usually about the first 1/3 of the book I get an idea about an ending. Sometimes I'll actually write the ending. Think of genre requirements. A romance is finished as soon as the h/h "grow," solve the outer conflict and say "I love you," to each other. When that happens the story is over. A mystery is over when the detective discovers the murderer/culprit. A thriller is over when the world is saved. An excellent book I use for help is The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler which will help structure your book.

Dadio, If you mean finished with "fiddling" I'd say do a couple of passes, and put it away when you can still stand to read it...or as soon as you allow yourself to "finish" the book another idea (or 4) should pop into your head.

Milady Insanity -- if it works for you, that's fine...I'm not saying NOT to write in first person if that's what you prefer, but MY OPINION is that it might need more skill...again, make sure you have good, experienced critiquers.

3:01 PM  

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