Michelle

Ask the authors...

29 posts in this topic

I have a general question.

Why do authors write First Person pov, I've always found them hard to read. I much prefer Third.

 

Hi!

 

I write in first person, so I am probably well-placed to answer.

 

I have to say I often land in first person after trying third and realizing it just doesn't work for the story.

 

I write YA, which is generally considered a natural fit for writing in first person. My stories tend to be personal journeys, rather than action or adventure, so first person allows me to show the full breadth of the journey by revealing the inner workings of the protagonist's mind. There are ways to achieve this with third person, but I find first person more immediate and therefore more effective for me, at least. My stories also tend to have an element of mystery and I find that telling the story in first person means the reader can only know what the protagonist knows and therefore are forced to undertake the same journey as the main character.

 

I agree that this can create difficulties with the reader in terms of connecting - especially if they are worlds apart from the protagonist.

 

I hope that gives some insight into at least one author's reasons :-)

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thank you for answering my question Ingrid.

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Re: First person versus third person narratives...

 

It all depends on the story for me. If I want to focus on the contrast between what's going on in  the character's head versus in the story, then first person is the only effective way to do this. Talking in detail about emotions and thoughts in third person is awkward. If, however, I want to focus on what a variety of people are doing and leave the reader to interpret the thoughts and emotions, then third person is best. It all depends where the focus of the story is and what type of subtext I want to play with.

 

 

>>Do any of you watch the book reviews done on YouTube? I'm wondering how many of you get fan mail , and if you have your email address in your books so that fans can contact you?

 

I do my best to stay up to date with what people are saying about my work. Different people have different views on this, but for me being a professional writer means being well-informed. Sometimes reviews - especially on GoodReads - are hard to take, especially when I feel that they're discourteous or unfair... but that's part of being a writer. And I'd hate to miss out of something that could really drive an improvement in my writing.

 

Plus it means that when I do events I can challenge what I see as misconceptions of the book. I never say 'Such and such said X, Y, Z and they're just WRONG because...' but I *can* and do choose to bring up subjects and general lines of interpretation that I'd like to challenge. It's a way of getting my side across without speaking directly to - or even specifically about - a review I have an issue with.

 

Most of all, there's the amazing rush of happiness I get when I read a good review or a positive comment. The negative stuff is well worth putting up with to make sure I don't miss all the wonderful stuff. I've been really lucky in that almost everyone has been polite and generous in their feedback: I'd never want to miss out on all that kindness and goodwill over fear about the odd thing that might upset me. I think this is part and parcel also of having worked in the theatre: that's a real learning curve of understanding that if you're going to do it, you have to listen to what people say - good and bad.

 

 

>>How many of you draw on your years as a teen when it comes to writing your bools?

 

I definitely do... but then I draw on my life in general, and the lives of those around me. But there's so much change when you're a teenager - it's a really rich period of life to work from... and obviously my teen year are my 'way in' to teenage characters.

 

 

>>Do you guys get any percentages of ages of your readers?

 

I don't know where to find this out but I'd love to know more! So far the vast majority of my readers have been adults - mid 20s and up - but I'm starting to get a really wide-ranging readership in terms of ages and that's so exciting.

 

:)

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Thanks for answering, AlexiaCasale

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