Friday, December 4, 2009

What P.O.V. Works For You?...(and a contest)

The photo… My last few trips to England have given me the opportunity to use a variety of toilets. This one by far was the coldest! LOL

What point of view (POV) do you enjoy writing the most? Does the way you write change with what type of story you are working on? I’m just curious. I just started a YA and it came out in third person, but I got stuck.  So I did a first person version and gave them both to my (YA) daughter. She liked the first person version much more than the third person. I agreed, it was easier to put myself in Marissa’s place (mc) when I changed to first person and I think the story will flow out of me more easily.

The Contest… If you haven’t entered my three wishes contest and would like to, please follow the link to enter.


  1. Writing in the third person comes easily to me; it feels almost natural. In my second book, I have a few chapters here and there that are told in third person and that was hard to write.

    As a reader, I very definitely prefer first person, so it's not much of a surprise that this is my preference when I write.

    One exceptiion is historical mysteries. I have been toying with one (and keep putting it on the back burner) but in this story (sset around 1919) third person just seemed right from the get go.

    I suppose it has to do with the story and the genre...
    Cheers, Jill
    "Blood and Groom" is now in stores!

  2. I also think it is easier to write in first person because I am there and it's easier to describe how I feel and to follow the action. However, I rarely write in first person. I guess I like to disassociate myself from characters so as to create any confusion that anything I've written might autobiographical. Also in third person I can be more omniscient and tell what others are thinking or feeling or doing.

  3. I like to write in third person now.I find it easier to write about different aspects especially since I include several POV.

  4. That toilet looks a lot like the ones I had to use in Spain. I never realized how different American toilets, are!

    I used to always write in 3rd person, but my most recent stuff has been in 1st.

  5. Whoa! That toilet is a little scary.

    I think I feel most comfortable with third person. The last story I wrote I did two versions, one in third and one in first. I ended up going with the one in third.

  6. That's one sleek bowl!

    I usually write YA in first person (does it usually lend itself to present tense?), but when I attempted to scroll an adult short story in 3rd person/past tense, it won an award. Go figure...

  7. Jill--Funny the historical fiction (MG) I'm working on is in third person too. I'll look for Blood & Groom the next time I go to B & N. :)Congratulations on your publication! (BIG SMILE FOR YOU!)

    Lee--The YA I'm embarking on has a lot of me in it, so I guess that's why first person felt better.

    Terri--I thought I wanted to do my YA (first attempt) in third, so I could do multiple POV. I guess it could all change by the time I get to my final revision. I'm toying with first person from the three points POV. Having specific chapters showing their POV. I've read a couple YA's like that recently.

    Sherrie--What caused the change in your writing style? I have some other really cool toilet photos. I have one from a Roman Fort on the border of England and Scotland. You'll never guess what they used for TP... I think at some point I'll have to do a toilet book. :)

    Shannon--I've got a variety of toilet pictures...I'll have to share some more. It's amazing how different they can be. They all seem to be the same in the US.

    Jennie--It was one COLD bowl... What award did you win? (Congratulations!)

  8. I like to write in first person, but when I took an on-line writing course, my tutor talked me out of it. She said third is so much more versatile. She must've known what she was talking about because that novel sold. For my current wip I'm now writing in first person present tense - two no-no's but I'm having fun.

  9. I like to flip back and forth that is why I do not write very well and I stick to other things. It is very interesting seeing how people like to write. You have a number of good writers that follow your blog.

    Best regards,
    Tom Bailey

  10. Those are the same toilets they have in prisons. Exactly what did you do your last trip to England, hmmm???

    I have always heard for YA, the ms should be in first person. I don't write YA, but I've written MG in both first and third. I like the immediacy of first person, so I guess that's my preference. But most of my books are in third. Go figure.

  11. Terry--What class did you take? I'm considering taking one. I really like reading first person, so I guess it makes sense I should want to write that way.

    Tom--Thanks for stopping by. :) I'm not sure how good I am, but I enjoy writing. (I've only had one story published in a magazine, so far.)

    Amy--I can't remember where this toilet was. It had to be somewhere touristy though.

    I guess POV has a lot to do with the topic and genre...

  12. Sharon, I took a correspondence course - Quality of Course, Winghill School of Writing. They're out of Ottawa. You can google them. Quite inexpensive, they have a guarantee you'll get paid for your writing to pay for the course or your money back, and you get an individual tutor. It helped start me on writing for magazines. Which is good for tear sheets. They have a novel course as well, or writing for children course. Good luck.

  13. Terry--I've been looking at the Institute of Children's Literature. It's pricey in my opinion, but I haven't heard a single bad comment about it. They have tons of instructors. I've spent the better part of a month googleling them. I found one that sounds perfect...Janet Graber. They have amoney back guarantee. It's about $800. I will look up Winghill. Thanks for the input. :)

  14. When I start a first draft, it almost always comes out in first person. But I usually include more than one viewpoint, and I don't want to have one in first and one in third (though I've seen this done in a number of good books), or both in first, so then I end up rewriting the first person viewpoint into third. I'm doing that on my current WIP right now. I do think I get more into the character's head when I at least write the first draft in first person. Amy, I've never heard that YA should be in first person - that's interesting, especially since I mostly write YA. Great discussion you've got going here, Sharon!

  15. Right now I'm rewiting a YA novel, changing from 3rd person to 1st person. I'm liking the results. My two other YA novels are written in first person. For me, it's easier to get inside the character's head in first person.

    I thought 3rd person would be better for my current project. I'm glad I tried it out, but am really happy that I'm rewriting it. I think it's going to be a much stronger book.

  16. Susan, I should have said contemporary YA. Fantasy, regardless of age group, is almost always in third person. Remember Patti Gauch said that?

  17. I don't remember Patti Gauch saying that - I think I was on information overload by that point. But I'm glad you reminded me, very good information.

  18. Paul--I think as long as the reader can feel a good connection, that's what counts.

    Amy and Susan--I'll refer to my notes and see if Patti said that. I'm sure it's in my notes. :)

    Happy writing and thanks to everyone who joined the discussion.

  19. You don't have to look it up Sharon - I have no doubt that she said it and I was playing space cadet at the time. My mind can only hold so much information, and that was the end of the week. Thank goodness Amy was still paying attention!

  20. Brrrrr ... that definitely looks like a cold one!