First or third? This is the conundrum I’m faced with for my new WIP.
Actually, I’m flirting pretty heavily with first. THE SEEDKEEPER’S SECRET was written in 3rd, and since I had three point of view characters, it helped me move between them without confusing the reader.
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was how complicated the relationship between the point of view character and the narrator was. To be honest I left much of it to instinct – letting my own emotional response to the action on the page guide me in relation to questions like:
- when should I let the narrator sit back and be all clinical, revealing only a little of my point of view character’s internal thoughts and feelings?
- when should I let the narrator get all up close and personal, letting my characters’ thoughts and feelings colour the narration?
My new WIP will be YA, and as a result, I’d like to explore characterization in more depth. This is one of the reasons I’m thinking about 1st person. Let the narrator’s voice and the character’s voice be one. Plus I just love “dear diary” feel.
I’ve read that 3rd person is by far the most popular POV these days, however, and I was a bit concerned about the reception a 1st person YA dystopia would receive. So at a recent #askagent session on Twitter I popped the question: which is the most appropriate for YA? Two kind souls weighed in:
- elanaroth @katie_bowden Doesn’t matter. As long as the character is strong. #askagent
- AudryT @katie_bowden Just speaking as an editor, the RIGHT narration for the STORY (whether 1st or 3rd) is the narration to go with. #askagent
Oh snap! My new protag happens to be into storytelling – he’s tells and retells the stories his parents and grandparents told him about his community before it all fell apart and became a….well, you know…dystopia.
So I think I’ve nailed it: 1st person it is.