Choosing a person

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:

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.


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