The Point of View

First person? Third person? Male? Female? Multiple?

There's so many ways to work a novels point of view. It's one of the first decisions an author makes before beginning a story, whether it's a conscious decision or not. And, POV ultimately defines your story, whether it's for the better or the worst. Though, a lot of it has to do with personal preference.

For me, I totally prefer first person over third. I love actually getting inside the characters head, and really feel what they're feeling. Third limited puts a barrier up. It puts distance between you and the MC in my opinion.

I've tried experimenting with third person. Dabbled with it on a short story or two. But any major project I've ever done has been in first person. It's just my natural story-telling voice. It's my way of really connecting with my character. Third person just makes things awkward.

A couple of books in particular come to mind when I think of the stories I read that in my opinion should've been written in first person. Two are 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson and The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I never felt like I could really connect with Ginny in 13 and for The Maze Runner, I guess I just don't get why it's in third.

Am I racist against POVs? Maybe. But I'm sorry, I just don't see why third limited is necessary.

Touching on the boy/girl POVs... there's nothing I love more than a book with a strong male POV. I've seen plenty of failed attempts, but there's nothing better than when a female author nails the male POV. One of the best ones I've ever read was Adam in Where She Went. It was so raw and honest and real, I loved it.

YA seems to be generally marketed to girls. But I truly feel like more guys would read if there were more books geared toward them. I have a lot of guy friends, and while one has a Kindle (Ew) another one claims that "fiction books are stupid" (I almost smacked him). I know that whatever I say to try to convince him otherwise won't matter, until he finds a book he can connect with, he'll continue to feel that way. (Idiot :P)

And, on a final note, when MULTIPLE point of view is done well, that's like !!!!!

I LOVE getting into more than one characters head and learning both sides of the story. While I admit, sometimes this is unnecessary and doesn't work, when it does work, it's awesome. Some fantastic multiple POV reads are Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and She's so Dead to Us by Kieran Scott. My WIP, Dancing Through Life is a multiple POV, and I really believe that's one of the key aspects of my MS. I've written up partial drafts w/out Jake's POV, and all my critique partners/betas have told me it just isn't the same. I think one time I got a 'What the heck are you doing! Put him back in! Now!' Haha!

So yeah, that's my take on a book's point of view.



Amaranthine said...

I like third person POV best, but it's a lot harder to write. In James Patterson's Maximum Ride series, he actually switches from first to third POV among several different characters, which can be pretty disorienting.

Evie J said...

I really don't like third person. Unless it's a story, story about more than one person, then I rather read first.

Marisa said...

@Amaranthine: Yeah, I read Maximum Ride... It was weird, definitely something only James Patterson can pull off.

@Evie: Totally agreed! Unless the third person story switches perspectives a lot, just give me first, please!!

Anonymous said...

"one has a Kindle (Ew) another one claims that "fiction books are stupid" (I almost smacked him)."

That literally got me laughing out loud... and I totally agree with you on it! xD

I prefer reading AND writing first person, though I love tons of books written in third person. All of the ones I'VE written, though, (that have turned out good) are written first person. I think it's much easier. :) I think maybe I'll try multiple POV for my next novel, though... hm...

Great post!