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On Writing 1st Person…

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Sometimes, I tend to think that when Self-Published authors write, they always seem to think that writing in first person is probably the safest option when considering the viewpoint in fiction. If the book is written in third person, the chances are you’ll be criticized for writing like you’re talking to a group of third graders or criticized for sounding way too confusing. Then of course there’s the omnipresent view, but that is somewhat similar to the third person point of view except that you get to play ‘narrator’ but then you are criticized for not letting the reader do all the thinking, and with that annoying tone of voice you sound like you are part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. So where do you think most authors do? Write in 1st Person.

While I would like to imagine writers doing something fairly clever in this style alone (I remember using this style for my first short story), I tend to think there are fairly larger problems whenever someone decides pursue writing out in this venture. First, the largest hurdle most writers don’t tend to do within the first five pages is establishing a relatively low to moderate ego. Out of the dozens of free ‘Smashwords’ e-books I have read, I can say two things: (1) a large portion of writers use the first person aspect and (2) they tend to demonstrate a large ego in their size of writing.

Despite the fact that I share plenty of personal opinions throughout these posts using the ‘I’ pronoun, I am quite certain that you would get quick sick of my writing style and immediately dismiss the rest of the post because you would think that I have some relatively large ego. That tends to be the major problem from the use of 1st person.

Second, the largest problem with this style usage is the lack of conveying the right information to the reader. Namely, the person who is sharing a personal perspective winds up reflecting their personal feelings, not what happened. Though feelings and initial reactions are part of the aspects of the protagonist, they ought not to be the ‘central’ focus of a good novel.

Parker

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