Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where'd She Go?

Photo by Dan Edwards

So I'm writing in 3rd person for this new project. I've done it before. You see, although all the books in my past two series are 1st person, the hero's point of view (POV) is always in 3rd person. So I can do it...theoretically.

The problem I'm running into is that although I understand how to write in that POV, its never been the main POV of my novel.  Since he is the love interest and invariable described, scrutinized, and drooled over by my 1st person heroine, you already know what he acts like, looks like, feels like when he's holding her...or rather, you -- the first person heroine.

But!  I'm having a heck of a time introducing character description and even internal musings in 3rd as the main point of view.  I feel, as does my critique partner, that the main character is...dim?

Not dim-witted...but not as vivid as my 1st person characters.  Am I struggling with deep point of view? Do I not identify with her as much because of that?  Is it that its a historical-ish type of book and that makes me falter?

I DON"T KNOW!!!!   

I'm struggling here and this is very new to me. I usually really plot out my characters and fully understand them and their motivations and this time is no different. I've got her down pat. I just can't get her out of my head as fully realized as I want.

Maybe I need to rewrite my current 16,000 word manuscript as 1st person before I go any further.  I mean...its only chapter 10 out of 40 or so.  One quarter of the way isn't too much to re do, but...

It totally is.  I don't like the idea of rewriting that much. Truly horrifying prospect.

Anyway...I know a lot of you are 3rd person authors or readers and I would truly love some thoughts. 

Blessings ~ rb


Donna Hole said...

Writing the heroine in 3rd is no different than writing the hero. You do have a little more leeway with description though, because the author is not limited to just what she can see, touch, hear. You can step outside her, just a little.

For instance, in 1st she could not see her face redden and her eyes blaze with fury: my face went scarlet and my eyes turned icy blue with rage. For third person, however you could write it like someone else seeing it> her face went scarlet and her eyes hardened to an icy blue.

Instead of using phrases like I felt, I saw, I heard; you can be more descriptive: Strands of violin music masked the soft whisper of her slippers as she glided through the marble entry way. She stopped at the slightly open double doors and peered through the crack, catching a glimpse of Lord Carver's curly dark heard as he bent over his music, the bow drawing a sigh from her lips as he held the lonesome sound.

As with 1st POV, you need to decide which character is the important one to follow in a scene, as you don't want to be head jumping his/her thoughts and feelings in each paragraph or scene.

She will still think and feel see the same as with 1st POV, only using she/her instead of I/me.

If you want to send me a few pages or a chapter that has both their perspectives, I'd be happy to give you some feedback on how to make your 3rd POV heroine as vibrant as when she in 1st POV.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Oh are the best! I will totally send you something right now. :) Thanks!

Laura Marcella said...

I usually write in 3rd person. It's my favorite POV to read (though of course I read anything, but I always like it best in 3rd) so it feels natural to write in 3rd. But if this doesn't feel right to you, then try a couple chapters, or just scenes, in 1st and see how it goes. It might be that this story's character's POV should be told in 1st person.

Good luck!!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Raquel Byrnes said...

Thanks Laura! I'm thinking of writing the first two chapters in 1st person and seeing if I like it better. :)

Eric W. Trant said...

How brave are you, Raquel?

Wait, I know that answer. You are damned brave, and I would follow you into the darkest, deepest, drippiest, spookiest cave, and when the bear comes, I'll trip you and run.

So, as for the POV, let me appeal to that hero inside you and pitch this: Mix them up.

Yes, I said that. I did it in my current piece. I mixed 3rd throughout, with a few chapters of 2nd (yes, 2nd) to draw in the reader. Editors and readers alike say this worked swimmingly.

If you want a more famous example, try Treasure Island. It's free on your Kindle. RLS wrote in multiple 1st POV from a journal-like view.

I usually write in 3rd, but if I felt like doing a chapter in 1st to mix it up, I would.

Be brave. Be strong. Don't make me trip you and run.

- Eric

Raquel Byrnes said...

Oh Eric. I can always count on you to kick me in the bum and tell me to just get to it.

I will most definitely heed your advice.

As for tripping...AS IF!! I am already running, Buddy. :)

DEZMOND said...

if you're asking me as a book translators I can tell you that I usually hate translating first person :) especially when it is written in present tense. It's a nightmare!