Following on from my previous post aboutpoints of view, I’ve done a little more thinking and research into the subject.
I was a little disappointed that only one person responded to my poll, so whoever you are, thank you! You preferred the 3rd person point of view.
There are three types of 3rd person;
- Omniscient – A narrative written as if the story is told from the powers-that-be or god’s point of view. Basically an all knowing, all seeing, wide narrative that can encompass anything and everything.
- Objective – This is similar to watching a film. The narrative describes the scene but not the character’s emotions, so all emotion must always be shown rather than told.
- Limited omniscient/Multiple point of view – This is the most popular and the only 3rd point of view that I have used. The narrative describes the scene but can also dip in and out of different characters’ heads. This means that the reader can be given information that the characters don’t know but also get to go inside the character’s heads and find out what they’re thinking and feeling.
In my previous post I mentioned that it is commonly accepted on the internet that 1st person point of view is very difficult to pull off but the one that most beginning novelists choose. I don’t relate to this. All of my writing was in the 3rd person until I wrote Previously-Known-As-Silver. This is my only piece of long work to be written in the 1st person. Unfortunately it’s also the first novel that I’ve seriously submitted to publishers and agents (my first novel was written in the 3rd person and got me my first rejections but my heart wasn’t in the submitting).
While visiting a forum I regularly check into, I was reminded once again of how subjective writing is. One person was complaining about the use of the 3rd person point of view in the A Song of Fire and Ice novels. This is not something I would have ever expected. I read Game of Thrones with complete respect for the structure. George R. R. Martin dedicates each chapter to one character's point of view, for example one chapter is told entirely from Aryas point of view and the next from Tyrions. I found it fascinating yet here on the forum there was someone complaining about it. A discussion then broke out, from people defending the 3rd person and Martin’s choice of how to use it to those simply discussing the validity of the structure and pointing out all of the different and, sometimes, wonderful ways to use a point of view.
Well there you go. There it is, in a nutshell. Once again, a discussion on writing can only be concluded with the fact that writing is subjective. Write what you know, write what you love and write it for you.
Of course, that’s complete rubbish if you want to get published but it’s an excellent starting point. If you want to get published you must study the market. What authors do you want to be compared to and what do they do?
Last night I opened up my latest novel and did a print preview, just to get an overall image of the book as a whole. It was only then that I realised I was head hopping. Naughty me.
So I have decided to take a leaf out of Joe Abercrombie’s book, as I’m currently reading The Heroes. I like how Abercrombie makes every chapter a scene from a different character’s point of view. I don’t have as many characters as his novels but I am hoping that using his method will give my characters an extra dimension by allowing me and the reader to really focus on them for a chapter at a time, and I imagine it will also change the plot slightly, as the characters take me in new directions during the rewrite. It’s made me more excited about my book, not only to feel I’m overcoming a hurdle but that it might actually be as good as I want it to be.
Where does that leave Previously-Known-As-Silver? I don’t know yet. I still feel adamant that this is a story that should be written in the 1st person. While a 3rd person point of view may give the plot a bit of added depth, my original mission was to get into my protagonist’s head. I would also like to go against the supposed theory that ‘1st person is for novices’ and be able to write an engaging novel in the 1st person.
Only time will tell which way I decide to go with this one.