Friday, August 13, 2010

Thinking about third person POV

Tip of the day: A new and exciting blog is coming next week! Follow @YAContemps on twitter and all will be revealed SOON!

I can't believe it's the middle of August. How did this happen?

I haven't been writing lately. Just enjoying summertime, hanging out with my kids, working on a group project that's been taking lots of time, etc. But all the while, I've been trying to decide what my next project will be, so come September, when the kids are back in school, I can dive in.

I think I've finally found the next idea. That is no small feat. Ideas are hard for me! Of course, we'll see, because there are those things called false starts where I go 10-20 pages and decide the story isn't for me after all.

Anyway, at this point I know the story is YA. I know the basic premise. I know the title. I think I even know the first line.

What I don't know for sure is how I'm going to tell it. When you have a story idea, how do YOU decide how you're going to tell it? Is is the way the voice comes to you in your head? Or is it more than that? Something tells me it may be best to tell this new story in third person. Maybe even third person omniscient. What does that mean?

It means the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in the story, as opposed to third person limited, which is just one character's perspective.

It scares me to try writing a book this way, because I think you have to be a beautiful story teller. Or at the very least, an interesting one. Probably two of the most famous books told in this manner are THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak and THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS by E. Lockhart.

I put them on hold at the library so over the next month I can reread them and study how these authors wrote these amazing stories using an omniscient point of view.

I'm curious - how do you feel about third person in general, and if you've read the above books, what do you think of third person omniscient? Most YA today is written in first person. And yes, so far, all of my YA novels are written in first person. But I like stretching myself, trying new things. It keeps things interesting!

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


DeenaML said...

For some reason I don't mine 3rd person omniscient in adult fiction, but I like it less in kidlit. Maybe it's bc I expect my adult fic to be longer, wordier, etc, and that allows more time to get to know and care about multiple characters' voices. But for kidlit, I want to really connect with the MC and maybe one other person, if that makes sense, and I still want the books to be 300 pages-ish instead of 600 (generally, of course).

Emily Marshall said...

I don't mind 3rd person. I agree with Deena though, that i usually can only stand to get in the head of about one to three people. After that it gets confusing and in my opinion less interesting.

Good luck with your idea!