Tag Archives: POV

5 Lessons in First Person POV

5 First Person POV lessonsI made a promise I would review every book I read, and I will but, you know me – rule breaker! So I thought I would do this one a little differently. I am going to dissect and share what writing lessons I learnt from this book: Breathe, by Sarah Crossan. And I hope whilst I am doing this, it forms a kind of review.

This book is written in a unique way using the first person POV, so the focus of this lesson review will be on perfecting the first person POV.

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Writing Tips #12 Sacha Rants About the Third Person POV

third person POV

Sacha hates the third person. And she sits tapping at keys on the keyboard all she can think about are the times she has talked aloud or talked about herself in the third person.

“Everyone says you’re mad if you talk about yourself in the third person,” she exclaimed aloud.

Annoyed Sacha waved her hands angrily in the air. Irritation brewing at the thought of how long (weeks) she has tried to write this post. Her aim, was to write the whole thing in the third person, but as she jabs the keys and her blood slowly begins froths and bubble in frustration, doubt settles in… Sacha isn’t sure she can even write consistently in the third person.

Sacha wonders why some people like writing in the third person. She knows that like everything there are fashions in writing. There has been a fashion for writing in the third person for some time, but the last five years has seen a dramatic turn around with the like of young adult fantasy and dystopian trilogies taking centre stage in the popularity stakes.

And amen to that, Sacha thought.

What provoked Sacha to write this post, was her attempt at reading ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfield, a book that has been on her ‘to read’ pile for some time. A book that to all intents and purposes should be right up her alley. But as she read it, she became more and more frustrated at the style of writing. It was, of course, written in the third person.

Of course Sacha isn’t trying to be biased, some of her favourite books are written in the third person. However, this particular book pushed her buttons. So much so, she genuinely screen shot particular passages and had to angrily text them to a friend who had read the book.

“But this just sounds ridiculous,” she whined, “don’t you find the repetition of the name ‘Tally’ annoying and disingenuous?”

The phrases that made her send these messages were something like this:

‘Tally found herself wincing’

‘Tally found she hadn’t forgotten to bring the plate’

Sacha doesn’t want to be mistaken, she actually likes the concept in the book, and is going to attempt to finish it… at some point. But ‘Tally found she hadn’t forgotten to bring the plate’,

“REALLY??” Sacha shouted cringing.

This is the perfect example of why Sacha hates the third person. First of all, why didn’t an editor pick this up? Sacha thought indignantly. Particularly because she has her doubts about whether it’s grammatically correct. It doesn’t exactly flow, Sacha would hope that authors at least attempt to set an example for how young adults should write English.

Enough, Sacha thought, before she ran out of steam writing in the third person. Using someones name seems disingenuous, it’s impersonal. Sacha likes nothing better than feeling like she is in the head of a character. Like she becomes the character. Sacha doesn’t think you can get that as well in the third person. Playing God, and writing like your God, if you write in the third person, is just a bit arrogant if you ask Sacha. Ok, perhaps she’s exaggerating a bit, but you can see her point… just read her overly annoying, written in the third person post!

Writing Tips #7 don't become a snob

snob

I feel like these writing tips are becoming more like ‘heres a bunch of lessons I learnt from all the mistakes I’ve made’ as opposed to actual tips. But hopefully someone out there appreciates them anyway.

The lesson I learnt this week comes from a place of frustration. I don’t think there is actually anything I can do about it. Let me explain…

When I started writing, I didn’t appreciate that it would affect my reading. And it has. In a big way.

I have shamefully become a snob. I used to be able to muddle my way through anything, even if I didn’t like it, I would persist and find something to like. But now…Now that I am super critical of my own writing, and I am trying to pick up all the intricacies of the super famous or spectacularly fantastic; when I come to read the books of anyone less than exceptional I find myself getting really REALLY annoyed. Take the book I’m reading currently. Uglies, by Scott Westerfield. There is nothing wrong with this book, its fairly infamous, and written reasonably well, obviously well enough to be published and selling books. BUT It’s annoying the shit out of me, for reasons I will tell you all about in another post.

My point is, under normal circumstances I would adore this book, it’s exactly the type of genre I love, it’s YA, fantasy, dystopian and a trilogy or actually more like 5 books or something. BUT, because my stupid brain is trying to absorb all the tricks of the trade, I now find myself deconstructing books, reading line by line for descriptions, techniques, characterisation, POV, scene setting and foreshadowing techniques.

I have lost my ability to read for the sake of reading. For the enjoyment. For the love of a good story.

My dream of being a writer, is utterly ruining my first love – reading.

I’m not sure what the lesson is here – because if you want to be a writer, you need to read.

But if anyone has the answer – Please for the sake of my sanity tell me how to stop this snobbery!