Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writing in Third Person

Frankly, I think writing in FIRST person point of view is MUCH easier than writing in third person. Why?

Here's my number one reason:

When referring to parents, do you write:
1. Abby's mother
2. Her mother
3. Mom

According to "Uncle Orson's Writing Class" you should use Mom (basically). To quote: "You refer to the parents by the names or titles that the point of view character would use."

But... according to you should use her mother (basically). To quote: "She was getting sick of her mom yelling at her for something that wasn't her fault."

What's your vote? I think I'm going with Uncle Orson. Back to the revisions...


  1. I say "her mom" more than mom. But sometimes, the story calls for the parents to be Mr. Lastname or Mrs. Lastname. I have a character in my novel, my MC's father, who goes by Captain Hall. He's referred to as Captain Hall or the Captain throughout the whole novel. For a scene he's called Gabriel, in a flashback before he becomes a captain.

    I think Uncle Orson works fine :)

  2. I would say depends on the genre / readership. Personally I would go with Meg, but if I were writing MG or YA, I might go with Uncle Orson. (I don't write MG or YA BTW!). In adult sci-fi and fantasy I would always use Meg's version.

  3. I used to say "her mom" or "her mother" but then I've switched to Mom and it feels more natural. Besides, it's easier to type. I write in 3rd person limited almost exclusively, and like it. :) Some editors and agents (and readers) actually don't like first person, I've heard.

  4. Great topic Margo! I've been dabbling in this lately with my own WIP. It was originally written in first person, but I've been messing around with third person. I still don't know what I want to do. They both sound okay, so I'm stick. I'd go with Uncle Orson though. Good luck;)

  5. My first two books were in 3rd person but didn't seem to have that intimate feel that 1st person doees. I don't like that the she's could get confusing or the he's depending on which POV your using. However, the mom thing, I agree with Uncle Orson.

    Good luck! How is your querying going for MANIFESTED?

  6. TC - this is where I am as well... stuck... but trying to move forward!

    Patricia - and thus the answer to your question about the query process for MANIFESTED. I originally wrote the ms in first person, and received 63 rejections. EEK! I set it aside and wrote a completely new ms THE EDUCATION OF THIA. I've gotten much further in the query process with this 2nd ms (currently have 3 agents considering the full). But, now I've gone back to MANIFESTED (because I LOVE IT) and I'm in the process of switching it to third person and revising it... again. So, once this revision is complete, I will begin again with the query letters. Or, who knows, maybe by then I will have an agent of my very own and I won't need to query again. :)

  7. I had that problem when writing a short story for a blogfest: My MC had a mother, and Mother had a mother, who the MC calls Grandmother but his mother calls Mother, and then Grandmother told a story about her mother, who she called Mother, but the MC's mother called Grandmother. On my first read-through after writing it, I got confused. :/ I think I sorted it all out in the end, though.

  8. I'd say that it depends on the tone I write in. (I always write in third person.)

    If the book is more serious/formal, I use "Her mother."

    If it's lighter, I use "Mom"