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 http://www.megchittenden.com/writingtips/?pid=8 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...

9 comments:

  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 :)

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  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.

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  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.

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  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;)

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  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?

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  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. :)

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  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.

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  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"

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