By: Carrie Lynn Lewis
I love writing in first person. My two favorite manuscripts are written first person. My favorite one is written first person male and that lead character is my favorite son. He’s also head strong, opinionated, and difficult to manage, but that’s another post!
Writing in first person comes with inherent risks. It’s such a turn off to some people, they won’t even consider a novel written in first person.
Some publishers, editors, and agents have the same reaction.
The first person point of view naturally limits the amount of information you can share with your readers. Because one character is telling the story, that character can tell only what he or she experiences, knows or assumes.
First person also, therefore, challenges the writer by forcing him or her to find creative and believable ways to present necessary information to the character and, through the character, to the reader.
But there is another aspect of first person story telling that’s more important than all the regular rules.
What is this most egregious of writing errors?
Putting yourself too far forward in the writing.
We can’t avoid showing up in our work. It’s just not possible. The stories we write reveal who we are and what we believe about the world. The things we write about and the way we write about them are influenced by our personal beliefs. They are part of what makes our author voice unique.
But there’s a huge difference between the platform on which your stories are written (your worldview) and you standing up on that platform and shouting your worldview to all and sundry.
The first is highly recommended.
The second is not.
. . .
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