Perspectives

What do you think about first person perspective? I’ve been thinking recently that something I’m starting to write should actually be done in (at least) two different first person perspectives, which is a form I don’t think I’ve used since high school. And I don’t know why that is.

Then again, I suppose blogging is in a first person perspective, but that’s different. Writing in your own head is different to writing from a character’s head. But that said, I still haven’t used first person person for years, and it suddenly seems kind of difficult.

For years, I think I told myself that third person limited was the “proper” way to do things, but at the same time, first person is still quite popular, especially in crime stories, and in YA novels (which kind of both categorise what I’m doing).

Of course, there’s even second person perspective, which I’ve only ever seen twice — in a really old Ray Bradbury story, and very recently in “Halting State” by Charles Stross, a truly magnificent near-future SF novel that I finished just recently. He cribs from the style of 80s text adventure games to create three character perspectives that seem odd at first but you get used to very easily.

Back to what I’m doing … in a novel where the two main protagonists are extremely important, and their youthful perspectives both carry the story, but are also very different to each other, I think first person would probably work well (I’m actually writing this partially to convince myself of that fact). And I’m sure there is some commonly held idea that first person perspective is better for YA novels so that teen readers can identify with the characters, but I doubt anyone is quite that conniving as they write.

Anyway, it sounds like a plan. I have to start it like that just to see how it goes. It’s like blogging … in a way, and maybe that will help me find the right voice.

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