I'm currently in the middle of writing an idea and I've suddenly wondered if I'm writing in the right POV. As I'm writing I keep wondering if maybe the story would sound better if it was in first person instead of writing in third person.
The problem that I am having with changing over is this - my first chapter is one that I think brings a whole lot a mystery to my story and if I do switch from third person to third person I'm probably going to have to cut that first chapter because it's done before the main character is old enough to talk... I honestly don't know what to do.
I need some help!
Which is better for YA - first or third... and if I do switch to first how can I make my first chapter work?
Why do you feel like first person would be stronger than third? What is third person lacking, and what do you think your story would gain from first person? Before you change the POV, I'd make sure that the problem isn't something more deeply embedded in the writing that isn't coming to light the way it should.
There are lots of options to play with. For example, if the first chapter functions as a prologue, you could keep it in third person and write the rest in first. And don't be afraid of cutting. It's scary, but it can be so effective! Cutting/deleting one of the most powerful tools an editing writer has. I chopped 2 characters and the last 200 pgs of my WIP (2/3 of the original material) because I thought it was best for the story--now I have to write about 70 new pages of material, but it's worth it to get the story told in the best way possible!
Good luck with your WIP!
Ehhh, I do this all the time! I get about 15 thousand words in and this little part of my brain goes "It would sound better in first person" OR "it would sound better in 3rd person". I'm waiting for the day when I get the little memo from my brain saying "It would be better if you wrote it while standing on your head, singing waltzing matilda and finish by doing the spilts".
Anyway... thanks for your input! The thing with cutting the first chapter is that I don't think I can... Its not like it's completely usless or anything it actually starts the story off kind of like how the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosphers Stone (spelling?) starts the story off... I seriously don't think that it could be done or else I'm going to have to find another way to bring in one of my baddies and there are other thinks that I need to think about as well when it comes to cutting the first chapter.
As for switching POV's well I might end up finishing this draft and then going through and seeing if it sounds any better coming from first person instead of third.
Thanks for your input Ash!
I think Ash's "prologue" is a good way to go, this may be the wrong way to go, but I think you have to write the story the way that it feels natural to you. Going back and changing it all to first person after you write it is going to be a huge pain. We discussed the different types of third person POV a few weeks ago.... you can get so close in with third person that it's practically first person....it's just a matter of playing with the narrative distance, maybe you need zoom in instead of trying to switch to first person. When you love a chapter though, it's really hard to see it go, especially when you are really absorbed in a work. Once you finish the whole piece, and take a little break from it, you'll know better whether or not you need the scene or you can get the info out another way later. All this rambling just to say, yes, I think finishing the draft and then seeing what happens is best.
I think sometimes the little voices in our head are there for a reason. If you think the story would be stronger in first person, try rewriting a portion of it that way. If you think the first part is essential, can you layer it in as you go using dialogue or internal monologue?
"It would be better if you wrote it while standing on your head, singing waltzing matilda and finish by doing the spilts". If you do this, please film it and post it on youtube.
"It would be better if you wrote it while standing on your head, singing waltzing matilda and finish by doing the spilts". If you do this, please film it and post it on youtube. --- If this ever happens I don't think I'll have enough time to video it.
Ahh I had the same conundrum awhile ago, only my whole YA book was written in third person omniscient at the time.
Now, the big difference between third person omniscient and third person limited is that omniscient is more like a narrator and limited comes from the character's point of view.
In fact, third person limited is not a far cry from first person, and is used by Cassandra Clare in all of her books. The result? She's able to have multiple characters tell the store, all from their points of view, without switching from first to third.
Think about your story again, can it be told by one person entirely or does it need multiple view points?
I hope this helps!
I agree with Rhiannon that it depends on how many points of view you need. My first MS needed to be third person because I wanted to be able to show different characters in different scenes and not be married to one person's viewpoint. What I am writing now is first-person. Although I have secondary characters that are important, I didn't feel like I needed to use third-person to show them in scenes separate from my main character. This current story was really meant to be told through my MC's point of view. I just finished listening to the audiobook of The Penderwicks. It's a good example of why third person was needed. Since the story involves four sisters who are not always together, third person was the right way to go. Hope this helps.
I don't think there is a better POV for YA. That being said, I changed my WIP from third person to first after a few chapters because I felt like I just couldn't get into the voice. I loved the immediacy it afforded me. Once I switched over into first person, it soared. It really sucks you've already written 15,000 words of your story and you're feeling this way. Have you tried switching to first and writing a chapter to see if you like the fit of that voice better? Also, you might be able to find a way to make your first chapter stay in--what if your main character is looking back on this event and telling someone about it, even though he or she was too young to know about it at the time? They could be reading an old newspaper, or someone from the neighborhood could be talking about it--the possibility is there. You will definitely have to rewrite it, and I know the thought of that is horrible if you're really attached to the chapter. I hate cutting parts, but in the end, you know you need to do what's best by your story. Sometimes just taking some some off from that part of your story and coming back to it several weeks later can help you see the issue more clearly.