Wednesday, April 10, 2013

writing-in-third-person blues

To preface, I just wanna say I love reading both 1st and 3rd point of views equally, if it's done well. As I reader, I don't discriminate. This post, however, is dedicated to all my fellow authors/ writers/ storytellers who may have had trouble writing in 3rd person.

Showing more than one POV was extremely important to me when I decided to write my Keeper series—and I don't regret it one bit. It wouldn't be the same if it were written solely within Kennedy's head, at least I think so ;) The problem is that writing in 3rd is extremely unnatural for me, sometimes leading to screaming, raging temper tantrums where I feel like pulling my hair out!!!

Venting officially over.

Let's get to what this is really about: Methods that HELP 

I've discovered a few tricks that work for me, and I'd like to talk about them because a.) I love to list things and b.) These few simple tricks have helped shape my stories, making me a better writer because of it. Now what works for one won't for everyone, but my hope is that by sharing my experience, other aspiring writers won't have to go through the same frustrating challenges I faced (because I'm awesome that way). 

1.  Envision The Emotions Attached to Your Scene. 
  • Before you ever write a single word, decide whose head you're in. Make it fun, like you're holding a contest and you're characters are the contestants. Choose your winner based on who gives off the loudest, rawest emotions. Their prize: They control the scene. 

2. Choose Your Words Carefully. 
  • Even within the inner monologue, people don't sound alike. Sentences, dialogue and phrases should all be structured differently based on the character. Keep a journal or side document of the styles you use for each character. 
3. Write Your Scene
  • And then write it again. Unless you feel like you nailed it with little angel wings all aflutter inside your heart, write it again. This time, from someone else’s perspective. Then compare the two POVs. Which one shows the information you want to show? Which character do you relate to better?—>This is a big one. Readers will lose interest if they can’t relate in some way. One way I know a scene was done well is if I find myself holding my breath. If you’re feeling the emotions right along with the character, chances are, you’re readers will too.


Sometimes writing in first person 
and then rewriting in third helps 
with getting inside your character's head.

For those of you that write, I hope this helps! 

Quote of the day: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”–Vince Lombardi


  1. Iam a big fan of multiple points Of view but like you I don't discriminate :)

  2. Thanks for the tips. :) I don't really write linear... I kind of write scenes here and there, and while I do that I *sometimes* change POVs in different scenes to see what better evokes the emotions. Then, I'll see overall which POV worked best and go with it. :)