Writing in the First Person

me

I’m deep into writing another book—a sequel to Ant-Lands.  This is by popular request.  “Honey, write a sequel to Ant-Lands,” was a popular request of my husband’s.  I don’t usually read sequels myself, having formed an unfavorable opinion of them when I was six years old and wasted a week of my young life on the insipid Heidi Grows Up; but I feel like I owe my husband something for being my most faithful and supportive reader.  He once compared my work favorably to that of Joseph Conrad, his own preferred author, and though I don’t believe for a moment that he really thinks I’m in Conrad’s class, the memory of his heroic attempt to sound sincere when he said it is something I will always treasure.

Just to make a change from Ant-Lands, which was written in the third person, I’m writing the sequel in the first person.  I admit to feeling a certain hesitance about this—not because I don’t like writing in the first person (witness this blog), but because I’m haunted by a remark from a friend concerning the first-person point of view.

Her name was Julie, and Julie had given up reading a novel written in the first person because, she reported, it confused her.  She said, “The book kept saying, ‘I did this; and then I did that’; and I kept thinking, ‘no I didn’t!’”

Now, I have never had this problem.  In the same circumstances, if my brain says anything, it says, “Yeah, I totally did do that, and lots more!”; but are there many Julies out there?  By writing in the first person, am I taking a chance on limiting my future sales?

Julie and I are eager to hear from anyone who has more information on this important topic.

Author: genevieve one

Originally trained in Classical Studies, I now work at a major research university translating Science into Standard English. I write novels because . . . well . . . I can't stop!

3 thoughts on “Writing in the First Person”

  1. That’s curious. When I read first-person, I’ve never imagined myself as the main character. For me, an excellent first-person story feels like listening to my best friend/sister/someone I admire eagerly tell me about something crazy that happened to them.

    If it’s not written well, I put it down. If it’s awesome, you won’t be able to pry it from my fingers no matter what point-of-view it’s in.

    My opinion: if your story is amazingly crafted, the POV won’t matter. (But that’s just me.)

    Liked by 1 person

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