Writing in First Person

I’m just under 14k words on my WIP. It’s the first time I’ve used the first person narrative, after being inspired to do so by the James Patterson Masterclass.

My findings are that it’s a mixed bag. I feel much more connected to the main character than when I write in the third person limited point of view. But I feel disconnected from the story somehow; it’s like I don’t have enough room to describe scenes without the main character sounding like a complete bore.

When I write in the third person limited, I can certainly get into the character’s experience, but it always feels like there’s a certain amount of distance. For this story, I didn’t want the reader to feel safe. I wanted them to feel like they were part of the action rather than watching a movie about it (or reading a book).

I probably wouldn’t have noticed the limitations of the first person had I not had to write a scene the main character wasn’t in, which was done in the third person limited (don’t tell me about the rules; I CAN’T HANDLE THE RULES!). In this scene, I didn’t feel as connected to my character, but I did feel like I was present at the scene.

Which do you find more intriguing? Do you want to be more in touch with the main character and what they’re going through, or do you want to experience the scene from a safe distance?

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