Sunday, April 17, 2011
Is it narcissistic to use first POV?
Some authors agree that first-person narrative could be unreliable. But, isn’t life unreliable anyway? Think of great books such as The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn, The Sun Also Rises, to name a few, which are written in the first-person narrator. Do you think they would have been so effective written in a different POV?
As one of my mentors said, “It’s as if you’re looking through the lens of a camera.” What a great analogy! It’s helped me detach from my protagonist and, in turn, avoid sneaking in my own voice (the author’s voice). Writing this way narrows the possibility from getting inside each character’s mind.
I usually stick to the POV that feels comfortable, but this can be tricky even for seasoned writers. Sometimes my mentors suggest changing the POV of my finished stories to make them flow better or be more captivating. I try writing several paragraphs, including dialogue, from each POV. I know immediately what feels right for my way of storytelling. I find this exercise very helpful.
Which POV do you prefer to use in your stories?