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Problems with Point of View

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Miss Moppet
Posts: 1726
Joined: April 2009
Location: North London

Update and thanks

Post by Miss Moppet » Fri June 5th, 2009, 2:22 pm

First, thank you all so very much for your advice and encouragement.

I certainly have heard that agents and publishers are more resistant to first person, but with this book it seems to be different (for agents at least - I haven't got as far as getting feedback from publishers yet). The idea of rewriting the book in the first person came from an agent originally and another agent, who doesn't like the second draft for pretty much the reasons I don't myself, has said she would like to look at a third draft written in the first person.

So I'm going to rework the book and resubmit as soon as I have finished a sizeable chunk of it. I can always go back to the original version if it doesn't work. I decided to try writing the first 500 words last night, starting at a relatively late point in the story - with the central character embroiled in a crisis which the rest of the book will then lead up to. To my surprise (because writing has been like swimming through treacle lately) I got caught up in it and ended up writing 2,000 words - the whole first chapter. It feels so much fresher, and the central character is becoming much more real and vivid. I'm discovering so many things about her that I never knew. It's almost like she was annoyed with me before for not letting her tell her own story and was holding back - if that makes any sense. This is a very new style for me as I've always written in the third person before, but it's helpful as I was indeed feeling a trifle jaded.

There will be one place in the story where I anticipate some difficulty - the central character is imprisoned and the other characters are trying to prove her innocence, so she can't tell us what they are up to because she's in the Bastille. But there may be a way round it. Possibly one or more of the other characters could be called on to solve the problem by narrating sections of the book.

Isn't it astonishing how many variations on viewpoint there are? I will pay special attention to it in my reading from now and will definitely look at the Donald Maass book and Susan Howatch too.

Thank you again and best wishes to all

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