The Perplexity of the Narrative Point of View

Remember the historical novel I’ve been writing? I submitted a few chapters to my on-line critique group a little more than a week ago, and have been reviewing the comments over the past few days. Overall, I’m very encouraged with their feedback and am really happy with how the story is shaping up.

One of my critique members suggested I change the narrative point of view from first person to third person. Another member agreed with this. My writing leans toward the lyrical (Nothing like my blog writing…is this a shocker to anyone? ), and I think the idea is to switch the point of view so the overall narration will be lyrical, rather than just through the main character’s voice.

And of course to keep things interesting, another critique member urged me to keep this piece in first person. She liked the intimacy of the piece and thought I would lose the lyrical quality if I changed this to third person.

So…what to do, besides pace back and forth? The only answer for me is to write a few chapters in third person and then compare the two POV’s.

I have to tell you, I love my critique group. They have given me such great feedback on three other manuscripts, which are all in various stages of revision. I even changed the narrative point of view (from third person to first person) for one of these manuscripts, and the piece is stronger for it. So I don’t mind reworking a piece. It’s actually fun for me and helps me get to know the story even better.

A couple days ago, I started to rewrite this manuscript in third person. To say challenging, is putting it mildly. However, if anything, it’s a great exercise.

Which narrative point of view do you prefer to read or write?

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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