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First Person or Third Person Romance?

by on January 16, 2015

Lately, I’ve been hooked on the Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson. Unfortunately as with most series, I find that I’ve started somewhere in the middle. ( I’ll probably work my way to the end from where I am now and then loop back around.)

But had I started with the first book, I would have known about the very cool POV changes that Patterson uses. While it is written in multi-character POV, the reader sees through Lindsey Boxer’s eyes in the first person. Everyone else’s stories are told in the third person. Though this took a few chapters to understand, I’ve grown to like it.

And whenever I see a device used in a book, I wonder if it would work for me and my stories.

Actually, I haven’t read many first person romances. At the moment, I can only think of two.

One was a sweet contemporary with a mystery thrown in. I felt that the story worked great with first person mainly because the heroine and I were a lot a like – caring, smart and a little goofy. I could see myself doing the same thing in her shoes. So when she shakes hands with the hero for the first time and starts rattling through math facts to keep from giggling, I laughed for her and with her. Could the scene have been written in the third person and have the same effect on me? Sure, it was funny. Would I have remembered it? Maybe not.

The other first person romance was a contemporary erotic weekend between virtual strangers. I didn’t connect with this story even though it is usually more to my liking than the sweet ones. Honestly, I kept thinking – I would never get in that cab!  I would never do A, B or C! I had to remind myself that this wasn’t me but the heroine. And in the end, little else stuck with me except for – I wouldn’t do that! In this case, I believe I would have enjoyed the story better if it were she and not I.

I find that’ in general, I prefer most stories told in the third person. It allows me as a reader to not automatically make a value judgement of the character’s choices. Of course that’s just me as one reader.

Now me as a writer, I want to scretch mystelf! Take a look at what has been tacked to my writing board.

WritingBoard

We’ll see how it goes!

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