Point of View
I have been working feverishly on The Isle for almost ten months. I began writing in March of 2017 and have been writing in my free time ever since. About a month ago, before the holidays I hit a wall. I was worried that I wasn’t a skilled enough writer to properly tell the story I wanted to tell—which is a valid concern that new writers should be aware of. It isn’t a bad thing, just a sign that you should put the story aside and pick it up again at a time when you’re prepared to tell the story.
The Isle is built as a series, has a lot of working parts, and quite a few characters and creatures. For nine months I went on and crafted a good enough story, but I was feeling a huge disconnect from the characters. After attending my writing group, I realized that the disconnect could be due the POV. The Isle is written in first-person which felt completely natural when I began the story. But, like most stories, I encountered problems that needed answers, which usually came in the form of another plot thread or character, and in turn, creates another POV.
Now, I am not sure changing the POV from first to third will fix the problem, but I did a minor writing exercise this weekend that made me realize it could be the problem. Wicked Webs is written in the third-person and I feel so ingrained in those characters and can pin point exactly their motivations and desires. When I try to find motivations and desires for The Isle, it feels ambiguous and blurry.
I purchased this book and am going to start writing a couple chapters in third person to see if that fixes the disconnect. If not, I believe the problem is my writing skill, which means I will put the project aside and work on other projects and exercises to increase my knowledge of the craft.
To be completely honest, the thought of going through thousands of words and changing the POV scares the shit out of me—it’s daunting in the very least.
When I thought that it could be a skill-level problem, I was disappointed and upset, which is why I think I left it for so long. Avoid it and maybe it’ll go away, right? (LOL). I spent so long on it and if I didn’t have that project that I poured everything into, what would I do? Then I realized, that if I truly wanted to be a writer and call myself a writer, these are things that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. Not only setbacks, but when one idea goes down the drain, you will always need/have another one on deck. That’s what’s great about being a writer—ideas are never hard to come across!
So, I put The Isle aside with no hard feelings and picked up another project/idea I had lined up. Side note: I keep a running list of ideas in the back of all of my notebooks when they pop into my head.
Today is the day I embark on the task of changing the POV from first-person to third-person personal. I think I made four cups of coffee, meal-prepped three meals, cleaned the stove, created a playlist, (wrote this blog post), and had an in-depth conversation with my dog about how cute he is, all before I worked up the courage to do it. But…. Here it goes! I will update you on the progress!
What POV do you prefer to write in? Do you write in other POVs to challenge yourself?