Point of view

The writing kind.

Point of view in writing is a strange thing.

For Secret of the Three Treasures, writing in first person was a really clear cut decision. It brought Tiernay’s voice into focus, and besides, Tiernay was an unreliable narrator, and I wanted everything filtered through her unreliable perceptions. First person kept me close to the story and to Tiernay.

Yet in another project I was working on, also with an unreliable narrator, going for first person turned the protagonist too whiny. Some distance was necessary to keep me from wanting to strangle her, and that meant a third person limited point of view.

I’m poking at a project now where first person also didn’t work–because it brought the reader too close to the story, and made some of the dark bits too hard to take.

But Bones of Faerie is in first person, and pulling back from that would have been flinching from the darkness, holding the reader at arm’s length from it, and that wouldn’t have worked either.

Strange stuff. I’ve yet to find any way to know the right point of view for a story besides trying one. And if that doesn’t work, trying another. (I’ve not even explored third person omniscient much; I’m mostly choosing between first person and third person limited.)

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