Person the First:New Year, New POV

Cropped this picture to remove neck wrinkles. One of the drawbacks of first person narrative: the reader only sees what the narrator wants them to see!

Welcome to blog post 1.1! Here is how the blog will work.

  • On Monday, I’ll post a short description of the revision strategy for the week.
  • On Wednesday, I’ll share an example of my own original work along with my revision. I’ll invite you all to share your examples. I hope we can all learn from each other.
  • On Friday, we’ll have some fun with words. I’m looking forward to this!

We begin our exploration of point of view by looking at the first person narrator. This, simply put, is when the person who is having the story happen to them is also the person telling the story. I’m writing to you now in the first person, because I’m using the pronoun I to describe what I’m thinking.

First person narration looks like this:

“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how
long precisely—having little or no money in my purse,
and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I
would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”

Of course, this is the opening of Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick. While there are drawbacks to the first person narrator, there are also many advantages to using the eye of the main character as a lens for the story. This narrator can bring a reader to an intimate understanding of the main character’s motivations, relationships, and even their flaws.

Challenge 1.1

Find a piece of writing that’s been deviling you. Switch the narrator to the first person.  It would look something like this:

Original: There were twins on the plane. They were dressed exactly alike. Their dresses were mid-calf with a-line skirts.

Revision:There were twins on the plane.  She is my twin. They dressed exactly alike.  We dress alike when we can. Their Our dresses were hit mid-calf with  and the a-line skirt flares away from our bodies because we like to be modest.

Notice the subtle change that the writing undergoes when I put myself into the narrator’s mind. I added the why about the way they dressed. Even if I choose to tell my story in the third person, I have given myself new material to work with by envisioning the story from the Point of View of one of the twins.

I believe revision strategies are the key to waking our brains up to new and exciting ideas.  I can’t wait to see all of your words!