I wrote my first story in the first person point of view. It was a conscious decision based on wanting to really experience things from inside my character’s mind. It took me close to a year to find the voice. When I did it was amazing. I’d play this game in my own mind. I would think about how my main character would react to the same things I was facing in a typical day. Family, friends, and co-workers were beginning to suspect I had gone crazy.
Writing in first person can be challenging as you can only write what the character sees, feels, and experiences. The words your reader takes on brings them into one perspective. And it better be one they enjoy as they have to live with this character until the end.
One of the things that helped me with writing from a sole character’s perspective was to read other first person narratives. DEAD END IN NORVELT (Jack Gantos), SCHOOLED (Gordon Korman), FLUSH (Carl Hiaasen), and WHEN YOU REACH ME & LIAR AND SPY (Rebecca Stead) all helped me become a better writer. From the Adult genre, ODD THOMAS (Dean Koontz) is a great first person tale and it has been made into a movie.
I know some people who don’t like first person type books, but a look at the current list of popular middle grade novels reveals a growing trend to write for this age group from a first person viewpoints. The recent ones well worth your time include: NAVIGATING EARLY (Clare Vanderpool); RUMP:THE STORY OF RUMPELSTILTSKIN (Liesl Shurtliff); PAPER BOY (Vince Vawter); SEVEN WONDERS BOOK 1: THE COLOSSUS RISES (Peter Larangis); BETTER NATE THAN NEVER (Tim Federle); and PI IN THE SKY (Wendy Mass).
As I continue to grow as a writer, the third person perspective intrigues me, but for now I am happy writing from inside someone’s head.