Sunday, May 31, 2009

First Person

I have been reading Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress. It is an interesting book. However, I don't quite agree with the chapter on First Person Viewpoint.

Now, I've never been very fond of first person. Even though I have some stories/novels in the first person it tends to be a very frustrating point of view. But at the same time I don't think the book did the viewpoint justice.

The book considers first person to be an artificial viewpoint. That people don't tell whole stories that way.

What I think that it misses on the topic of first person is that what it does best is draw the reader into one character. They get to see the action through the character's eyes, and in some ways experience the adventure vicariously through them.

I choose first person for the stories that I do for a reason. Like in my dreams it is one thing to watch someone else with mutated dna have fire come out of their palms. It is a very different experience to have it come out of my own palms as well as ice while the character I'm interacting with copies the actions. It is a different reading experience. Some stories work best in first person and that's why they should be written that way.