Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another look at first person.

This is a topic I have already covered but I found the word that I was looking for.

First Person = Experiential

What I like about first person is that it can make the reader feel like they are the protagonist, they are experiencing the story. It does have many limits, but as a way to write a novel it also has many positive aspects.

Something I found interesting was the reactions that children have when reading a first person story.  I used to work at an elementary school as a reading tutor. My students were from first grade up through third. I even had a first grader who tested into his grading level, which made me feel so proud. During tests they would have to read a story, timed, and then tell me what they read in order to test how much they retain. 

What I found very surprising is the gender of the main character that the students would guess. I would have thought that they would guess their own gender, but the truth is it varies with each story. There was no noticeable pattern to their versions of the story.

I think that it's great to have such openness when reading a story.


SM Blooding said...

Girl-child, why don't you have more comments on your blog? These are great blog entries.

I have to say that I was not a huge fan of first person for the longest time. I found it too limiting because I wanted a more 3rd person omniscent POV. Old-time fantasy nut here. Anyway! It wasn't until I started writing my latest YA series that I finally figured out 1st person. I mean, I read the books with 1st person and I read the how-to books. But...I'm a little...thick skulled, I guess.

I couldn't get a "fix" on my mc. I just couldn't. She's a teenager. I'm a mom. So my 3rd person limited POV sounded more like the mom talking about her stubborn, whiney, temperamental brat of a child instead of Riley talking about herself--and she doesn't see herself as any of that. *eye roll* Anyway! I tried 1st person and it worked smashingly well. AND I have an easier time reading 1st person now.

However, I still cannot read 1st person PRESENT tense. GADS! No. *shiver*