Writing Tips #12 Sacha Rants About the Third Person POV

third person POV

Sacha hates the third person. And she sits tapping at keys on the keyboard all she can think about are the times she has talked aloud or talked about herself in the third person.

“Everyone says you’re mad if you talk about yourself in the third person,” she exclaimed aloud.

Annoyed Sacha waved her hands angrily in the air. Irritation brewing at the thought of how long (weeks) she has tried to write this post. Her aim, was to write the whole thing in the third person, but as she jabs the keys and her blood slowly begins froths and bubble in frustration, doubt settles in… Sacha isn’t sure she can even write consistently in the third person.

Sacha wonders why some people like writing in the third person. She knows that like everything there are fashions in writing. There has been a fashion for writing in the third person for some time, but the last five years has seen a dramatic turn around with the like of young adult fantasy and dystopian trilogies taking centre stage in the popularity stakes.

And amen to that, Sacha thought.

What provoked Sacha to write this post, was her attempt at reading ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfield, a book that has been on her ‘to read’ pile for some time. A book that to all intents and purposes should be right up her alley. But as she read it, she became more and more frustrated at the style of writing. It was, of course, written in the third person.

Of course Sacha isn’t trying to be biased, some of her favourite books are written in the third person. However, this particular book pushed her buttons. So much so, she genuinely screen shot particular passages and had to angrily text them to a friend who had read the book.

“But this just sounds ridiculous,” she whined, “don’t you find the repetition of the name ‘Tally’ annoying and disingenuous?”

The phrases that made her send these messages were something like this:

‘Tally found herself wincing’

‘Tally found she hadn’t forgotten to bring the plate’

Sacha doesn’t want to be mistaken, she actually likes the concept in the book, and is going to attempt to finish it… at some point. But ‘Tally found she hadn’t forgotten to bring the plate’,

“REALLY??” Sacha shouted cringing.

This is the perfect example of why Sacha hates the third person. First of all, why didn’t an editor pick this up? Sacha thought indignantly. Particularly because she has her doubts about whether it’s grammatically correct. It doesn’t exactly flow, Sacha would hope that authors at least attempt to set an example for how young adults should write English.

Enough, Sacha thought, before she ran out of steam writing in the third person. Using someones name seems disingenuous, it’s impersonal. Sacha likes nothing better than feeling like she is in the head of a character. Like she becomes the character. Sacha doesn’t think you can get that as well in the third person. Playing God, and writing like your God, if you write in the third person, is just a bit arrogant if you ask Sacha. Ok, perhaps she’s exaggerating a bit, but you can see her point… just read her overly annoying, written in the third person post!

13 comments

  1. Sacha gets my vote. Not only am I more comfortable inside a single head for the whole story, but I also enjoy the challenge of only seeing what my character sees, only hearing what she hears and, above all else, only knowing what she knows (gender is not relevant; my first book has a female lead, my second a male – heck, the lead character doesn’t always have to be human, or even animate).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree, I much prefer being in one persons head, I think it makes for better description and more depth to the book. Otherwise you get a kind of omniscient God like feel to a book and I don’t like that I like to get to the nitty gritty of emotions of that one character you grow to love or hate!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funnily enough my WIP started out with a different main character as the protagonist and I couldn’t work out why it wasn’t working. Then I cut them out all together! So they aren’t even in the book! It was like a epiphany when I realised!

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  2. I love the way you wrote this post! You certainly get your point across.

    Personally, l never really had a POV preference. I like writing in first person better only because, as you said, you’re closer to that character. However, if there are side characters l want to get close to, l’d have to do that through third person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I had to try really hard though, because I cant stand writing in the third person, so it doesnt come naturally. I guess it ended up fairly sarcastic! At least it made me giggle by the time i ended up re reading it. I do agree about getting closer to the person though, i think it brings a depth to the book, there used to be a big fashion in the literature world for third person, im just grateful that its now going out of fashion! 🙂

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    1. Lol thanks Esther! You wouldnt believe how long it took me to write though… WEEKS! Literally! I tried something new though… I wrote in the third person! Hated every minute… But I did it! Lol, had a giggle too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hehe 🙂 glad it made you laugh, that was kind of the intention 🙂 it was quite good trying to do it and pushing myself out my comfort zone even if it was a struggle. And loool! Apparently im really not a fan! :p

        Liked by 1 person

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