Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Point of View
Narrative Mode

1st person: The Narrator is a character within the story. Easy peasy.
2nd person: (rare): Narrator refers to one of the characters as "you", making the reader part of the story.
3rd person: The Narrator refers to characters as "he", "she", "they", but never says "I". They are often like a witness to the events, or could be told from a specific characters perspective, although again, not told in the 1st person.

1st and 3rd person being the most common, each has their pros and cons. Third person appears to have more flexibility, because it allows you to move around to different characters without getting stuck with one. When you are in 1st person mode, you have to follow that character in all their scenes, and never (or rarely) get to know what's going on elsewhere. However, sometimes third can be limiting. The narrative voice can convey feelings and thoughts, but sometimes readers like to be immersed in "being" that character. Sometimes the "I's" have it.

Usually, each genre seems to go with the flow and follow a norm. Urban fantasies are mostly told in 1st person. Paranormal romances (series books, in particular) seem to mostly be told in third person. There are outliers, of course, but that has been the norm from my reading experience. Usually an author sticks to their guns.

The biggest complaint of 1st person I've heard is that readers feel a little cheated. They'd love to be in another characters head, or at least know what they're feeling. Sometimes they get a little restless following the protagonist around. I feel the same way. That's why I've decided to write the story, the way I'd want to read it. All of my first person stories that I've written have third person POV. I think it adds depth, gives the reader a break, and allows you to part part of someone else's story.

I do them on either a break (indicated by ***) or a new chapter. This is another style which I considered may be a risk, but then again, this whole damn series has been nothing but a risk. Personally, I love writing my books this way. I do it only in a scene where the protagonist is not present, or they're unconscious. Otherwise, it's just weird.

In "STERLING", it allowed us to get in Adam's head. I wondered, "Who is this guy?" and "What was he thinking when he saw this woman running like crazy down a small town road?". Then in "TWIST", we not only got the side story of Knox, but we also got to see what was going on in Logan's head, and felt the protective emotions in a scene with Marco. So maybe in that scene, we felt a little more of his intent with her. In "IMPULSE", we get some Logan and Justus. I have to admit, writing Justus's scenes were the most difficult. Emotionally, that is. But I adore writing this man.


You will see more of this, and I hope it's a part of the read that you gain something from. We all have a story to tell, a point of view, and I want to allow the reader to experience that.

The third person books I've written always seem like more of a challenge than they should be. I am basically the outsider, writing what's going on. At first it flows easy, but then I always get a little frustrated because I'm so used to first person and switching. However, switching POV's in a third person story doesn't work. I have never done it, and I don't think I would. It would be far too confusing, and I might as well write it in 1st person if I were going to do that. It would seem like third person is the most preferred in romance writing, because the reader gets to know what's going on in both the male and female's head. We gain insight from each of them, feel their emotions, and are along for the ride.

So which do I prefer?
Oddly enough, first person. When I wrote a few books in first person, I decided to challenge myself with the third person books. Those seemed to fall more under paranormal romance, although my books in those genres don't seem to follow a formula either. But I would get a little antsy, and want to jump to another 1st person book. I feel more connected writing a 1st person POV book. It's like choosing to either be an actor, or be the narrative voice in the story. But some POV's just work better for certain stories. It's hard to say how I decide, but usually it's determined by whether or not I'm going to follow the same person in each book, or if if book in the series will be completely someone else's story. Those can be 1st person as well, not to say I'll never try it because I'm always up for a challenge.

I've never contemplated this before writing a story. Oddly, I just know how it should be written - what feels right. I can't recall having written anything and gone back to switch the POV.

Some readers have mentioned a preference, and often stick to that, or complain if a book goes out of their comfort zone. But aside from what you may be used to, some books are just told better from another perspective.

And now, Dannika Dark will close this thoughtful post so that she can turn on the coffee maker and get started with her day.

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