So last week I asked a couple of people to read a third person version of the first chapter of Wizards, to see how they felt about it. And received from one the most conflicted response I’ve ever had, and from the other a voice of passionate loathing for the new version.
Apparently the first person POV charmed them with its wiles and refuses to go back into the box from whence it came.
I’m not really surprised by — well, okay, yes, surprised because I’ve never had answers quite like that before.** But not surprised by which side they chose. I think the third person can work for the story. But because of how the opening works it’s necessarily at its most awkward in the first chapter. And at-your-most-awkward is not really the way you want to start a book. Also, for some reason, when I shift to third person in this story I always feel vaguely like I’ve moved into the position of a narrator who’s mocking my characters. Which is very much not where I want to be.
I’m still nervous about where this’ll leave me because I’m just the kind of writer who always wants to get into everybody’s heads, and if I keep writing in this series I just know that’s going to cause problems. But I guess that’s something to worry about when I get to the next book.
In the meantime: Wizards will be told in the first person. And I must now give up on the brilliant possibility for procrastination that was rewriting it into the third. I suppose I’ll just have to compose more. Oh the calamity.
* May be a slight exaggeration of the review.
** Although the last time I wrote a story in both first and third and asked for an opinion I received an equally violent cry for the first person version. So apparently my instincts for POV are correct but then I have self-doubt and try to talk myself out of it?