So, a few days ago I started working on another one of my book ideas, just to take a little break from the revising and editing process. I thought I would absolutely love writing something fresh, but it didn’t feel quite right.
Recently, I also read a YA novel written in first person, so I decided to try the story again from first person point-of-view. This time, I expected to struggle a lot. I never write in first person, but I was surprised to discover that I really enjoyed it. I finally understood what people meant when they said writing in third person creates a distance between yourself and your characters.
Within a few pages of writing in first person, I absolutely understood my character inside and out. I knew why she did what she did and why she said what she said. I was able to very easily create a contrast between who my character appeared to be and who she actually was, based on the difference between her interactions with other characters, and what she was actually thinking or feeling.
I love this story written in first person perspective so far, not that I plan to write all of my stories this way for now on, but I can see a lot of value in creating a journal, etc., from your character’s point-of-view. This wouldn’t necessarily be included in your book, but it would give an opportunity to know your character in a more intimate way.
Therefore, I am going to challenge myself and you, if you’re struggling with really understanding one or several of your characters. Try writing something (using first person point-of-view) from your character’s perspective. See if this helps you to understand your character on a deeper level, and thus creates an even more exceptional character.