To Write in Third Person or To Not Write in Third Person

So I’m taking my dilemma here because… because it’s 3.30 AM and no-one else is awake. 

Who needs sleep?

Anyway, I’ve been writing a story for my uni class and I’ve been trying to play around with it a little because I want it to be the best it can be.

I originally wrote the chapter in first person. Unfortunately the character has me so twisted around his finger that I’ve been struggling to change it into third person! I don’t know if it’s just because I’m close to the work or because I just can’t see it in anything but first person, either way, it ain’t freaking working for me.

So this is just a little of my story in first person:

“Rick?” He raised a brow in confusion at my silence and I glanced helplessly at Jess who just glared at me over his shoulder, those hazel eyes that had laughed with me at the bar now threatening to kill me with the tea cup clutched in her white fingered grip.

I don’t know how she would do it, but it’d be violent and bloody.

“T – tea?” I finally managed to squeak out.

Laughing, he pressed it towards me, both clearly amused and confused by my weird behaviour. “Of course it’s tea.”

It took me a moment longer, but I finally manage to get movement into my body and I smiled weakly as I grasped the fine bone China set between my shaking fingers.

The smell of roast chicken was slowly starting to travel into the small room from the oven and I silently prayed that the timer went off so I had an excuse to leave the room.

“You okay?” James asked in concern, sliding into an armchair next to Jess.

Nodding, I just sipped my tea, desperate to get the focus away from me. Thankfully, James is a complete idiot.

“Jess, did you tell Rick about the job you got at the primary school?”

Of course James knew that she hadn’t told me, but he probably just wanted us to get along. Way too late for that.

Jess smiled thinly, her eyes crinkling in what I assume was meant to be an adorable way, but just made me feel physically ill. It reminded me of the way she laughed at something I said at the bar, placing her hand over mine.

For a moment, instead of overwhelming guilt presenting itself in the form of a terminal stomach ulcer, I felt angry. Angry because she deceived me, because James was my friend and she had still clearly been dating him when she decided to have her midnight tryst with me. It only lasted a moment though, because once again I was reminded of the fact that I still fucked her. I should have checked the facts. I should have asked if she was seeing anyone – I had just assumed… yeah, and that’s what got me into trouble in the first place.

Great.

 

Now excuse that I’ve dropped you in the middle of nowhere, I just found it’d be a better place to introduce you. 

So I love it in first person because I think it makes a character who may be hard to understand easy to relate to. You really get his voice and a very colourful perspective. 

Then there’s third person… *Sigh*

Rubbing his hands along the back of his pants nervously, Rick tapped his foot before sighing and pressing his face against the glass on the door, attempting to peer in.

“Hello!” he shouted, knocking again.

“I’m coming, sorry.” The door was opened and James grinned at his friend, reaching out to hug him. “I was just getting dinner on the go; I didn’t expect you ‘till later.”

Rick laughed, slapping James on the back as they stepped inside. “Hey, I wanna’ see this imaginary girlfriend. She better be as hot as you’ve been making out.”

“Oh she is,” James replied as he stepped into the lounge-room and behind the couch a young woman was sitting on.

As Rick also stepped in, catching his first look at the girl, he found his grin fading fast, heart plummeting like it had stones attached to it.

“Rick, this is Jess, Jess, meet Rick…”

The words were fading into the background and Rick gaped at Jess as realisation lit in her own eyes. 

 

So on top of being very short, it’s also started in a weird place but this is just because I’m having so much trouble working it out! 

The only reason I really want to try third person is because the main character Rick is very self-deprecating and I wanted to see another point of view that wasn’t so set. Also, seeing a more broad perspective might be interesting.

But I can’t do it! 

If you have had any similar issues and have suggestions, that would be fantastic. 

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