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Friday, January 29, 2010

Breaking Free

So, I ventured into the world of first person POV recently and I have to say, it was a little bit scary. I haven’t written in first person since I was a teen…and that was some time ago! I can’t say why exactly I stopped writing this way, maybe as a teen it was all about me so the writing reflected that…I don’t know what happened, but somewhere down the line I just stopped and switched over to third person, got comfortable with it and there I stayed. For. A. Long. Time.

When the inspiration hit I initially started the story in third person but something seemed off. I couldn’t get into my protagonist's head in the way that I wanted to. I had only written about five pages when I realized that I needed to switch it over. So I did. And then the chaos began.

It was hard. It was uncomfortable. It took longer than I had expected. My major issues revolved around consistency…making sure everything stayed in the same tense. Thank goodness for my writing group…it’s being beta read right now. (Thank you for that, you poor dears.)

All in all though I did enjoy breaking out of my comfort zone. I don’t know how successful I was with it…time will tell on that front, but either way, it was fun. I totally recommend breaking free and trying something different; it’s worth the risk.

How about you all, have you every dared to break out of your comfort zone to try something new? How did it feel? Would you do it again?


  1. A while ago, I wrote a short story in first person and present tense. It was very different from my usual style. I haven't looked back at it yet because it needs to sit in the dark for a bit longer.

    Maybe I'll be reasonably pleased with it when I read it again, or maybe it will go into the pile of less that satisfactory stuff.

    It's too soon to know.

  2. Isn't it funny that our writing usually needs an airing period? I find that things need to sit for a while too before I can take a look at them with fresh eyes.

  3. I've broken out a couple of times by writing a coupling in order to utilise a murder. It was pretty difficult to do but the sense of accomplishment was great at the end of the day and the learning curve was perhaps some of the best I'd had.

  4. I think the only way to grow as a writer is to ALWAYS challenge yourself to step away from your comfort zone.

    I used to write exclusively in 3rd person. But the last story I wrote couldn't have been told any other way than 1st person. At least, not without losing a ton of emotional conflict.

    It wasn't so much the 1st person POV that got me, but trying to do it AND write more literary AND write things on a strong emotional level. Hard to stay consistent. This novel has worn me out! But, I'm glad I did it.