June 15, 2009

I Said, He Said....Really?


Okay, I am reading some chick lit. Not my normal reading, but I've read some different authors and really enjoyed myself. So I picked up a book not to long ago at the library by an author that is fairly popular.

Now in my understanding, chick lit is in first person...usually, right? Well, this one started out in first person, then switched to third person for the hero's POV. It was a little confusing for me.

What is the right way to do it? Stay first person? Or is it okay to change back and forth?


23 comments:

  1. Ya know, I read a chick-lit that was like that, too! I was trying to tell someone the same thing but I couldn't remember the author because it was like a year or so ago.
    Who was the author you were reading? (You can e-mail if you don't want to post it) jennifer AT jennifershirk DOT com

    And no, it's not common, and at the time I was like, "Cool! A rebel who's breaking the rules!" LOL!

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  2. A while ago I read a book that had first person throughout, but would switch from hero to heroine, both in first person. It was confusing at times to know whose perspective I was in. I didn't think first person made it that much more personal than third, but it did make it more confusing.

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  3. Jennifer, I emailed you. :) What POV did you write your Role of A Lifetime?

    Jody! The hero was in first person too? Now THAT would be confusing! I keep hearing about rules, but keep reading stuff that breaks the rules! lol

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  4. I've read books that go from first POV to third. Robin Lee Hatcher does it in The Perfect Life. At first it was a little jarring - but only at first. After I knew what the pattern would be, I was fine and I ended up enjoying the book.

    Roxanne Henke alternates first person POV between three characters in The Secret of Us and she does a phenomenal job. Talk about a challenge! You really have to establish three different, strong voices to pull this off, and she sure did it. :)

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  5. Okay, Katie, I guess I am not as well read as I thought I was. Of course, I probably read more historical, than I do contemporary. Maybe that's why the first person discrepancies are so "out there" for me. :)

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  6. i've read plenty books that go from first to third. i consider them all women's fiction (except gayle roper's Fatal Deduction...romantic suspense). siri mitchell is the queen of going from hero to heroine and staying in 1st person. like katie said...jarring at first, but once i figured out the little line in between signaled a POV shift, i was fine. her latest actually didn't have the hero's POV at all, but another woman's (whose story ends up being integral to the heroine's)...that was weird at first, but added so much. i love 1st...i really do get more involved in the story. then there are the chick lit stories by billerbeck and hunt and even siri mitchell that all stay in first. i have to say i enjoy it when the author switches to the third so i can get an idea what the hero thinks about the heroine! just some ramblings...

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  7. You know, I think the reason I have not noticed this "phenomenon" is because I have not read books from a writer's perspective until this past year. I'm a voracious reader, but usually just like to lose myself in the story. Until recently, that is. :) Thanks for the author names...I will check them out.

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  8. You know, Sherrinda, there are a lot of "rules" in this biz, but none of them are permanent. The authors mentioned in the comments have all been multi-published, so I'd say the best bet for us un-pubbed authors is to stick with first or third (without dual first person pov's!) until we've been around a while.

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  9. Jill, you know, I have heard multi-published authors can get away with just about anything and that unpubbed authors have to obey the rules. It is a very interesting thing.

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  10. You don't want to let me get on my RULES soapbox, or I may never get down!!!
    I have put down books that are confusing or sloppily written, even if they are well-known authors.
    I think Jill is right; we newbies have to stick to the rules until we know what we can get away with. But it is irritating, isn't it?
    I'm so glad God has the same set of standards for everyone!
    Happy day,
    jen

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  11. So many different ways of writing with POV --whatever works best to tell the best story!

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  12. Jeanette, so you are a rule follower, huh? ;) Me too! I always said I probably would have made a GREAT Pharisee! lol But I love what you said about God having the same set standards for everyone! Makes me smile.

    Terri, aha! Whatever works! But what if you are new and don't know what is best for you?

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  13. that is kind of odd. I've not read a chick-lit that switches POV in that way. Not sure I'd be up for that either ... hmmm...

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  14. I like to write too, but not the best at it. Blogs are fun that way you don't have to be the best. Nice blog.

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  15. Jaime!!! Finally, someone who hasn't read alot of first person POV hopping!!! Whew! I was thinkiing I was totally crazy! :)

    Emmett, I think blogging is a great way to have fun writing!

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  16. I've not read a lot of first person POV, and never hopping. I have a hard time getting into first pov and can't imagine I would enjoy the story with more than one.

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  17. Amy, I haven't ever read a book where there were 2 first person POV's. I think that would be hard for me. This book I am reading was strange enough! :)

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  18. Sherrinda: Well, what I meant by that comment was I get really irritated by some people having to follow all the rules, and some getting away with breaking them! But now that you mention it, i think I am more of a rule follower than a rule breaker.
    I especially like it when OTHER people keep the rules HA HA! Now that does sound like a pharisee, doesn't it?
    Oh, well. I just have these stinky habits to make everyone else feel better...

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  19. I am an aspiring writer and did not realize all the nuances there were. Interesting blog!

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  20. Okay, Jeanette, i know EXACTLY what you mean! I don't necessarily "like" rules, but if they are in place, then I think everyone should abide by them. I'm a rebel down deep inside, but being first born, I don't ever...rarely ever...rock the boat! That is why it is so hard with writing, because there are so many rules with so many exceptions and with so many rule breakers. It is totally confusing.

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  21. Diane, I soooo totally understand! I am close to the end of my first WIP and am just so overwhelmed at all I am learning. In some ways I wish I had studied more before I started this book so that I won't have so much revision to do, but then, I wouldn't be learning the hard way...which is the way I seem to learn things best...sigh. :)

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  22. That would totally throw me out of the book. I mean, the entire time I was reading I would be thinking about it.

    And I'm still laughing about the title of this post.

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