Sunday, September 28, 2014

Writing In First Person

Have you ever written in first person? I'm talking about a fiction novel, not a memoir or an essay. I've been experimenting with this style of writing with a new story I've been outlining. The question is, will it be expansive enough to develop all the characters in the story?

By writing in first person, my characters must all interact with the protagonist. They must become well-rounded and viable by what happens between them and this character. Would this get boring after so many chapters of first person?

In order to create tension between the characters, the plot will have to be paced so that new elements are introduced at intervals close enough to keep the reader's interest. What's my story about? All I can say right now is that a young woman is trapped by her own mistakes and she must prove to others that she is a sane, level-headed individual who can pick up the pieces of her life and move on. It won't be so easy because there are those around her who would like to see her fail. Can she retrieve her life from what seems like the bottom of the abyss?

My working title is A Walk Through Hell.  Not only am I writing it in first person, but this is a different genre for me. I've stepped away from fantasy to write in contemporary fiction. If you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.


  1. Sorry, I still only write in science fiction. And I've never tackled first person. Even my latest that I just sent my publisher, while following only one character, was still in third person. Good for you for stretching though. You'll be a better writer for it.

    1. I still haven't decided whether to continue this idea. It has tickled my fancy and I'm going to at least write a couple of chapters to feel it out. Also, I'm doing an outline to see if I have enough elements to work with.

    2. Hi, Karen. I don't have any suggestions about writing in first person, but I wish you well in writing the story.

    3. Susanne: Thank you. This is more challenging than when I first started out to write the story. But I'm hanging in there and stretching my universe.