Tag Archives: beginner writer

POVs: First Person or Third Person?

I am currently in a dilemma.

Nearly five years ago, I started writing down a story which was inspired by a dream. It’s a fantasy story that contained goblins and dragons. Very LOTR-ish in its setting, but not quite.

In the original document, I was able to type down around sixty pages, nearly fifty-thousand words. But then, college came up, and I had to abandon it.

So it remained untouched in my laptop, until the old thing died and I had to get myself a new one. I thought the copy was lost forever, but around three or two years ago, a friend of mine asked me how my “novel” was getting along. I told him about what happened, and he told me that he still had a copy of it in his computer (apparently, he was among the few who I sent it to when I was asking for critiques).

To make this very long intro short, I now have the copy and I am planning to continue it. But first, I believe that it is need of serious re-writing.

When I started that story, I had knew nothing about writing in general. The technicalities of it, its form etc… etc… It wasn’t until two years ago – when I finally took the path of being a writer — that I was made aware of these things. Now, I know better. And I think I can tighten a very loosely told tale.

My only problem is, I do not know if I should continue writing it in third-person or if I should revert to first-person. It is an adventure story with a female protagonist, and according to my sister (who is also an avid reader) it would sound better told in first-person. However, my friend said that it would be better told in third-person, because it was an adventure story, so everything must be explained in detail. Something which a first-person narrative might fail to do. Then, there’s my teacher/mentor’s opinion. According to him, it doesn’t matter. The story would dictate how it is supposed to be written.

I tried writing it using both perspectives, and in my opinion, I think both works great. But still, I am not sure. Personally, I am a fan of third-person POV narratives, that’s why most of my fiction are written using this POV. Most of my fiction that use the first-person POV tend to be romance-YAL-chicklit types. But this one is an adventure/fantasy/thriller so, I am unsure of what POV would work best.

If you have any insight or advice about what POV is best, please do share it. It would be an honor to hear about what other writers think about this matter.

Thank you for reading.

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Flying To Mars

The voices are here to stay. At least, that’s what they told me when I first mentioned about how I keep hearing these strange, whirring noises. Truth be told, they’re not actually voices like those you hear every day, you know? Actual people’s voices, loud ones like those of the newspaper guy down the street. Or soft and hushed like that of a person dying of old age. No, voices without clarity and sound. Voices only I could hear. They started last year, just when I was about to graduate from college. I’ve been taking up education as I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Well, what I really wanted to be was an astronaut, but I’m no good in physics. When I was younger, I distinctly remember my teacher telling me that I could never be an astronaut because I could never remember what mass times acceleration was for. Until today, I still couldn’t tell. The thought was reiterated again when I failed to keep my frog alive during biology. We were asked to keep it breathing so we could see how the heart functioned. Don’t cut too deeply, the teacher said over and over while he breathed down our necks. Maybe he was checking for potential surgeons. Being able to make that t-cut without causing the frog to bleed and die was a mark of a good doctor, at least, that was what we were made to believe. My hands must’ve been too heavy. It was that or the fact that I trembled so much when I made that first cut. Needless to say, my frog was dead before my t-cut was completed. There was blood all over the dissecting pan and my teacher wasn’t pleased. How do you even expect to go into space if you get fazed by such a trivial matter? My teacher yelled, spit flying out of his mouth and into my face. At least, that’s how I remember it. Now that I think about it, these were things I have never thought about for a long time. Things that I thought were forgotten. But ever since those voices came, these memories returned as well. They came rushing in like water out of the floodgates. It started so innocently. There I was, sitting down on my favorite corner, in the café down my apartment building. I was reading a magazine with a famous astronaut featured on the cover. This astronaut had just returned from a trip to Mars where he stayed for a total of fourteen earth days. It took him almost a year’s worth of voyage, with his spacecraft travelling at almost fifteen-thousand kilometers per hour to get there. The whole duration of his stay, until his safe return, was truly a huge success. He was only twenty-seven. I held on to that magazine for hours. Rereading the details of his journey until my coffee went cold. I would’ve stayed longer, had I not heard those tiny whispers. At first, they were a series of static-like buzzes you’d often hear while tuning a radio. That day, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was playing, an appropriate song to compliment the café’s mellow atmosphere. Then, they started to grow clearer, louder. Incoherent whispers slowly turning into comprehensible words. I looked around and tried to find its source, but the cafés patrons seemed unaware of the chorus of voices that was now drowning out Gershwin’s rhapsody. I didn’t realize that the magazine I was holding now lay on the floor, while each of my hands covered my ears. Stuffing it, trying in vain to cover up the voices that had exploded out of nowhere. I woke up, on the floor, to a number of worried faces staring at me. Are you okay? What happened? Do you need help? Voices said to me, but these weren’t like the ones before. These were human voices. I remember it clearly, how they helped me back to my seat. How someone even offered to walk me back to my apartment. I still remember them all. The voices, well, they came back. I still don’t know what they want from me, or what they’re even telling me. They come and go without warning. Filling my head, growing louder, until I cannot take it anymore. Until I’d black out. In that magazine article about the astronaut who was sent to Mars, I remember about that one line he said when asked to narrate about his experience. I am complete, was what he said. The experience was to die for. He got shot a few months after that. Now, the voices are speaking to me. Wordlessly telling me that it is finally time to go for it. They said that I was ready. I didn’t argue. Frankly, I agree. I told you earlier that I always wanted to be an astronaut, and now is my chance to be one. I know that they are right and so, I am writing you this letter to tell you that I will be fine. You won’t be seeing me any longer, but know that I would definitely be watching you. The voices has assured me of that. Don’t despair. Mars is waiting.

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Dear Reader, If you happen to enjoy (or despise) this short piece of writing, it would be such an honor if you would spend a little more of your time to tell me about what you think of it. Help a struggling writer to find her voice. Thank you.