Friday, 26 February 2016

Points of View - Writers Workshop #2

No, not the one with Anne Robinson and Angry from West Midlands complaining about the BBC show that showed a branded chocolate bar but instead the voice in which you choose to write.  You know, that easy one that naturally comes forth and never, ever, ever, switches between first person and third - honest.

It's quite fascinating to learn about the craft of writing when you consider the physical act itself is something that everyone knows how to do, more or less.  I knew there were different voices, not just the ones in my head, but I still can't tell you with confidence which one my book is written in. Possibly third person omniscient??? You can always visit my website, read the first chapter and let me know if you like -

I'd never really thought about the impact using a particular voice would have but consider the following:

First Person Limited
I thought she was overreacting personally and didn't really know what to say.  Pamela, sitting next to me, handled it bluntly.  I listened in horrified awe as she said, 'It's not like it's your job is it?  I mean, you're still earning money.'  I glanced across at Louise.  She was turning red.  I flinched slightly as she snapped, 'I'd volunteered there for 15 years.'  I still wasn't sure what the big deal was - it was just a charity shop.

Third Person Limited
She thought Louise was overreacting, she had tried to commiserate sincerely but didn't feel like she'd been very convincing.   Sitting next to her, Pamela sniffed disdainfully and said rather offhandedly, 'Well, it's not like it's your day job is it?  I mean you didn't get fired from that.'  She glanced quickly between the two women.  Pamela was smiling but Louise had turned red before snapping back, 'I'd worked there for 15 years actually.'  In the silence that followed she took a sip of wine, still not sure why it was such an issue.  After all it was only a Saturday afternoon at the local charity shop.

Third Person Objective
'I'm sorry,' she said to Louise.  Pamela said, 'Well, it's not like you lost your job, is it?'  She glanced between the two women.  Louise stood to leave.  'I'd been there 15 years, actually.'  She sipped her wine in the silence that followed the woman's exit.

If you disagree with me or I've made a glaring error then imagine I'm your 8 year old niece who has only just learnt what a verb is and be gentle with me in the comments please.  I'm not saying that I'm going to re-write The Gaia Effect but I will certainly write the first chapter of my new book from different points of view to see which one works best.  After all Pen to Print competition deadline is about a month away so I really ought to get cracking.


  1. I like the three example paragraphs you put here. Nice look at some of the different writing voices. Also tried the link to your first chapter, but it's not working correctly at this time.

  2. Oh no - thanks for letting me know Daniel - technology defeats me yet again

  3. Read your first chapter at lunch today. I admit I was a little confused at first, but I typically am when reading a new story. It takes some time to get to know the characters and setting of the story. I will also confess that I am wondering what happens next. I like that when starting a new read for pleasure. If it doesn't grab my interest in the first few chapters I'm off. So from this particular reader, good job so far, and please keep it up :)

  4. Thanks Daniel - glad to hear I confused you in a good way :D but I know what you mean about starting a new story plus you had no idea what to expect. The rest of the book has been written, I'm in the hands of the literary agent gods atm so we'll see what happens!