I have recently been contemplating the difference of narrative views. Generally, I write in the third person – rarely the second person, and sometimes in the first person.
She found herself laying there with wide-eyed clarity, unaware that she had not blinked in the last ten minutes. Upon realization of her state, she still did not blink. She was so taken by the simplicity of the understanding, of how easy it was. How had this never been discovered before? What manner of party trick could simply nestle in her brain, only to be discovered when she was tucked away in her bed, readying to sleep!
I found myself laying there with wide-eye clarity. I was so taken by the simplicity of understanding, of how easy it was. How had this never occurred to me before? What manner of party trick could simply nestle in my brain, only to be discovered when I am tucked away in my bed, readying to sleep!
The lack of blinking could not be shown in the first person, simply because she was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she did not know she hadn’t been blinking. There is an element that is left out.
It seems to me that in the second/third person, there is a lot more that can be revealed, simple little details that are unknown to the main character on a conscious level. The choice seems pretty clear, surely, to use the second or third person.
However, writing from the first person allows that personal touch, gives the ability add that bit of slang, of accent, of regional dialect. It can allow the reader to be put in the shoes of the character, and gain their sympathy, empathy – whatever.
This all came about when I was considering why I never was interested in writing an autobiography. Not that I am a particularly interesting person, mind you, but I do enjoy writing my daily life, I do enjoy journaling, putting my thoughts onto paper. I never wanted to write it because I am just not interested enough to go back and write about my past events – moving to Wales, lessons in care giving and so on.
In my half awake mind last night, it occurred to me to write about myself in the second person, and everything clicked. I tried out a few musings, mentally, thought about if it might encourage writing about getting on a plane when I am loathed to any more bearable – and I think that it is.
Am I going to write an autobiography? No, but I might write more snippits of my life in the second person, play with them, toy with the difference of perspective.