What’s the point (of view)? (Writing journal, October 21, 2102)

After having made some decent progress on defining my character and plot for Unanimous Consent, I now find myself struggling to choose the point of view for the narrative. I had been assuming a third person objective point of view. But my quest to find something new to read made me question that. I decided to stop reading Atlas Shrugged for now; it’s simply too much work. And besides, maybe it’s better if I don’t compare my novel to it at this point; that can come later. So, I scanned by bookshelves for something new to read.

My old Scholastic Book Services version of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth called out to me. I started reading but after a few chapters, it occurred to me that maybe I should be reading something that’s written in third-person perspective to get my mind more familiar with that style for my own writing. So, back to the bookshelves.

I could read more Steinbeck. I browsed through some of his works, but quickly noticed his writing style is similar across all his stories—excellent writing, but all similar in style. I want something different. Some Philip Roth perhaps? No, they all seem to be in first person. The Great Gatsby? No, first person. I know Richard Bach‘s other works are in first person, as is Thoreau‘s work. Lolita? Nope, first person.

And so at this point, I’m wondering if maybe I shouldn’t be writing Unanimous Consent in a first person perspective. I looked at a few articles about the subject online, and although they helped illustrate the pros and cons of the various choices, the best answer for what I’m writing still wasn’t clear.

I guess I can always change my mind later, but that could mean a lot of rewriting.

And then I realize, ironically, that Atlas Shrugged is a pretty good example of a novel written in third person point of view, so maybe I really should give that another chance.


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