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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 months ago

For a YA novel with one POV, is 3rd limited okay, or should I do 1st person?

I'm writing a YA scify, and my first draft is in 3rd limited. I write in third limited because it's what I'm used to, but for the sake of improving my writing, I'm thinking of changing it from 3rd to 1st. At first I thought it would be tedious but easy - just replace "he said" for my main character (a teenage boy) with "I said," but I started noticing some issues. Mainly, I noticed I tend to go in and out of my character's head whenever I find it convenient. My voice changes between my own and my character as well. I usually have a point for this, but I don't know if it's something that will turn off readers. I want the reader to have an intimate connection to my character, but my character has some serious issues, and I find it helps to take a step back from the character's head whenever he breaks down.

I've been binge reading YAs written in 1st person, but I was wondering if there were any YAs written in 3rd limited with just one POV. Recommendations would be nice. Thanks. Sorry for my ignorance, I'm still learning.

4 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    1st person is very hard to do right, and you turn into a narrator

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  • 2 months ago

    Wow. You just never give up with this stuff, do you? Hey. You're getting replies, and that's what counts, I suppose.....

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    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes, you're still learning, but it sounds to me like you are already seeing there are reasons to go with first or third person besides the writer's comfort with whichever is more familiar.

    From your description, it sounds like being in first person commits you to not allowing the reader to step back from the main character's issues, because you can't go from close first to distant first person (since there is no distant first person). This might be a compelling reason to choose third person close (also called third person limited) with occasional steps back to narrate from greater distance while remaining in that character's point of view.

    I don't read much YA, so I can't help with titles that do this. With luck, someone who does will be able to provide them.

    No need to apologize for ignorance. We all start from the same place, right?

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  • 2 months ago

    It's been a while since I read Harry Potter, but weren't they in 3rd person limited? Leigh Bardugo's "Six of Crows" duology is as far as I remember also in 3rd person limited. I haven't read much YA lately, but I am sure there are many more.

    Bottom line is that even though the 1st person POV has become very prevalent in YA, then there is no rule that YA has to be written in first person, and as you've discovered it's not as simple as replacing "he said".

    In your case, it could even sound as if 3rd person limited is better if your character gets too intense. If you, the author, feel you need to take a step back from him, then the reader probably will as well.

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