I’m in the home stretch of writing my fourth novel. I’m excited about the possibilities that this novel has. It’s unique and interesting, and, believe it or not, it’s my first novel ever that I at don’t even mention Vietnam! Surprising, I know!
This is very much a novel about one character’s journey in a country with a corrupt government. When I started writing it, I knew I didn’t want to write in the first person. I, the writer’s voice from the ethereal writing realm above my character’s head, did know that I wanted to be close to this character and follow his story, and so I decided to go with the third person limited point of view.
Third person limited is unique. It only allows the writer into the head of the main character, but everyone else is only viewed through the character’s eyes. It’s a great way to follow along on the journey with someone because you can go deep within himself, but it doesn’t allow you to know what’s going on behind closed doors in the other room. Therefore, the reactions, emotions, movements, actions of the other characters must tell the story of what has already happened elsewhere. It’s a very interesting dynamic. But it does leave a lot to the imagination.
Example. We have the country’s dictator, Antoine, as an aloof figure we hear about and only see from a distance. If I was writing in third person omnipresence, I would cut to scenes inside the presidential palace where Antoine is plotting and scheming his responses to what’s happening in his country. There was a lot of gripping dialogue and intrigue that I left on the table because of my choice of narration style.
So I do hope that my readers will buy into what I’m trying to do!
I felt, however, that the consistent focus on the main character and his trials and circumstances would tell the story in a singular, linear way that will be both gripping and powerful.
I hope I am correct. I’m currently working on the book’s final chapter and then the first draft will be finished. At that point I’ll be ready to share it with my first reader for feedback.
I’ve really enjoyed writing in third person limited.
So now I have one first person, two third person omniscient, and one third person limited under my belt. What should I try for novel five?