Practicing First Person Writing

Title page of Three Hundred Aesop's FablesImage via Wikipedia

Oh, the title might not be what I mean to say–I’m always writing in first person through my blogs, Facebook, Twitter, my personal diary…I don’t need the practice of writing in the first person necessarily.

But when I write flash fiction, short stories, etc. in the first person, I feel very strange and unnatural. As I’m writing, I can’t help but feel, “Wait, am I writing the truth or is this all a foray into my creative thoughts?”

I write, and I write, and I write. And the more I write in the first person, the more uncomfortable I feel. I don’t like feeling like I’m projecting my personal thoughts out onto my protagonist; I mean, I don’t want readers to think that I really have these pre-meditated thoughts that my often-twisted characters have. Oh…but then I stop and realize, “Hey, don’t take it all so seriously.”

Another reason why it might all seem unnatural to me is because my protagonists tend to be men. I don’t like writing with female protagonists, because I always make them sound too whiny, needy, girly, etc. The theme of the lady in distress finding her place in the world–it seems so overdone these days. I’d rather not add another story to that pile. And I’d rather not be marginalized to a certain genre.

So that leaves me with wanting to change my stories to the third person so readers feel more omniscient with all that’s going on. At least then I wouldn’t feel like my voice was coming through the story with first person.

But somehow these days I’m always drafting stories in the first person. Perhaps the subconscious is wanting to leak out that first person voice and strengthen it.

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