Many very successful pieces of fiction are written in first person narrative, or described from the perspective of one of the characters in the story. “I did this” or “I saw this” begins the average first person story. One of my favorite authors, Rex Stout, wrote all of his famous Nero Wolfe stories in the first person, from the perspective of Wolfe’s assistant, Archie Goodwin.
Each one of Stout’s stories capture the reader’s attention, and, soon, you forget that you’re reading a story in the first person.
I have not written anything for publication that I’ve written in the first person.
I find it very difficult. The reason that I find it difficult is that I often have many things happening at pretty much the same time, especially in the Justice Security series. When there are six partners, an FBI agent, and various other characters often involved in a particular adventure, it would be almost impossible to write one of these stories in the first person. How would the person telling the story know what is going on with the other characters while he’s describing his part of the adventure?
Now, that’s not to say that I won’t ever write a story in the first person. I can do it…I just don’t like to.
And, truthfully, I’m not sure that I can pull it off.
Let’s try it together, shall we?
A simple exercise: You’re sitting at your computer, right? Or maybe on your cell phone right now, reading this entry. That’s great! Open your word processor, and begin your assignment with the following sentence:
“I was prowling the Internet, when something made me look behind me. I saw…”
Finish it. Use every descriptive term we’ve talked about, and describe what you saw behind you.
Hey, it’s a start! And, we’ll be doing it together!