First or Third Person?

I’ve just started to write a new novel, based in the early years of the eleventh century.  I have a protagonist, Leofric the clerk, I know what sort of person he is and what his values and beliefs are likely to be.  He is the point of view character.

What I don’t know is whether to write the novel in the first or third person.  I know all the arguments, the pros and cons.  If I do decide to write third person it would be a very tight focus on Leofric.  I would then have the advantage of being able to write about other characters in what I plan to be a wide-ranging novel.

But.  But.  But.  I sense somehow that Leofric has a voice which will be worth listening to.  I sense that he will be able to tell the story with zest and a certain irony which will only add to the story.

I have written the first part of the story in third person and then minimally re-wrote it in first person.  I’m putting it to bed for a while and then I’ll read both and see which has the most promise.

I think I’ll also re-read out Orson Scott Card’s great book, Characters and Viewpoint.  It’s a classic.  


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
This entry was posted in Historical fiction, Writer, Writing for e-books. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to First or Third Person?

  1. Pingback: Writing in First Person | Fangirling Through Fiction

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