Write a short story (it can be very short) in first person. It can be about anything.
Let's say (just as an idea) that it is about the first time you actually saw a signifigant person in your life, or the last time you saw them.
Then, write the same story in third person.
Notice the subtle differences in your 'writers voice' that you convey to the reader.
Share it with us. Ask for feedback if you want it, but most of all, use it as an excercise in style.
1st person: I saw your tiny red face contort into a full bodied scream, back arched, arms flailing. You were outraged with the indignity and intrusion of the nasal aspirator. The midwife handed you to me and I thought, Why is she giving me this screaming baby? I don't even know how to hold him. Then I did, and your body relaxed, folding into mine, and it was right.
3rd person: His tiny red face was contorted into an open mouth, full bodied scream, back arched, arms flailing. This baby was outraged with the indignity and intrusion of the nasal aspirator. The midwife handed the baby to Emma who thought, Why is she giving me this screaming baby? I don't even know how to hold him. Then when she did, the babe's body relaxed, folding into its mother's breast, and it was right.
feedback? did i change enough from 1st to 3rd? I did this with a few of my shorter pieces and i never notice much of a difference.
I think that was perfect. I think it's valuable to practice excersises like that just for assistance in finding your own voice. Did it feel more comfortable writing it one way over the other? I enjoy 1st person, and it does take some effort to stay in character when working on something longer. If I had more time, I would post...I will when my short workweek is over and my brain has time.
thanks for your feedback! i look forward to reading yours. first person feels natural for me, 3rd person feels distancing. i love reading first person too.
bumpity, bumpity, bumpity bump
Anyone else? My week just ended and I'm decompressing.