Swapped Perspective

Swapped Perspective

Wild Nines and its sequels were written in third person, which is like being a camera hanging out and watching your characters go through their stories. Sure, you get bits of insight, a smattering of wit and self-reflection, but you can’t go too far down the inner monologue from the third-person perspective without vomiting up a bunch of he thought she thought so many italics and why are we so far in this character’s head again? 

On the other hand! Wow! You can switch points of view in third person. It’s incredibly flexible. Want to show your diabolical villain waving his many phalanges at his minion hordes? Go for it. Want to illustrate the struggles of the dog as it attempts to coat the fire hydrant in his pungent scent? Why not!

Third person makes story-telling so damn flexible. First person is like taking the freedom you had, locking it in a box, and then putting that box on a rocket and sending it into the sun. Once you pick your protag, you’re trapped, captain. No getting out of this mind. Not for a few hundred pages. So settle in and grab some coffee, cause you’re going to need it.

That perspective prison is why, I think, its so damn easy to make sarcastic protagonists. They’re fun! They have entertaining inner monologues and can fill paragraphs with quippy nonsense. It’s like choosing who you’d want to go to a bar with, if your drinking session was going to last days and days. Sometimes you can get away with, and this happens more in classic young adult fare, the naive narrator who wanders around and lets the confused angst of their age and events fill up the page. Some older classics run with the first person, ala Huckleberry Finn, where the narrator is more directly relating a story to the audience, injecting it with his own custom flare.

But for demon slaying? For adventures in a ruined magical hellscape or diving into the depths of a nebula to spit lasers at God’s own battlestation? Well, that’s just more fun when tackled by someone that doesn’t take it too seriously. Whose willing to lob a curse bomb at the dragon as it tears off his arm. Whose able to run her mouth while running from space zombies on the isolated station Merrigon-5.

So yeah, for Durango, my new series, the protagonist uses his mouth as a weapon, but not without reason. It’s fun to write. But oh do I wish I could take the occasional leap elsewhere. Oh well. We only grow by trying new things, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.