The Memory Witch is my first ever attempt at writing in the first person. Because of the plot—a girl has her memories stolen away—I knew it was important to not head hop. I wanted everything to be told from Quinn’s perspective only.
Writing in first person past tense was a challenge. You’re really limiting POV and it was a tough switch after writing in third person for so long. Since the POV is only told from Quinn’s perspective, I found myself relying on certain plot devices to move the story along. For instance, since there’s a mystery that Quinn must unravel, she had to overhear certain conversations to learn more clues about her past.
First person writing can also sound wooden and unnatural. It’s easy to end up with a narrative that has many sentences like “I went here” and “I did this.” Since Quinn is relaying the story to the reader, it was up to her to keep the story interesting and portray the secondary characters in a way that readers could connect with.
Although it was tough, I liked what it could achieve. I feel readers may be able to connect more with a character when first person is used. The story reads like a diary and I like the intimacy of the narrative mode.
What are your preferences as a reader and writer? Do you tend to like books with first person or third person POVs? Have you seen books where both are used?