Archive | 3:49 pm

Mixing First and Third Person

27 Feb

003Well welcome back to the writing site for writers, by writers, about writing. I hope you are finding this helpful.

No takers on the guest blog today so I guess I’ll go it alone.

But first, a quote.


Quality is decided by the depth at which the work incorporates the alternatives within itself, and so masters them.

Theodor Adorno
I looked long and hard for a quote that would fit the thought of the day and this one seems to do it nicely.


I have mentioned on several sites that I am done with the first draft of my novel “The Long Walk Home.”  After I finished that first draft I was talking about it with Bev’s daughter Allora, and during that conversation she mentioned that perhaps I should try mixing first and third person voices in the novel.  I gave it some thought and realized how much more depth it would add, so this second draft is all about doing that.

For those of you who have never done this, it is not as easy as it may sound.  As you well know, first person is written as though the main character is the one speaking.  Third person is the story told through the eyes of someone not involved in the story.  That is a quick summary of the two but I’m sure you understand.

The first draft of my novel was told completely in first person.  Thanks to Allora I realized that two other characters in the novel, who are very important to the story, needed more depth.  Third person allows me to do that.  Now I am going back through the entire novel and adding those passages in third person and “fleshing out” those two other characters.  I think it will be very effective when I am done.


When mixing first and third person, I would suggest writing the novel in one voice first, and then going back and adding the other voice. It is quite hard to bounce back and forth between first and third person, and mistakes are easily made when you try to do it.


A Saturday drive in late April, 2012 014

Remember your five senses when you look at this picture.  Write 200 words describing the picture using all five senses.  This is a great writing exercise to get you in the habit of using those senses, which will mean that your readers will be able to relate to your writing much better.


I would love to have a poet guest blog here.  Christy?  Audrey?  Any of you? I think we need to hear some thoughts from the true poets among us and not from me all the time. I may be a poet at heart but I am no poet.


I was going to break into song and sing “Happy Trails To You” but decided against it.  Have a great day, great Friday and an even greater weekend.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”