Changing My Mind

Rarely when I like something do I change my mind about it, but the time has come.

I’ve always been a big fan of first-person point of view in romance novels. I like the voice that shines through in a way that’s impossible with third-person POV. I like the humor and the way we really get to slide inside the character’s skin with her.

Or, I should say, I liked those things.

After reading a slew of first-person POV books in a row, I’ve realized that a rule of life in general applies to books, too: not every thought a person has is worth voicing. It’s perfectly all right to keep some thoughts private. And not every comment has to be snarky.

Maybe I’m just on first-person overload right now. Or maybe it’s that these particular characters whose heads I’ve been living in, frankly, aren’t that interesting. Certainly in one case, she and I don’t share the same sense of humor. While she carries on at length with her hilarious-to-her internal monologue, I’m hitting page-forward button as fast as my callused thumb can move.

But I think what I’ve outgrown about first-person pov in romance novels is the one-sidedness of it. If the hero is truly a hero, I want to get to know him. I want to spend time with him. I want to see what he thinks and how he feels about his heroine and everything else in his life. I want balance and perspective and knowledge, and a first-person pov book just doesn’t give you that.

Now, I’m still fine with first-person in other genres. It works great in mystery and elsewhere, but we don’t have the same emotional stake in a mystery or adventure or horror that we have in a romance novel. But if you want me to fall in love with your hero and your heroine, give me both their points of view. I’ll be a happy camper.

 

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7 thoughts on “Changing My Mind

  1. I’m with you. A little 1st place romance goes a long way with me. And it works best with Gothics though you don’t see much of those nowadays.

    • Jackie, you’re right. Gothics, in fact, play out better when you’re limited to viewpoint and, therefore, are in the dark as much as the heroine. And first works great in YA.

      It’s a talent to do a great first-person book, but because it looks easy, too many people try and fall short. I’m back to reading a third-person story now and loving all the nuances and differences as we switch back and forth between characters.

    • I can see how that would be necessary with the confessions. I’ve just been spoled by the typical romance novel in which we’re privy to the thoughts of the hero AND the heroine. If an author’s going to cut one of those by writing in first person, I want them to make it worthwhile. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I never understood the idea of writing romance in 1st person POV. I feel like I’m watching through a narrow scope. I like getting both the h/h POV, especially His. I know what women think. I want to know what’s going on in his mind…besides Where’s the remote? Is there pizza? Did anybody bring the beer? And honey, will I get lucky tonight?

    • LOL, Lynn. I’m not a huge fan of single pov, either. For a lot of years, romances were single pov, the heroine. Then they began accepting the hero’s pov. As kind of a nod to the past, Harlequin published a book that was single pov with the hero. And I found out I’m an equal-opportunity single-pov hater in romance. I can read every genre without leaving the protagonist’s head, but in romance I’m greedy. I want them both.

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