Viewpoint Part One – Viewpoint Is Your Voice

“Every story is first person, whether the speaker identifies himself or not.” James Moffett

Just as you recognise a good friend’s laughter across a loud and crowded party, readers instantly recognise your voice in a story or novel. Your writing voice is unique. It stands out.

Sometimes readers will say they like your style—what they’re really saying is they like what you have to say. Is it fun? Radical? Full of hope, or edged with darkness?

Portraits and landscapes

In first person stories, you character will take on your unique voice in his throat—in his narration, his dialogue, everything. In third person, you as the author step outside the frame of the story and let the characters carry your voice from page to page. It is still your voice. Think of it this way. Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear would be first person and Starry Night would be third person. Both remain unmistakably Van Gogh pieces.

Deep power

When you write in your real voice, it has power. The writing flows better. It makes people sit up and take notice. When you write a story or a novel, you’re really just having a conversation with them. It won’t matter if you use first or third person if you don’t have anything to say.

Watch out for Part Two and Part Three and Part Four of our Viewpoint Miniseries.

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course.

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