To her ... Instead of seeing what the author sees, she is forced to watch the author "seeing" it;
Instead of being permitted to react in her own way to the images presented,
She was forced to share the author's reactions. In short, the author can't get out of the way.
The author is standing between the reader and the image or experience the author seeks to convey.
To me, the reader learns a great deal about the character by what the narrator sees and how he sees it,
by what feelings are evoked by images and objects ... and why.
Take this scene from FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE
as Father Renfield and Samuel McCord step out
onto the Katrina-flooded street by his jazz club:
No wonder Renfield was shaken. I looked at the battered club fronts, the boarded windows, the two-by-four’s driven like crude knives into the very mortar of the buildings, and the crumpled remains of people’s lives floating down the flooded streets. It was eerie. The utter blackness of a once bright street. The deep quiet of a mortally wounded city.
Renfield bent down and picked up a floating child’s doll, its false hair soaked and hanging. Its glassy eyes eerily reminded me of too many human corpses I had seen floating down this same street. Renfield stroked the plastic cheek softly as if it had been the flesh of the girl who had lost her doll. Closing his eyes, he dropped the doll with a splash that sounded much too loud.
That splash said it all. The world had always been dangerous and full of fear. It had only been the lights and the illusion of civilization that had kept it at bay. But the world was patient. It knew its time would come sooner or later. And in the gamble called life, the House always wins. Renfield looked my way with eyes that clawed at me and smiled as if his lips were an open wound.
“Perhaps that doll will find the spirit of the child who lost it.”
“You and I have seen stranger things, Padre.”
He nodded. “Yes. Yes, we have. I will choose to think the child’s ghost reunited with her doll.”
The thought seemed to give Renfield some small measure of peace. I think Lincoln had it right: we have the peace we choose to have.The same writing teacher posted:
"First person is the one most often poorly done among new writers.
If the writer isn’t careful, the story can degenerate into a kind of monologue that fails to engage the reader.
In essence, writing in first person is easy and a cop-out. It's easy to forget how to include description and emotion;
easy to spend far too much time thinking, and not enough time in the here-and-now of the story."
"It is drearily frustrating to see how much bad writing comes to me in first person," she ends.
What do you think? Does FIRST PERSON deserve its bad rep? What POV do you usually use in your novels
and short stories?