To first person or not to first person?

I never intentionally set out to write young adult books. But the simple fact is that at this point of my life I still have more years experience as a teenager than I do as an adult, so it just kind of worked out that way for now.

I haven’t read as many YA as I should have, but it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of them are written in first person perspective.  Personally I’m not a huge fan of it. It’s probably part of the reason why I haven’t read as much YA as I should. Perhaps I have some unfair first person prejudices to work though.

Recently though I read Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean and the End of the Lane. It was written in a very simple first person voice. Yet it worked beautifully. The simple language flowed as a gentle undercurrent to the story, never distracting from the action. There was not a single superfluous word in sight. It was crisp, taut, and super effective.

When my boyfriend suggested I should jump on the bandwagon and write my new novel in first person, I was hesitant. I didn’t think it was right for me. I thought it was beneath me, or something weird like that. Which is really dumb when you think about it because hello I’m writing in first person right now (hello this is me writing lalalala).

But I gave it a shot. I started rewriting my first chapter into first person and it’s actually not bad. In fact it might be quite good, and now I don’t know what the hell to do!

Is first person expected of a YA book, or is it getting stale? Do I separate myself from the pack or do I embrace what has worked in the past?

Because I really needed more things to second-guess about my writing! Yay! Ugh…


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