Converting from First Person to Third

Heavy footfalls sounded behind me on the stairs and I moved out of the way when the man backing towards me nearly knocked me over. He hadn’t seen me at all, and almost dropped the wooden platform he carried. His helper nodded once in my direction as they entered the apartment, grumbling about five flights of stairs. 

So many things are easier to tell in first. Especially when all the characters in one scene are the same gender. Trying to keep the descriptions flowing and not make it all boring when converting it to third is hard. So many paragraphs, thoughts, and actions have to be rewritten to make it all work.

Now, why in the world would anyone write something in the wrong POV to begin with only to change it later? I did it because I wanted to master the technique of first person. Then, after reading the whole thing, it hit me that the story I’d written worked for the entire series, but the published series is in third.

People keep asking me why am I converting it, and the truth is for consistency. I want the series to be consistent. Something as small as the POV is a huge turn-off to readers who’ve come to expect the story to be told a particular way.

Now, I have to figure out how I’m going to rewrite certain paragraphs like the one above. In First, you can drop ‘I’ in there to keep from typing the name 50 times, but in third, when everyone prefers the same gender pronouns? It’s not that easy.

The positives about converting it? Sentences not so easily seen as unnecessary are quite evident. Whole sections that just don’t need to be there are glaringly obvious. (Just so you know, we hate cutting sections out. We do it, but we hate it.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s