Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Joe Abercombie: Why The Third Person?

Someone asked Joe what made him decide to write in the third person and Joe responds:
So George RR Martin very successfully uses third person limited in Song of Ice and Fire, titling each chapter with the character whose point of view it’s written from.  James Ellroy is another writer whose use of that approach was very influential on me.  Third person limited doesn’t have quite the level of intimacy first person can provide, but it can still be very visceral and involving, while giving you much more flexibility to shift between characters, and perhaps to vary the degree of focus on the point of view character if you want – you can stick very close to their own thought process and experience or take up a slightly more detached position should you so desire.  Being able to shift between characters also allows you to clue the reader into things the individuals might not independently know, or to contrast the way characters see themselves with how others see them to great effect.  I also try and vary my style as widely as possible depending on the point of view – so a Logen chapter instantly has a different voice, a different vocabulary, a different rhythm and feel from a Glokta one, and the style hopefully communicates something about the nature of that character right away.
Full Story: HERE

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