First Person and Character Alienation

January 18, 2016

So I'm starting to get my first reviews and the seem to fall in to two categories at the moment:

1) Love the book and can't wait to read more.

2) Adored Aideen but hate Bryce.

 

Now once the knee jerk reaction of 'how dare you not like my character' had worn off I tried to look at this more objectively, I need feed back to become a better writer and take other people's views in to account. This is my first published works and I have this pesky habit of not letting anyone I know look at my work.

 

So lets's start with the positive; Aideen has generally been given a thumbs up and readers felt closer to the character, her thoughts and emotions, which is part of the reason I decided to write in first person. The consequence of this you can not see or hear Bryce's thoughts which has made him less redeamable in the eyes of some readers. An important thing to note I wrote both characters to have flaws, they are human, they both make mistakes, both say things they don't mean but because I have shown Aideen's thought proccess she is more likable despite her behaviour being equally bad if not worse in some situations. Mistunderstanding were bound to happen on both sides, both characters believing they are the wronged party, they are hurt and angry and the more you care for someone the more you want to push them away and lash out. But they had a good relationship before outside interference.

 

The problem is I forget that the reader can not see the backstory I've built up in my head, this makes me biased when reading. Upon reflection I could have been more successful in showing that Bryce has been going through the emotional wringer and has equally had his life messed around because of another man's lies. He is now wiser for it.

 

The lesson learnt: leave the blasted book alone for a few weeks once completing, (I read it the other day on a website and this is 100% true). At the time of completion and editing I could not see wood for trees and was just as eager to send it off. Since then I have thought of another chapter that I think would fix quite a few of the issues some readers have had with Bryce's character - (Live and learn, I will add it in if I ever get the chance again)

 

So back to the real question would the reader's have enjoyed Aideen's character as much in thrid person and flet as close to her? I'm not convinced. But I haven't been able to show the hero's turmoil so have I sacrifaced Bryce for Aideen?

 

 

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