We’ve been having a lot of fun playing around- who knew the thirties could feel so great? It’s supposed to be down to single digits when we get back to Alaska. Sigh.
I’m anticipating finishing Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series tomorrow on the plane, provided that the three-year-old monkey cooperates. I’m going to be sad- those books are awesome and I don’t want them to end. If you haven’t read them, you must. Yes, that’s a direct order. For some reason I feel like JeanLuc Picard saying that which is totally unrelated, but whatever. Make it so.
Why do I love these books? The voice. Voice will make or break your novel. It’s what makes one novel shine and another fall flat. Another book that I loved for voice is Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees. I adore characters with quippy (might have made up a new word there, but I don’t care- just don’t try to use quippy to win Scrabble) little one-liners and great zingers. Both of these books (well, really, six since the Percy Jackson series has five books) are written in first person and have oodles of zingy internal dialogue. I’ve tried to incorporate zingers (I just like that word today) into HATSHEPSUT, but it’s a little different since it’s written in third person.
So, two questions for you today. First, what books have you read with phenomenal voice? And second, do you like to read/write in first or third person. Or do you care either way?
Also, Shannon is having a killer giveaway contest on her fabulous blog, Book Dreaming. You should enter if you haven’t already!
I love the Percy Jackson books! I'm really worried about the movie, though.
As for first/third person, most of my writings are in 3rd omniscient. I do have a short story that I work on every now and again that's in first. Just to experiment, explore the possibilities of it.
Jasper Fforde is absolutely excellent with voice. I can't wait to finish Oracles Promise to dig in to Fforde's newest book. (Which came out today and I bought it.)
I've done both but seem to prefer 1st person. I keep meaning to write another book in 3rd but it just never feels right.
I thought the MC in Wake by Lisa McMann had an awesome voice. I also just finished Leviathan which had 2 great voices, especially Deryn.
I thought that The Time Traveler's Wife had an incredible voice, myself. That's the first book that comes to mind for me right now.
I write mostly in third person for noveling purposes. My first person excursions are generally limited to short stories, but I hate writing in it because I don't like the assumptions it creates. I much prefer the distance of third person, where I get a lot fewer "You" remarks when a reader really means "the narrator."
I don't really have a preference for what I read– though I do prefer my books to stick to one or the other. Books that skip between first and third person kind of irritate me, to be honest, especially if there's no real rhyme or reason to it. I mean, it can be done right, and that's fine, but I think it's often more just a jumble.
The Secret Life of Bees has one of my favorite voices of all times. And, I've only written in first person so far, but my next project I plan to do in third. I'll let you know then which I prefer. I agree with you about voice. It can make or break your story.
The Percy Jackson books are fabulous! Others with voice I loved include: Fablehaven, Inkheart, The Underneath, The Ranger's Apprentice, The Last Apprentice, and The Mark of the Lion Trilogy by Francine Rivers.
I prefer to write in the 3rd person. Don't know why, just do. 🙂
Thanks for the contest shout-out!
I need to read those books, pronto! I prefer reading and writing in first person.
First person in my writing all the way! I'm just wired that way it seems I like to live in people's deepest recesses.
Loved reading Jamie Ford and Katie Morton! Those characters remain in my heart forever.
It varies depending on the book. Sometimes first person can seem too chatty; sometimes third can sound too formal. It all depends, really.
As to what I write? Third-person limited all the way. It's the only way to get across what I want to.
In terms of 3rd person voice, I don't think you can go wrong w/ Orson Scott Card. I tend to prefer 3rd person limited for storytelling, and 1st person for closeness.
I loved the Percy Jackson books! You are right they do have great voice. I also loved the voice in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and I'm reading Gail Carriger's, Soulless right now and it has an awesome voice. I always write in first person. I try sometimes to use 3rd person limited but it never works out.
I remember Ender's Game having a great voice, but it's been years since I read it, so I forget which character it was.
I like to read & write in first person.
I also adored "The Secret Life of Bees" — but for me, it was more the quotes that stuck with me. I wrote them all over the pages of my journal, the one I was filling while I read that book with my newborn twins nursing and hanging out on our bed. Six years ago already!!
Enjoy Seattle! We may go there in 2010, so I know who to ask about hot spots, fun sights, etc. (you!)
I liked "The Secret Life of Bees"; definitely excellent voice there. I am so curious to read the Percy Jackson books — I have The Lightning Thief waiting for me at the local library right now!
I like both first person and third person limited; it's just a matter of finding the right voice for each individual story. I chose third person for the novel I'm working on now after trying different voices for scenes.
I think the voice in The Help was just outstanding. I love southern books.
Hope you're enjoying Seattle!!!
I love writing in both first and third person, and I love books written in both. Quippy dialogue is excellent, but it is hard to fit into a historical (or fantasy, like I'm writing now) period. "The kohl around the eunuch's eyes is so last dynsasty. His master should be embalmed alive…" just doesn't work. Or, "What do you mean my heart has to be lighter than a feather to get into the underworld? There's nobody there right? It's like some exculsive club for Osiris and his buddies isn't it?"
Right now I'm loving "The Alchemist"–it's more omiscient third person, but it works.
Happy New Year!