June 30, 2011

On My Bookshelf

Have you guys heard the story how I'm switching my WIP from 1st person present to 3rd person past?

No? Well, it is so fun!


A couple weeks ago, I decided to switch the POV in my YA alternate history. Yipes! Yeah, it's a lot of work. And kind of headache inducing. But it's making my story stronger so it must be done! Much like taking vitamins or eating my vegetables. (Boo! Hiss! Burgers FTW!)

The thing is...I've never written a YA novel in 3rd person before. Which has caused me to flail a little. What am I to dooooo?!

So I went to the library a few days ago and gathered up as many YA novels I could find that were written in 3rd person past. I thought this was going to be kind of difficult--doesn't everyone write in 1st person present these days?--but I've been pleasantly surprised. Here's my pile so far:

Mistwood by Leah Cypess

I read this novel last week and I liked how it had a Graceling vibe. (High fantasy, interesting world, kick ass heroine.) I especially loved the writing--lovely and rich and full of interesting twists of phrases. Fingers tightly crossed, I'm hoping I can infuse my WIP with a similar literary quality that I found in Mistwood.

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

This book is about goblins. Interesting, right? I'm usually not a big fan of paranormal novels (sorry, Edward Cullen!) but I liked the premise of this book and I especially liked how the heroine, Teagan, has dreams about becoming a veterinarian. It's refreshing to read a YA protagonist who has such strong convictions about her future and I'd love to instill this ambition in my WIP's main character Zara.

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

When I asked people on Twitter for recommendations on YA novels written in 3rd person, I received a slew of comments saying, "Demon's Lexicon! Demon's Lexicon!" And fortunately for me, I found a copy at my library! Yay, libraries! I've read a couple chapters so far and I'm liking the ominous tone of the book. That's something I really want my own novel to have. Since my book features Nazis. And Nazis are rather ominous, don't you think?

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda 

Ah, Devil's Kiss! This is kind of my Bible right now. It has everything I'm striving for in my re-write: an accessible 3rd person voice, a strong heroine who's more vulnerable than she thinks, and crazy-good world-building that I want to steal. I bought this book in 2009 on my husband's Kindle and now I"m kicking myself for not buying it in physical form. 'Cause Justin is in Kabul right now and he has his Kindle with him. Damn it! But guess what? B&N just sent me a 15% Off coupon! Woot!

So there you have it! These are the books in my TBR pile right now. How about you? What are you reading? And do you have any YA novels written in 3rd person that you would recommend for me?


  1. I just finished SHIP BREAKER, which is in 3rd person and pretty darn awesome. Tension and pacing never slow!

    Good luck with the rewrite. I'm sure you'll rock it!

  2. Oh my gosh, I know what you mean by headache-inducing -- I rewrote my entire (completed) contemp MG from third-person past to first-person present. I do think it was worth it, though!

    And I actually fond it really hard to locate any third-person books at my library that aren't fantasy.

  3. Ugh, sounds like a pain. I used to only write in 3rd person past (probably cuz Harry Potter is in 3rd person past). It was hard for to switch to 1st person. I still write in past tense, though.

    Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore are in 3rd person past. I love those books.

    Good luck!

  4. Yeeow! What a pain. The question you didn't answer is why?

  5. Ouch...that doesn't sound like fun, but you'll get it to work. On the flip side, when you're done you'll have a very good reason to celebrate with a burger. Good luck!

  6. I've never switched POV, but I have switched tense, from present to past. Incidentally, I'm currently switching the whole WIP back to present because I like it so much better that way and should have never switched it in the first place. Ugh... definitely a major chore!

  7. I've switched PoV once before, but only when I was two or so chapters in. It definitely takes a lot of work, but switching to third person? I approve! ;)

  8. Ah, I won Demon's Lexicon in 2009. Haven't read it yet, though but I plan to this summer! :-D

    I always write in 3rd person limited and 3rd person omniscient (sp?)

    You know I'll beta, and I'll ask you the same. ;-)