Okay, so I almost never write in first person. Whenever I do, the story comes out sounding really childish and doesn't have much description. I decided to remedy this, so I am trying to write a realistic fiction short story about a schitzophrenic boy, because I thought realistic would be easier to write first person from.
It isn't....and as usual, I am failing at this... When I try to do good description, it sounds like he is a centuries old vampire (because that's what I normally write, you know!) Otherwise, he sounds like I want him to sound, so I suppose thats working.
I went to my English teacher for advice, and she told me to have the character adopt one of my friends way of speaking. But none of my friends speak the way I want this character sound: a schitzophrenic boy who is scared and confused as to why no one sees his demons and why his parents are afraid of him all of a sudden. And even if they did, people don't conciously point out everything they see, and i can't get in their minds. Helpful advice sometimes? I suppose. For my story? NO! = D
Could you please give me some tips, either for first person writing in general, or for this particular story? Both are welcome! For this story, I want him to sound really innocent and confused, maybe leaning a little towards an innocent eye veiw, but from a fifteen/sixteen year old's veiw, if that makes any sense.
Thanks for the help!
Okay here's the thing, since you have problems with first person, the best thing for you to do is practise, practise, practise. Your schrizophrenic boy idea is nice, but since you are struggling don't work on that just yet ok? Keep that story away for later and try with something very small and simple.
Read first person narratives as much as you can and think about what you like about it. Then, choose a very simple and easy topic to write about in first person. If it helps try writing a diary (even though its super boring) or maybe write about random stuff in first person. You don't need to write a killer story, its just for practise.
When you start to feel like you're getting better, ask for reviews and then try to put the bar a little bit higher. Like that, by starting from short and simple, once you get the hang of it you should finally pick up on the schitzophrenic boy
One more thing: when it comes to first person you have to think about the character not you. If your boy sounds like a 300 year old vampire, its probably because your not getting inside your character's head the right way.
Or, it could be that you are not satisfied with your work, which is why you think you're not getting it right. Try making people read your work and ask for their opinions. If they say the POV/narrative is ok, then its ok. You're just not confident that's all.
You are probably right, I have no confidence in my work. Thank you for the advice, it sounds much more helpful then my teacher's!