Let me begin by saying this is not a lecture on the variations of POV or how to maintain a consistent POV or anything like that. This is, instead, the story of a decision I made a week ago to change the POV in my current work in progress from limited third to limited first and in essence junking previous drafts. I am, not coincidentally, also shifting the tense of my novel from past to present.
I jumped into this decision (well, not jumped exactly—I did consider it carefully first) knowing it would require some work. I did not, however, believe it could be all that difficult. In the past, I’d moved characters from one geographic location to another, deleting them from scenes in the initial setting and inserting them into scenes in the new location. It’s work because the information each scene provides must be preserved, and the character can’t look like they’ve been dumped into a scene (or scenes) they hadn’t occupied in the initial draft(s). Now, that’s complicated. But that change in pronouns and tense? Easy.
Not so fast. What I’ve come up against is the reality that my POV character (both in third and first person) has a distinctive voice and tone, both of which are dominating a myriad of little changes in the text now that she is the official narrator. Mari, my hero and now narrator, is fifteen years old and a contradiction in every way. She is bright, witty, snarky and insecure to the max. She suffers from more low self-esteem than your average teen, and she’s subject to occasional painful rages. All of this has risen up in the text now that she’s doing the talking.
I love how it’s turning out. I’ve just completed reading the first chapter aloud, and it’s working. I think. We authors are an insecure lot, aren’t we?