FAQ: Why Huge Deal is written in third person

FAQ: Why was Huge Deal written in third person instead of first?

I had a feeling this question would start rolling in the second Huge Deal got into readers’ hands, and … I was right! 😬

First, a quick grammar refresher for those of you thinking, “third person … remind me ….”

In the instance of fiction, which is what I’m referring to here, third vs first refers to the style of narrator. In first person, pronouns such as I and we are used. In third person narration, pronouns such as she and them are used.

First person narration example:

I pour the wine …

Third person narration example:

She poured the wine …

(note: the above first person example is in present tense, which is my preferred first person style of story telling, but first person past tense (“I poured the wine …”) is equally, or perhaps even more common.

Some of my books are in first person. Some of my books are in third person. It’s always been this way, with me alternating every few books or so between the two styles.

So why is there a bit more blowback for Huge Deal being in third person?

Because the first two books of the series (Hot Asset and Hard Sell) were written in first person. I switched it up with the third book. A lot of people are curious as to why. A handful of you are, um, displeased, and have let me know it.

I’ve had plenty of thoughts on how I want to handle it, how I want to explain, and honestly, and its most simple, the reason comes down to this:

I wrote Huge Deal in third person instead of first because I wanted to. Because I am the author, because it’s my book, and I get to decide.

Did I write it in third person to piss some of you off? Obviously not. In fact, I wasn’t even aware I was doing it. I sat down to write Kennedy’s story, and didn’t realize until I was fairly far along that I’d been writing in third. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have thought a thing of it, but because this was third in a series, and different than the other two, I gave it a go writing in first person, and it … wasn’t right. This story lost something when I tried to force first person.

So, I checked with my agent, publisher, editor and an un-biased third party.

The consensus was what I already knew: the book was stronger in third person.

What was best for the best two books simply was not best for this book. It’s hard for me to identify the why, but for those of you who’ve politely wondered, who are genuinely curious, here’s my best guess as to why Kennedy’s story came out in third person:

Heroes like Kennedy lose some of their sexiness when written in first person. Kennedy is a different hero than Matt or Ian. He’s quiet. Serious Brooding. Taciturn. And that what makes him hot.

By forcing him into first-person, we get too much in his head. We get to know his every thought, and that takes all the serious Mr. Darcy vibes right out of him. By writing in third person, I allow him to keep some secrets, to maintain a bit of his mystery, to hold onto his sexy.

Those of you who’ve read my beloved Walk of Shame may have noticed I did something a bit odd there—I wrote all of Georgie’s scenes in first person, all of Andrew’s scenes in third. That too, was unintentional, it’s just how the story came out, based on those characters.

Georgie is the type of character where you could ask how she’s doing today and you’d get a three paragraph monologue about the color of her new sweater, the firefly she saw when she was eight, her favorite color, her thoughts on whipped cream, her favorite of the Harry Potter movies, and so on. Characters like Georgie for first-person story telling.

But, ask Andrew about his day, and it’s a fifty-fifty chance whether you’ll get a fine or a mute glare. That type of character is wonderful for third-person story telling.

Kennedy is an Andrew-esque character. Kate probably could have gone either way, but the muse settled on third person.

All that said, I know some of you will never like my decision to write Huge Deal in third person, no matter how I try to explain myself, just like so many of you hated my decision to write the first two books in first person and let me know that.

So, I guess, to sum it up, it all comes down to the words of this wise lady:

Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
— Eleanor Roosevelt
BooksLauren Layne