Happy Eclipse Day y’all! I will be spending the day enjoying the beautiful weather before I usher my three kids into the house to protect their eyes. It really is gorgeous in PA. Blue skies, no clouds. Perfect day to blot out the sun.
Also, I want to publicly thank Keenan for recommending Shetland on Netflix. It is an excellent mystery series based on the books by Ann Cleeves. It features Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez who solves murders on the Shetland Islands. It’s super bingeable as the first season is only two episodes, and atmospheric. The Shetland Islands are just as you imagine Scottish Isles to be — gray with rolling hills and croft houses, and the vast ocean encircling it all. Highly recommend. And the books are fantastic, too. I just took one out of the library.
So, I wanted to ask fellow mystery readers about point-of-view. I’m curious as to your thoughts on this as I’m brainstorming a new mystery. I’m either going to write it in first-person only or third-person with multiple POVs. I know I must select one based on the needs of story I’m writing, but it got me to thinking: do you have a preference? I know some readers who prefer third over first. Some who love multiple POVs, some who don’t.
Detective novels are almost entirely told from the perspective of the detective, so either first person or third, but usually only their POV. Raymond Chandler has Philip Marlowe narrate in first person, which gives the reader this direct insight into the mind of private ‘eye’ in seedy Los Angeles. Michael Connelly uses third person to narrate his Harry Bosch series. I read a page-turning YA mystery that employs four first-person POVs, and it worked well to see how everyone was impacted by the crime. Dan Brown uses third in his books in order to unravel the antagonist’s mindset. It really comes down to selecting a point-of-view based on the story the author wants to tell.
As I write this, I realize that I won’t know how to address my POV conundrum without writing a few scenes in various points-of-view to see how I want my mystery to unfold.
But please tell me, for science’s sake, do you have a preference when it comes to point of view? I am curious. (Also, ever read anything in second person? It is a trip.)