OMG, I thought we’d seen the end of this sort of silliness.
When I first started looking for markets for my work in 2005, it was not uncommon at all to find in the submission guidelines for a magazine or agent the line that works written in first person would not be considered. Thankfully, that prejudice has disappeared, thanks to some excellent books written in first person. Well – almost. Some people still insist that all their submissions have to be in third person (and past tense, too).
Exactly what it is that Haters Of Things hate about first person, I’ve never been able to understand, except perhaps that it’s different, and Haters Of Things hate ‘different’. Literature is made of ‘different’. Sometimes, writers use ‘different’ to prove a point. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But is this a reason to blanket-reject anything that attempts to put a fresh face on narrative voice?
Please, go and pull the other one.
To be contrary, I wrote a flash story in second person future tense, just to prove I could.
Anyway, I’m glad to report that first person is no longer ‘different’, thanks to popular books like Hunger Games, which, incidentally, is written in present tense as well, another form of writing Haters Of Things tend to hate.
Honestly, people, open your mind to new styles when reading.
*No, I’m not a great fan of Tim Winton’s quote-mark-less dialogue either, for the simple reason that it’s hard to figure where the dialogue starts and where it stops, but eventually you get used to it, and then it’s almost like reading a ‘normal’ book, so in the end, my judgement about this could be summed up in ‘I don’t mind’.