Anyway, today I thought I'd pose a question to you all about my current WIP. As I've mentioned before, it's a YA sci-fi novel tentatively titled, The Shifter Files, and I'm totally and completely psyched about it. As much as superhero stories have been done to death, I'm hoping to tell the same ol' yarn in a fresh, exciting way. Most of the characters are still pretty sketchy, but they have the potential to be really dynamic. I just need to flesh them out...a lot.
Therein lies the problem. See, the other day I came across this post by YA author Dawn Metcalf (via Super Agent Janet Reid's blog). Metcalf doesn't mince words when it comes to her dislike of first-person narrative, despite the fact that it's practically the standard point-of-view in YA fiction. And yet, she goes on to sing the praises of Avery Cates, the narrator and protagonist in Jeff Somers' The Electric Church. Here's an interesting snippet from her comments:
"...there is no question in my mind that Avery Cates is not “redeemable” – he will continue to kill people, he will still make bad choices, and he will continue to do horrific things in order to keep himself alive and I’ll still want to read what happens to him...I can empathize with Avery Cates (even though I’d never want to meet an Avery Cates!) but it’s not because I can sympathize with him; it’s because in the pages of Somers’ book, I am Avery Cates."
That got me thinking--well, perhaps I should say worried--about how I'm handling TSF. I adore my heroine. She's tough, she resourceful and she doesn't think twice about shooting her mouth off at shapeshifting terrorists. She's a heck of a lot cooler than I am. So when the idea for TSF first popped into my head, my first instinct was to tell the story from her perspective. And it worked well...in the beginning.
Problem is, the further I get into the story, the more I find myself wanting to pull out of her head and take a bird's-eye view of everything. I feel like I'm losing my heroine's voice. Like Avery Cates, she's an assassin, and sometimes I wonder if the impartial, observatory tone of third-person would be a better fit for the story. On the other hand, I'm nowhere near finished developing her yet. It could be that the reason I'm struggling with her voice is because I simply don't know her well enough yet.
I'm halfway through the story right now, so I feel the need to choose one way or the other. I'd hate to discover that I was using the wrong point-of-view the entire time and have to completely rewrite it.
What do you ladies and gents think? Any thoughts? Suggestions? How do you determine which point-of-view to use in your stories?