Victorian Romance Novel Fans discussion

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message 1: by Rebecca (last edited Sep 26, 2012 05:18PM) (new)

Rebecca (PoppyCaxton) | 6 comments Which style do you prefer in victorian romance? I know third person is more traditional, but first seems to be able to get the reader 'into the moment' much faster.

I wanted to bounce some ideas off my 'potential audience' so I'll give you two examples below, and tell me which one you like the best.

First person:

The blood. There was so much blood.
I should have known. I had seen James slaughter the pigs in the yard, and even then the blood poured and poured over cobblestones and flowed out into the courtyard until I was sure there could be no more. But there was always more.
And the look on his face. The terror. The realisation that this was his last breath. More than anything else, that was what woke me at night. Not the cold, damp stone floor I slept on. Not the rustling of rats, or the fumbling gaoler’s hands. It was the look on his face when I killed him.
Not that I regret it. I would do it again if given the chance. The man was a murderer. But then again, so was I.
London was supposed to be a fresh start for my family, away from my father’s debtors, and my shame, but piece by piece we fell into ruin, until I was sure God could punish me no more.
But there was always more, and there I was, destined for the hangman’s noose.


OR third person?

The blood. There was so much blood.
She should have known. She had seen James slaughter the pigs in the yard, and even then the blood poured and poured over cobblestones and flowed out into the courtyard until she was sure there could be no more. But there was always more.
And the look on his face. The terror. The realisation that this was his last breath. More than anything else, that was what woke her at night. Not the cold, damp stone floor she slept on. Not the rustling of rats, or the fumbling gaoler’s hands. It was the look on his face when she killed him.
Not that she regretted it. She would do it again if given the chance. The man was a murderer. But then again, so was she.
London was supposed to be a fresh start for her family, away from her father’s debtors, and her shame, but piece by piece they fell into ruin, until she was sure God could punish her no more.
But there was always more, and there she was, destined for the hangman’s noose.


The reason I ask is because this excerpt is from the opening paragraph of book 2 in a two part series. The problem is that book 1 is entirely third person, but I feel that first person in that opening paragraph sounds so much better. So it would mean going back and changing the entirety of book 1, which I'm willing to do, but I really can't decide!

Also, do you think it's ok to have the heroine in first person, but then the hero's POV in third?

Would be interested in your thoughts!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 739 comments Mod
Hi Rebecca. I think it would be better to stay consistent and have one POV style. However, I have seen a shift done successfully. You might be able to pull it off.


message 3: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (halfpint66) | 12 comments Not a fan of first person, but if the story and keep me interested, then I can deal with it.


message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (PoppyCaxton) | 6 comments Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "Hi Rebecca. I think it would be better to stay consistent and have one POV style. However, I have seen a shift done successfully. You might be able to pull it off."

Thanks for your reply Danielle,

I would only keep it in the one POV, but which do you think sounds better?


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 739 comments Mod
I think third person is better for romance, Rebecca.


message 6: by Rebecca (last edited Jan 30, 2013 01:39AM) (new)

Rebecca (PoppyCaxton) | 6 comments Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "I think third person is better for romance, Rebecca."

Thanks again, always helpful to get feedback! :)


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy (amyscholte) | 6 comments Third person is like music to my ears.. haha!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 739 comments Mod
You're very welcome, Rebecca!


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (PoppyCaxton) | 6 comments Amy wrote: "Third person is like music to my ears.. haha!"

Well that would make it much easier for me Amy, no need to change the first book then! Plus I can keep my chapters from Lucas' pov in :)


message 10: by Ursula (new)

Ursula LeCoeur | 9 comments Rebecca,
I think the first person excerpt is much stronger. It made my heart pound.
I'm struggling with the same decision in a ghost story set in New Orleans that I'm writing now. Many gothic stories are told in the first person. I'm reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. She skillfully uses third person except for the heroine's point of view. She switches to first person for her and it seems to work well.


message 11: by Emilia (new)

Emilia Barnes | 1 comments Rebecca, I think that both are pretty strong - the first places you much closer to the protagonist, but the second sounds more professional somehow. I reckon you should keep it in the same POV throughout your series. If I buy and read and like a first book in the series, I tend to expect the same style in the second.


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