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First Person to Third
When I originally wrote this story, I wrote it in first person. It was a solid story, but it kinda felt like something was missing. As I expanded it, it occurred to me that maybe the point of view wasn’t ideal.
I took a sample section and changed it to third person. I read through them both and groaned when I realized I liked third person better. So I sent it to a beta reader and fellow writer and, unfortunately, she agreed.
I say unfortunately, because it’s not fun to get twenty thousand words into a novella and realize you need to switch. It’s tedious. And it’s not always as easy as swapping “I” to “he” or “she”. Sometimes when small changes take place, it throws off the flow of an entire sentence and means the whole line needs to be reworked.
But in the end, it made “Three Shots” stronger.
The story takes part in three sections. The first is from Reeve’s point of view when he meets Grant for the first time. The second part is from Grant’s point of view when he and Reeve have another night together. And the third (and longest) section is Rachael’s point of view, when she meets both men and decides to go home with them.
There are several types of third person point of view.
Third person omniscient is a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in the story, as opposed to third person limited, which adheres closely to one character’s perspective. (See source here)
I used third person limited, so it’s not quite as far from first person as third person omniscient is, but it still allowed for some distance between the narrator and the reader.
Take a look at the two examples below. You’ll see a few changes in addition to the point of view change because these are from different drafts.
“Could I get a Killian’s please?” a low, slightly rough voice asked me. I turned; surprised by the way the sound of his voice made my nipples pebble and my thighs clench.
“Sure thing,” I responded automatically, reaching for a cold bottle. I removed the cap and slid it across the bar to him. I looked up and blinked in surprise at the man to whom the voice belonged. He was tall –I had to look up at him to meet his eyes– and his hands were braced on the edge of the bar. His hair fell forward into his eyes, and it was longish and messy, finger tousled and dark brown. His eyes were what struck me at first, a clear shade of blue in the low light. They were thickly fringed with lashes and he smiled crookedly at me and spoke.
“Thanks, you mind if I start a tab?”
“Nope, not at all.”
Our fingers brushed as he handed me the credit card and I glanced down automatically at the spot where our fingers had touched. My skin tingled there and I swallowed hard, vaguely perplexed by my reaction to him.
Third Person, Limited
“Could I get a Killian’s please?” a low, slightly rough voice asked.
Rachael Bradford turned, surprised by the way the sound made her skin prickle and heat.
“Sure thing,” she responded automatically, reaching for a cold bottle. She removed the cap and slid it across the bar to him. She looked up and blinked in surprise at the man to whom the voice belonged. He was tall—she had to look up at him to meet his eyes—and his hands were braced on the edge of the bar. His hair fell forward into his eyes, and it was longish and messy, finger tousled, and dark brown. His eyes were what struck her first, though—a clear shade of blue in the low light. There was a darker ring around them, and Rachael realized she’d been staring too long when he smiled crookedly and spoke.
“Thanks. You mind if I start a tab?”
“Nope, not at all.”
Their fingers brushed as he handed Rachael the credit card, and she glanced down automatically at the spot where their fingers had touched. Her skin tingled, and she swallowed hard, vaguely perplexed by her reaction to him.
Despite the extra work, I really like the way the third person point of view turned out and I’d love to know which version you prefer!
Title: Three Shots
Author: Brigham Vaughn
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 01/31/2017
Cover Artist: Brigham Vaughn
Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Erotica, Gay, Menage/Poly, Romance
Reeve Jenkins is an amateur musician playing in a dive bar. Grant McGuire is a man drowning his sorrows in beer after a painful breakup. When Reeve charms a reluctant Grant into coming home with him, they begin a three-year friendship with some very nice benefits.
But when the two gorgeous men walk into Hawk Point Tavern—the bar Rachael Bradford owns—one evening and greet each other with a kiss, it sets off a chain of events that leads to a steamy night and maybe something more for the trio.
Rachael sighed and took a seat at her desk, forcing Reeve and Grant from her mind. They made for a fun fantasy, but had no place in real life. She had hours of work to do, and not enough time to get it done in. Hawk Point Tavern didn’t run itself.
She tackled the paychecks first. Her employees would want checks to cash soon, and it couldn’t wait. Thankfully, she had few employees and it didn’t take overly long to tally hours and make out the checks. She had moved on to sorting order invoices for the month when she heard a soft knock on her partially open door. Thinking it was Jenna or Tyler—the other bartender on tonight—she absent-mindedly called out,
“Excuse me,” a low, sexy voice replied.
Rachael’s head shot up and she was startled to see Reeve peering in the door.
“I, uh, hey. Um, hi Reeve,” She stuttered. She cleared her throat. “Come in.”
He stepped into the room and pushed the door nearly closed. “Can I talk to you for a sec?”
“Uh, sure.” She frowned, puzzled by what he wanted, but not entirely displeased to have him in her office either. She stood and walked around the desk—leaning back against it and looking up to meet his gaze. “Is there a problem with your bill? Or something else I can help you with?”
He gave her a slow, sexy smirk. “I certainly hope so.”
Rachael stared at him, waiting for him to continue, but he was silent. His gaze raked over her body and she felt heat building between her legs at the slow, frank perusal of her body. By the glittering, heated gaze of his eyes, Rachael could see that he liked what he saw. Her jeans and t-shirt were hardly high fashion, but Reeve didn’t appear to have any complaints. Besides, Rachael knew she had a tight body and the jeans showed off her ass nicely.
“What can I help you with?” she asked, her voice breathless.
“Well you see, I came here looking to have a drink with a good friend, nothing more, but I found something else I am interested in.”
“I’m … I’m sorry?”
Reeve stepped closer until he was just a foot from her, and she felt her heart speed up in her chest.
“What’s that?” Rachael repeated when he didn’t reply immediately.
“You.” The word was simple, but it did nothing to clear up her confusion.
“But … but what about Grant?” she asked. “I mean, it looked like you two were together, and I—I don’t want to cause any problems or get in the way of anything.”
Reeve moved so he was standing in front of her, booted feet on either side of her crossed ones. He leaned in, breathing softly against her cheek and she wet her lips reflexively.
“It’s pretty simple actually,” Reeve purred in her ear. “Grant and I hook up occasionally and we are both very attracted to you.” His lips brushed the sensitive outer shell and she shivered.
Bi then. Her experiences with Tom made her a little leery of bi guys, but it’s not like she was going to get involved with them beyond a quick—or maybe not so quick—roll in the sheets, she thought. This was a one-off. It wasn’t like she was going to see them after tonight so she might as well enjoy it while she had the opportunity.
“You aren’t in a relationship with him?” she said aloud. The last thing she wanted was to get involved with another cheater. Jonah had been more than enough, thankyouverymuch.
Reeve shrugged. “We’ve been friends for a long time, but it’s nothing exclusive. We keep things fluid.”
“So how would this work?” Rachael asked, her voice going a little breathless as she imagined what could play out if she said yes. “We’d have a threesome?”
“That is entirely up to you. If you’re only attracted to one of us, the other will step aside, although we’d both be very disappointed. And I somehow don’t think that’s the case, is it?”
“No, I’m definitely attracted to you both,” Rachael admitted. Reeve wrapped an arm around her lower back and pulled her flush against his body.
“Then how we fuck—” he skimmed a hand down her back to cup the lower curve of her ass “—is up for negotiation. Whatever you’re comfortable with.”
About Brigham VaughnBrigham Vaughn has always been a voracious reader with her own stories to tell. After many years of abandoned plots, something finally clicked. Now she’s eating, sleeping, and breathing writing and is excited to have finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. In the little time that isn’t spent writing or reading, she loves cooking, yoga, photography, and remodeling her ninety-year-old home. Brigham lives in Michigan with her three cats and an amazing husband who has always been her biggest champion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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