Switching from 3rd to 1st person mid-story?

So recently I’ve been working on trying this out. Would it work? I’ve certainly never read any stories where anyone has tried this, though I’m sure I’m not the first to attempt it. I believe that it should be possible.

Where would one need to switch point of view? Well for starters, switching from 3rd to first person wouldn’t necessarily by switching the point of view. A good example would be if the narrator were to suddenly have to take an active part in the story. This is referenced below in a story that I have been working on recently.

Example:

Tom had no idea what to expect as he reached his hand up to the portal. How could he? There was no telling what was on the other side. The portal shifted in color from blue to red as his skin touched it.

Hesitant, he looked back at Tersa. She nodded at him to continue, “It’ll be okay, I’m not sensing anything malicious there.”

Tom turned back and stepped through the portal. He found himself in what looked like someone’s living room. There were two couches with end tables, a bar, a TV, and an assortment of antiques. Nothing looked out of the ordinary at all.

At that moment, Tom heard the pattering of keys and turned to see where the sound was coming from. There was a man dressed in black sitting at the table in front of an old Dell laptop. Tom stepped forward and cleared his throat before speaking, “Who are you?”

I stopped typing and looked up at him, surprised, “What… how did you get…”

At that moment, I recognized him and knew who he was, “So you actually made it, Tom. I was starting to think that you weren’t going to show.”

Tom’s eyes narrowed, “Where am I? Who are you?”

I stood up and smiled, “Well, I guess you can just call me the author… your author.”

“My author?” Tom asked. “What are you talking about?”

I showed him the screen of my laptop and the story that was currently being written… this story. His eyes widened as he saw the most recent events of his life accurately spelled out on paper, “What the hell? What have you been doing, stalking me?”

I chuckled, “No, not exactly… I’ve been writing you.”

“What?” Tom asked.

I sighed, knowing that what I was about to tell him would not be easy for him to hear, “Tom, you are a character in a story that I wrote about a year ago called Magnifica. The story was about a modern version of my world except with elves, dwarves, and magic in it. I created you, Toby, and Lia’na as part of the cast.”

Tom took a step back, “But that’s impossible!”

I placed my hand on his shoulder and sighed, “Tom, I know about what happened at Arcanus back in February. I was there. I know about your struggle since then for forgiveness. I know about your relationship with Tersa, and how she came to be.”

“How?” Tom demanded. “How could you possibly know that?”

“Because I created them all.” I replied.

Tom couldn’t believe what he was hearing and was trying to piece it together, “So what are you then, God?”

I laughed, “Not at all. I don’t have mystical powers; I’m not omnipotent or immortal. In fact, you have far more abilities than I do.”

“What do you mean?” Tom asked.

I watched his eyes as I responded, “With the flick of a key, I could make you ruler of the world. With a simple strike of a button, I could make you a God. Your possibilities are endless.”

Now Tom was piecing it together, “You wrote me as catalyst for Toby and Lia’na’s relationship. I was nothing more than a side character to be used as and discarded! You wanted me to be a villain… a guy who stood by and did nothing while an innocent girl was hurt. That’s why what I did was so out of character for me!”

I scratched my head as I took a step towards Tom, “At first you were. I had intended you to be an early turning point in the story, but as time went on, you became more. You changed and evolved into something that I had never intended. Now you’re on the center stage. Everything in this story depends on you.”

“I don’t want this.” Tom replied. “Please, take it all back, fix me, fix my world, and make it so that I never met Michael!”

“If only I could do that.” I replied. “The story has already been written. It has already been ingrained in the minds of the people who have read the story. “

**

Another possibility is if a new character needs to take over as the narrator.

In any case, drop me a line and let me know if you’ve encountered this kind of writing before.

Catch you on the flipside,
Jim

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6 thoughts on “Switching from 3rd to 1st person mid-story?

  1. liamkilby01 says:

    That’s really cool. I like the whole premise, too – a character meeting his author and how he would react. It’s an excellent thought.

    Like

  2. I like the idea too. I’m getting a series published later this year, called “Sojourn.” It is a science fiction epic. Check my website out, while you’re at it. Thanks

    ~Steven Gamella

    Like

  3. K. Caffee says:

    Actually, King did something similar in the Dark Tower series. Don’t remember exactly if the POV changed, but he brought Roland and … Eddie (I think) into the “real world” for a while, and interacted with them. Was rather interesting.

    Like

  4. M.T. Bass says:

    Reminded me of the Daffy Duck Looney Tune where him and the cartoonist get into it.

    James Patterson’s Private flips between first and third person narration.

    Like

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