From Third to First (Person)

I sincerely wanted to be a little avant-garde in my work. I wanted to blend first and third person and pretend it’s totally intentional and to sound like I knew what I was doing. But then, upon rereading, it made no sense. It made so little sense, in fact, that sense was being creating in other places of the world. And thus the undertaking started: translating most of my book from third person into first. I’m going to share my process mostly for the sake of my own accountability.

1. Segments, Segments, Segments

When there are multiple characters and one POV to change, doing a search for “she” or “he” and related pronouns would be rather fruitless and unnecessary. Unless you have a singular female character or a singular male character. In which case, carry on, do your fancy search. Do your replace function. It’s important to note, however, the language of the piece needs to change somewhat to accommodate the change in perspective. Do you sound like your science papers? I surely hope not. The same applies in fiction and narrative translation.

What I’m going to do is divide everything into segments and work through those systematically. That way, nothing gets missed. However…

2. Don’t Panic if You Miss One

Writers are only human. Even with reading aloud, things can get missed. It happens to me when I try to read through passages and just get so excited about the ideas presented that I forget what I’m doing. It’s like there’s an autocorrect in my brain that hasn’t quite caught up to my fingers yet.

I keep calm and then move my eyes back up a few lines. Honestly, having experience line-editing help a whole bunch. But, as they say, you are your worst editor.

3. Tea. Lots of Tea.

I have probably single-handedly supported dozens of tea farmers at this rate. I’m three tea tins in and there’s no sign of me slowing down until this is done. Well, I’ll slow down when I’m away from any device that has my book on it for two weeks.

End salutation

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