TheNAUGHTicalLifeFeatured By OwnerDec 11, 2012Professional Writer
If you kept it in constant third-person you would have to keep in mind where on the timeline you need them to occur and work it in when the protagonist learns them, if said events are important to the story. I think splitting the novel in two sections and layering them would be interesting.
Having the book change from 3rd to first can be really confusing, I did something like that with mine and it started to confuse me think about how the readers would have felt. Having all the book in first person sounds like the better and you can add more description because of the characters looks and personality. I hope I helped.
"Your story sucks and is the worst crap I've ever read." is an insult. "Your characters lack personality and need more workout, there also is no real plot, you should have a conflict the characters have to deal with." is not.
Just an example. Harsh critique *can* hurt the first moment, but if so, I take a deep breath, wait ten seconds (an hour or overnight when I am suffering from PMS), then read it again. This is something I'd suggest to everyone: when you get a seemingly negative comment, do not respond immediately. Take a break and read it again thoroughly. Avoids misunderstandings.
POV aside, are those extremely important things part of the actual story line, or just setup and background information? I ask because if the latter case describes your story, you may want to drop us into the main character's perspective and have him/her/the cat learn about things as they're needed. Without knowing anything else about your story, I think it will be easier to keep your reader engaged via this route.
As the others have said, it is possible to write in third person but sticking to a character's POV. It's done all the time. I recently read a book that had a handful of protagonists everybody got their POV seen, including their internal monologue at times. The whole book was in third person.
They taught you about limited 3rd person in school, right? There's no reason you have to switch to first in order to focus the story through the perspective of a particular character. You just shift around in the narrative, limiting the information to what the character sees, feels, or experiences. Many 3rd person narratives employ this kind of strategy and it works well enough. So well that you probably didn't notice consciously what the writer was doing.
Of course, there's no reason you can't switch to 1st person, but you need to have a strong reason beyond limiting information and it needs to be connected logically to some kind of framing device. For instance, you might have read a 3rd person narrative that switched to 1st because part of it was a letter, a diary, or something similar. If the narrative just switches to 1st for no obvious reason and the reasoning never becomes apparent, then it's going to be pointless and confusing.
Lastly, 1st person throughout would be the easiest way to handle this, but again, the framing and reasoning behind the approach needs to be apparent and purposeful. The other danger is that by limiting yourself to that perspective in 1st person, there might be info that you'd like to dispense that's impossible. I actually considered this strategy for a novel I wrote, as well as the 1st/3rd combo, but it ended up being so limited to unwieldy that I decided 3rd person was the best approach.
With third-person you can describe feelings and thoughts, if you are doing a subjective type of third-person. Only with objective third-person can you not describe thoughts or feeling. Personally I'd stick with subjective third-person thoughout the novel.