The key word there is "good."
Has anyone else noticed that the market is currently saturated with 1st person narratives? Almost all YA novels are 1st person now. A ton of romance (at least indie romance) is, too. Did it start with Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey? Is that where authors are getting their writing and style inspiration now?
I teach high school English, and I have a student who can't connect with any writing that isn't done in the 1st person. If a book or story isn't written in the 1st person, she isn't interested. When did that happen?
And it wouldn't be so bad, really, if the people writing in 1st person were doing it well, but 1st person is tricky. I've tried it. There's a fine line between
"It's only a rumor," Abuji said as I cleared the table. "They'll never carry it out." My father wasn't talking to me, of course. He was talking to Uncle and my brother, Tae-yul, as they sat around the low table after dinner, drinking tea." (Park 1)
and someone writing along the lines of
I shuffled across the room in my beat up bunny slippers with one of the ears barely hanging on and reluctantly went to open the door. I could hear my mother's voice telling me that I should never answer the door in my pajamas, but she wasn't here to see, so I figured it wouldn't matter this once. My straight brown hair was up in a ponytail, not hanging limply around my face, and I'm lucky enough to have the kind of skin that doesn't require much makeup to look good, so aside from the clothes, I probably looked the way I always do. Average. Not particularly good looking, but not bad enough to scare guys away. When I opened the door and saw the tall, unbelievably hot guy who had knocked, my jaw hung open. I might have been drooling. The sound I made was more of a grunt than a greeting.
The first example is by Linda Sue Park, and does a great job of introducing Sun-hee and her family as well as introducing some tension. The second I made up, but based it loosely off of some of the 1st person I've read recently.
Now I'm not saying that the writing would necessarily be better if the second example that I came up with was written in 3rd person. I deliberately made it bad, and I'm owning up to that now. But if I wasn't writing in the first person, I wouldn't have had my main character awkwardly examine her own appearance while going to answer the door (that awkward self-examination happens often in 1st person books, especially romances), and that is one of the biggest problems I'm having with the overly-saturated 1st person market.
If I'm going to be reading "I, I, I," it doesn't need to be a character that I actually want to be like or even relate to that much, but awkward passages just seem so much more awkward when I'm the one supposedly going through that.
Does anyone else agree that the 1st person market is over-saturated and authors need to start considering what is best for the story, not just what is popular at the moment, or is this rant just a reflection of an anti-1st-person prejudice of mine and 1st person is not really a problem in the industry?
I genuinely want to know.