At Kill Zone Blog, this post from James Scott Bell: Writing in a Point of View Not Your Own
Turns out Bell has a series of novellas about “a crime-fighting nun, Sister Justicia Marie of the Sisters of Perpetual Justice.”
I’ve written here before about the genesis of this character. How my son, who loves plays on words, said I should write about a nun who fights crime with martial arts skills. “You could call it Force of Habit.”
He smiled. I smiled. And then I said, “I think I’ll do it.” …
Having never been a nun…or a woman…I gravitated toward Third Person from the jump. That does not mean I couldn’t take a stab at First Person. Unlike some of the “wisdom” of the age, I say let a writer do what he or she will and let the market decide. I just felt more comfortable in Third.
Well, that’s a kind of fun idea for a series of thrillers or mysteries or whatever. There’s a link here to the upcoming collection of Bell’s novellas about Sister Justicia Marie, at a very good price, too. Dorothy Gilman did something of the same sort with A Nun in the Closet. That was a good story. I think I’ll go ahead and preorder this Sister Justicia collection; sounds like fun.
But I think this “can you write in a pov not your own” question has GOT to be a question asked by writers of contemporary fiction. Especially because Bell declares that research is key! Go interview some nuns! That’s fine if you’re writing a story set in this world, but I can’t be the only fantasy author who chuckles at that idea.
Let me see. Male pov protagonists …
The Floating Islands … Alas, I’ve never been able to use dragon magic to fly.
Black Dog … I’m not a werewolf of any sort.
The Land of Burning Sands … I’m not a male slave with a gift for making things.
Winter of Ice and Iron … I’m not a duke, and thank heaven I don’t share my soul with a powerful genius loci.
And, of course,
Tuyo … which I wrote in the first person even though I’m not a male warrior from a warrior culture.
So, yes, pretty sure it can be done, and done well.
I don’t think research is key. I mean, how could it be? I think having lived life and having formed a general idea about how people behave now and how people have behaved in other cultures — that’s the key. Plus, especially for Tuyo, which is admittedly somewhat idealized, a pretty clear picture of how people ought to behave.