1. Tyler
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    Tyler Member

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    1st 2nd and 3rd person character stories, advice?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Tyler, Jul 2, 2010.

    how have you used these different viewpoints in your writing? which is your favorite to read? such and such, your advice would be good, thanks
     
  2. Show
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    I have used mostly 3rd person, with the rare 1st person. I haven't done much second person. I personally like 3rd person the best.

    IDK if I really have any advice on the matter though.
     
  3. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I've written in first and third. I'm not sure how second person would work with writing. Third is my favorite to write. First is not something I come across very often. If it's written well then it's very good because then it really puts you in the story. Then again third can accomplish the same thing if it's written well. It's more of what you're most comfortable with and what works best with the story.

    The main reason I prefer third person is because I'm not so limited in the point of view. You can show more of what's going on with any given character so I prefer it for that reason.
     
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    ^^^^Same goes for me. I like 3rd pretty much for the same reason.

    I guess I COULD theoretically see 2nd person being written in fiction, but I imagine it would be considerably more difficult to pull off successfully.
     
  5. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    It would probably take an extremely gifted writer. I'm not sure though because I just don't see how it could.

    I guess it really depends if you want to really delve into that one main character or if you want to focus on multiple people as to whether or not you do first or third person.

    I suggest if you do first to really dig in and get into what's going on in your character's head. Although that's important in any other pov (point of view) it's especially important here.
     
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    ^^^^I usually don't like focusing on just one person so I typically flock to 3rd person.
     
  7. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Same here. It didn't last long when I did first person I quickly switched to third.

    Tyler, my advice is to try both and see which one works best for you. :)
     
  8. Tyler
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    I suppose if someone really did want to write in the second person they might do a story about some kind of surreal adventure or something....maybe one of those Goosebumps books....
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are many threads on this topic already under General Writing. It is not really a character development question. The choice of narrative voice affects all aspects of the story.

    Third person is the most flexible, and should be your first choice for most purposes. First person is also popular, but more limited, and it takes more skill to do successfully.

    Second person in fiction is rubbish. I'n sure someone will dissent and offer a handful of counterexamples, but I have myself never seen fiction written in second person that was worth the read and would not have been better in third person.
     
  10. Tyler
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    which is all the more incentive to do it! but, sorry about the wrong thread or whatever it was, i'll be more careful next time...
     
  11. Unit7
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    I prefer third person. It gives me more room and its easier to write for me. I have written some works in first person but I often find myself switching to third person by mistake.

    I did try using second person. The idea was to write a series of short stories and the introduction had you running through an old crypt to find this monster of the crypt that tells stories. It was awkward to write and it sounded odd.

    But you really should explore both first and third and decide which you prefer to write.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A wise man learns from his mistakes.
    A wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.

    Very few people succeed at flying by diving from a plane unencumbered by a parachute. Does that inspire you to try it?
     
  13. Tyler
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    not necessarily, but imagine if i did (successfully, that is)
    either way, someone's gunna get a few laughs...
     
  14. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    That depends is this a comedy or do you want to move people? :p If you want to move people then start with a POV that's not pretty much doomed to fail.
     
  15. Tyler
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    curses! logic strikes again....thank you everyone for your help :D
     
  16. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Logic is useful. Just be sure it knows it's place. :) You're welcome.
     
  17. Robyn
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    I prefer either one, really. It just depends on the type of story I'm writing. Right now, my major project is in first person, but I'm working on a few smaller ones, all in third. So, yeah. It just depends. :p
     
  18. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    I started writing mostly in third person. Now, I usually do short stuff in first person and longer stuff I generally keep in third.
     
  19. ojduffelworth
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    The strong preference for third person is intriguing to me. First and third I thought would have ranked close to equal.

    I prefer first person, but it depends on the story being told.
    I think first person establishes an intimacy with readers that third struggles to do.
    If I met you and said, “I was alone in jungle, the tiger was closing in—,” I believe it would have more impact than saying, “My wife’s brother was alone in the jungle…”
    We are moved more when people share their own experiences than when they narrate that of others—provided they have something interesting to say!
    Would you rather Neil Armstrong tell you of his trip to the moon, or hear it second hand?
    That said, if a story must include numerous scenes in which the main character is absent, third person would be a better choice.

    First person is also popular, but more limited, and it takes more skill to do successfully.
    I think third person takes more skill. First person is easy in that you have a consistent voice from which the story is being narrated.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in third person, you can either:

    (1) narrate a story with the focus on one characters perspective.
    - in which case you may as well write the story in first person.
    (2) shift the perspective from character to character.
    - tricky not to confuse readers with awkward shifts.
    (3) write from an omniscient perspective
    - difficult to do without leaping all over the place and weakening the emotional attachment a reader should have for the main characters in the story (first person creates this attachement far more easily - agian think of Mr. Armstrong telling you his story to you, or his brother in law relaying it)
    (4) shuffle between the above- and end up with a real mess!
     
  20. Nalix
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    I prefer third person, with limiting the perspective to the mind of the character I'm currently following. My novel was written in first person, though I plan for it to be the last time I do that. It worked well for the novel, but I wouldn't want to do it again.

    The advantage of first person is that the main character is the same as the narrator, which can be handy at times, though that can also be done in third person as well. Third person may appeal more to a movie or screen play aspect of a story, as it is seen from the eyes of the audience rather than one of the characters.

    Second person really doesn't work unless the story is a series of letters or two people talking to each other over a distance, which could be an intriguing premise. Certainly an uncommon niche though.
     

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