1. njwh
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    njwh New Member

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    1st Person, 3rd Person.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by njwh, Apr 5, 2013.

    Which do you:

    -prefer to read?

    -prefer to write, and why?

    -believe is more difficult?

    -believe is more useful?

    -believe is more prestigious?

    -believe is more successful?


    Is one better than the other, or is it purely dependant on the needs of the story?

    All opinions are welcome.

    P.S. Do not bother mentioning 2nd person.
     
  2. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    More than half the time people use 1st person, the story really would do better in 3rd.
     
  3. Birmingham
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    Birmingham Active Member

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    Patterson, Coben, and lately also Barclay, have combined first and third. So I guess that's with the 2nd person in the list of "let's not mention". You tell me.

    I guess it depends on how many points of views you have. I enjoy ensamble, and enjoy having several points of view, so I prefer not to have it at first person. When an author writes several character, and he writes from one point of view alone, he sort of tells us "you see, kids, while all of my characters are people with motivations, it's important to know that Charles is the one who is right and who is important, while Chelsea, Robert, Wendy and Kimberly are just round and about, and nobody has to take their dreams and passions seriously. They're not real people, only Charles is. and he's your new best friend, dear reader."


    Take Jurassic Park, for example. That wonderful ensamble includes the character of Ian Malcolm. We dive into who he is, and the reason he thinks the park will be utterly destroyed. Then we move into the mind of another scientist named John Arnold (not to be confused with Hammond. Different guy). Arnold too has experience, thoughts, personality, etc. He's not a shallow little puppet hung in the bacground behind the shoulder of Malcolm, as if Malcolm is "more of a real person". Arnold's point of view reveals to us why Malcolm is wrong. Everything in Arnold's being, everything he did, studied, experienced, leads him to that conclusion, the conclusion that Jurassic Park will remain as stable as it was. From each character we get analogies, etc, and even though we know one of these people is bound to be wrong, we understand why each of them is certain he's right. I think third person in an ensamble cast is healthy and important, because it shows the young readers, in a world prone to bullying, that no person is a lesser person who is there as an extra for the "star" to feed upon. Each character is a full, deep, main character with its own logic and reason.
     
  4. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Which do you:

    -prefer to read?

    It all depends on how the writer utilized the limitations (or not) of the 1st and 3rd persons to the story's advantage. The 1st person is limited in the sense that readers can know only what the POV character see, feel, hear etc. This very limitation can be exploited to, say, create suspense, and as the readers explore the story through this one character's senses a sense of intimacy is developed between the reader and the character rather quickly. On the other hand it may be difficult in 3rd person writing to develop that quick intimacy between the readers and the character, but then good writers can easily achieve that using 3rd person limited. Another likely problem in 1st person is all the "I"s and "Me"s which can effect the quality of your writing/prose, but then again good writers can easily do away with that. So, really, it entirely depends on how the writer use the POV to his/her advantage.

    -prefer to write, and why?

    I prefer 1st and 3rd limited for the reasons above.

    -believe is more difficult?

    1st person is suppose to be more difficult, but you just have to know the pitfalls and you are safe.

    -believe is more useful?

    I believe I have already answered this.

    -believe is more prestigious?

    ??

    -believe is more successful?

    Both, but for a new writer I would say write 3rd person, because I have seen that new writers tend to prefer 1st person and do it all wrong. My personal experience is that learning to write good 3rd person POV stories helped me write better 1st person POV.


    Is one better than the other, or is it purely dependant on the needs of the story?

    Answered.
     

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