1. hrdoyle3
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    hrdoyle3 Member

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    1st person and "I"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hrdoyle3, Aug 23, 2012.

    Typically, I write using third person. It suits my stories, and I feel as if the story comes across better from that POV.

    However, I am currently writing a short story that only works in 1st person. I am very excited about this story, and love the way it is going so far. My only concern is the use of the word "I". It feels as if I may be using it too often, but I am not sure how to cut back on its usage more than already have.

    Do other writers who us 1st person have this problem? Is this even a problem? Any advice would be helpful...
     
  2. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    Yeah, I have that problem when writing 1st person. You aren't alone :)

    What's helped me is to, instead of describing what the MC is seeing, just describe it happening.

    For Example, instead of: "I saw a bird fly over."
    Say: "A bird flew over."

    That helps cut down alot for me.
     
  3. Walshy1595
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    Walshy1595 Member

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    As Pheonix said, don't describe it like it's from the 3rd person like: "He saw the sword slip from the man's hand" and simply replace "he" with "I". What you want to do is (well how I do it anyway) describe the events as if you're inside that person's head and are hearing their thoughts. That might not make too much sense, but just try to keep it on a more personal level than you would with a 3rd person narration.

    I hope that helps (it probably didn't), and best of luck :)
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read some stories and novels published that use first person POV. Study how those authors did it. What techniques they used other than constantly using 'I'. Then modify those techniques to your writing style and employ their use in the story.
     
  5. writerwannabe13
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    writerwannabe13 Member

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    I'm in the same boat too but when the POV is in that First person how do you escape overuse of the I? Very good question.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If your first person story has more I's than a colony of Beholders, it's a sure sign that your narrator is too self-absorbed.

    Good first person writing focuses on the world perceived by the MC, not on the MC's perception of that word. Instead of "I saw a man doing such and such", write "the man did such and such." Take the observer out of the equation except where she really needs to be in the foreground. Those times will exist, of course. That is why you chose first person in the first place. But take the observer out of it as much as possible, and it will make the observer-centric moments all the more powerful.
     

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