1. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    1st Person vs. 3rd Person in Fantasy

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by tristan.n, Dec 9, 2015.

    I know there's a thread in the general fiction section about this, but I'm curious about fantasy in particular. Do you prefer to read fantasy in first or third person?
     
  2. oTTo
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    oTTo Member

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    Third.
     
  3. stampman
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    stampman Member

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    Third person. Then again, I prefer third in general. It gives the reader omniscience, to some degree, and can often better connect dots. First person is good for character development, but keep in mind you have to write in the mind of that person 100% of the time. There are merits and detractions for both writing styles, but overall I would think most people prefer third person stories.
     
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  4. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    First.
    I lose interest in a story when you know too much and have the whole thing figured long before the end.

    The down fall of first person is that when I'm writing I'll hear some wise-crack out of one of my characters and can't included it because it was said out of earshot of the MC.
     
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  5. Bradley Parr
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    Bradley Parr Member

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    I enjoy reading both First person and Third person.

    For me personally I feel that Third person captures more of the stories 'essence' in a way, as well as what Stampman said, helping to connect the dots.

    First person, to me, allows me to invest in the protagonist more. Feeling his/her emotions and joining their journey, although I find it's harder to follow a story that's character isn't exciting in a way.

    Fantasy is such a broad genre that, in my opinion, and can be written in either narrative. It all comes down to whichever the Author is more comfortable writing in.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  6. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think descriptive wise I like third person, but with fantasy, a first person perspective can be interesting.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    It depends on what I'm in the mood for, I'm happy with either first or third-person POV. :) As others said, there are pluses and minuses for both versions. One allows for more freedom, but you have to be careful about not spoiling the plot by accident and the other allows for a more in-depth character study, but you have to mind what he/she could or could not possibly know. An important plot point being discussed in another room will be entirely missed by the MC in first person if he/she isn't close enough to hear.
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds like you may be thinking of third person omniscient. In close third person, the reader generally doesn't know any more than they do in first person.
     
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  9. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    I prefer third person, myself. First person just rubs me the wrong way, for some reason. It seems like a lot of young adult/teen fiction is written in first person these days, so it's difficult for me to get past that judgment in my own mind. :)
     
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  10. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to be strongly for third person because I felt it was easier to know the other characters besides the MC and also to explore the world the author built. I had the same misgivings about first person and was alarmed at how all the YA books today seem to use it and have general terms for places in their universe instead of actual names like "The Forest" instead of something like "Mirkwood." It felt too much like a shortcut and insulting to the reader's intelligence. That said, I've come around and find first person to offer a more intimate look at the MC. I also write more naturally with first person despite forcing myself to write third for a long time, thinking I'd be a better writer that way. I also became a hypocrite and used some general terms. So, long story short: I'm fine with both.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  11. Greenwood
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    Greenwood Active Member

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    Third person, but close third-person. In Fantasy, I often like it when there's a whole new world out there to be explored, but it only comes bit by bit as I discover while the character does. It tends to have it's downsides, as you will only see "threads" instead of the whole carpet (as opposed to third person omniscient) ,but it adds to the wonder aspect and has more room for character development.

    Although I like the first person as well, and I personally find it harder to write in the first, reading the first often makes me feel a bit trapped.

    When writing, I definitely go with close third person. This gives me the room to develop the characters in depth while giving me more freedom than first person. I also like it that, while the narrative voice in the first person is solely that of the MC, in the CTP, I can maintain my own while giving it just a touch of the character in that chapter or book.

    For me, (close) third person all the way. :)
     
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  12. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't tend to care very much when reading, though I probably do have a slight preference for third. I never have a problem getting invested in the character just because of the pronouns--that would be an instant red flag of bad writing, in fact.

    That said, third omniscient is something I'd likely avoid if I could help it. Though I don't really encounter too many modern novels that use it.

    For writing, I use third limited exclusively. I don't think that'll change any time soon. It gives me exactly what I'm looking for as a writer, no more, no less.
     
  13. Greenwood
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    Greenwood Active Member

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    This exactly. I've attempted it sometimes, figuring it would be a better way to develop a character, but in the end I always come back to close third person. In first person, you always have to think of context no matter the situation. You can't elaborate on, let's say, the motives of a character when its totally engaged in some situation, or include something that would be brilliant because as you said, the MC can't hear or see it, or it would be totally illogical for the MC to think of it at that moment, even when his/hers past experiences would trigger some sort of action from the MC. You have to always be there, in the action, in the moment, and that -- for me at least - often creates difficulties in creating that "penny drops" moment when it seems just the right moment to add it.
     
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  14. WaltStarr
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    WaltStarr New Member

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    When done correctly, first person is the best perspective. That said, very few writers can do it correctly. The best example of a writer doing first person correctly I can think of was Roger Zelazny's Amber series.
     
  15. Sam Frost
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    Sam Frost Member

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    It really depends on the scope of the novel, at least for me. A close third person perspective is better for epic fantasy with many characters that the spotlight, while a first person is better for fantasy with a strong focus on one person.
     
  16. WriterMMS
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    WriterMMS Member

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    I use first because its easier for me as a writer to get into my own characters head.

    but i use first differently, borrowing from multiple povs to cover the gaps singular first present can have.
     

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