1. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Location:
    Virginia, United States

    First or Third for Fantasy?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lea`Brooks, Feb 26, 2016.

    I know this topic has been explored on so many levels, but I browsed the archives and couldn't find anything that really answered my question. So I'm starting another! :p

    I'm writing a fantasy story, following one character throughout the entire thing (except for a small epilogue at the end of the series). I've completed the first draft and am in the process of planning the outline for the second draft. When I wrote the first draft, it was written in third person. However, during my planning, I'm starting to "write it" (in my head) in first person. I'm not opposed to first. It feels natural while I'm doing it. But I have a concern.

    During my research, I found that first person is great for stories with a strong voice and an "unreliable" narrator. Well, my character is definitely unreliable. She's very cynical, angry, and withdrawn (in the beginning), so her anger taints pretty much every good thing in her life. I thought it would be more enjoyable for the reader to see from her eyes and to watch her grow, which is why I was initially okay with first.

    However, I'm worried about it because it's a fantasy. And in my (limited) experience, I've never read a fantasy story written in first person. I've read urban fantasies in first person, but never strictly fantasy (with made up worlds, religion, and magic). And it makes me worried that a reader will be thrown off by a first person fantasy novel. Is this something that is done, and I just haven't seen it? Or are fantasy stories strictly told in third to keep the "fantasy" aspect in tact?

    I'd like to do first. I think it would add something to my story. But I don't want to necessarily go against the mold, if there is one. What do you think?
     
  2. X Equestris
    Offline

    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Oklahoma
  3. Lifeline
    Offline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Location:
    UK - the place betwixt and between
    I am just now writing fantasy, 1st POV (MC1) alternating with 3rd close POW (MC2). Focus in my WIP is war in all of its forms.

    Initially I was sceptic too if this would work but after the opinions of several Alpha's.. let's say that I have not heard dissenting voices ;)
    I'd advice just run with it for the first chapters and then give them out to Alpha(s). They can say pretty soon if it works or not.
     
  4. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series is a first person POV fantasy. Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber are first person POV fantasy. Those are two authors I read and studied extensively before writing my first fantasy series.

    They are out there. The trick is to determine which POV is best to relay the story to the reader.
     
    Lifeline likes this.
  5. Lifeline
    Offline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,397
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Location:
    UK - the place betwixt and between
    Thanks for pointing this out, I had not thought about Vlad. I certainly cannot imagine Vlad in 3rd close ;)
     
  6. Lea`Brooks
    Offline

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,627
    Likes Received:
    1,721
    Location:
    Virginia, United States
    Thanks guys! Makes me feel better that others have written in first as well. I think I'll do what was suggested and just write and see what alphas think.

    Like I said, I wrote the first draft in third, and it just didn't feel right. I didn't feel like I was able to really get deeply inside her head. But maybe I'm just not very good at writing third. Guess I'll never know how it reads until I try, huh?
     
    Lifeline likes this.
  7. Steerpike
    Online

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,079
    Likes Received:
    5,276
    Location:
    California, US
    There are more first person fantasies these days. It is perfectly viable. There are fewer older examples, but they're around. Isn't The Black Company in first person? Name of the Wind, Freedom and Necessity, some stuff by Robin Hobb/Megan Lindholm, Carol Berg, etc.
     
  8. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Yes, I agree. The dialogue/witty banter, is one of the things I enjoy, and I don't think it would work outside of first person POV.

    Also, Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles are in first person POV, and actually, some of his later novels have three different first person POVs incorporated into the novel.
     

Share This Page