1. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    First or Third Person...afraid to choose

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by live2write, Jan 6, 2014.

    I finished my storyboard and I do have a final draft of it.

    Now the writing part. I am on the fence here. For an Urban Fantasy novel it is appropriate to choose first or third person.

    First person:
    MC's perspective
    See it from the MC's point of view and express thoughts and feelings
    Story is revealing in the matter of every scene has a surprise of information
    Perspective of how the MC feels about the characters
    Linear story

    Third Person:
    Narrator/writer tells the story of MC and other characters.
    Narrator can jump from scene to scene and express different perspectives of the story
    Does not have to be Linear from a first person point of view

    The problem I have is if I go fir the first person, I am more of telling a story of the MC's life in the story and the other character's stories are revealed through the knowledge of the MC or if the character reveals the story.

    If I go for a third person point of view, I tell more information that either of the characters would or would not know.

    This is hard.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'd go with whatever seems to flow more naturally as you write. Nothing stopping you from switching to other viewpoint characters just because you're in first person .
     
  3. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    What have you read more of? Which books did you prefer that used either style? I primarily read third-person, so first-person feels alien to me.
     
  4. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    It's not that at all. That's placing the reader with the narrator, away from the scene and real-time, and it is not the definition of third person POV. It's actually a definition of the dreaded "telling."

    There are real differences between first and third, but the personal pronoun you use does not change anything.

    What difference is there between:

    Jack stepped into the street, nerving himself for what must be done.
    I stepped into the street nerving myself for what must be none.
    You step into the street nerving yourself for what must be done.

    There is no difference. In all cases the POV is the protagonist's the action identical and it looks like like fight is about to commence. Which personal pronouns you use has absolutely nothing to do with point of view. It's just the mode chosen to display it.

    First person allows a greater amount of editorial comment by the protagonist on the scene (but not the later version of that character who is the narrator because they live at different times and places and cannot appear on stage together. Conversely, we're limited to presenting only what the protagonist knows and thinks, and the narrator cannot mention anything the protagonist doesn't know in the moment of "now." Third person more easily allows scenes in which the protagonist takes no part.

    People complain because I so often suggest that a writer dig into the compositional skills of writing fiction for the printed word, as against using the general skill called writing we learned in school. This is a good example of why, because the subject of POV and how to manage it is covered in most books on writing technique. For an overview of what I mean by POV, as against the modes of presenting it, this may help.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know that I'd agree with your description. Assorted thoughts:

    - Third person limited can be surprising in just the same way as first person.
    - Third person limited can also express the viewpoint character's thoughts and feelings, how they feel about the other characters, etc.
    - First person doesn't have to be linear, any more than third person does, unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean by linear.

    I think that third person limited with a changing viewpoint character can give you all of what you want from first person and all you want from third person. You could also do first person with a changing narrator, but then you have the issue of whether the voice should change, and that seems like unnecessary added work, since you're really not getting any benefit to speak of from the first person POV.
     
  6. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I have read more first person books and I have enjoyed some of them but not all of them. I find that third person books are great where I do have an understanding of what his happening, (especially when there are two perspectives of the story), however I haven't found one that suit me.

    @ChickenFreak and @JayG Thank you for clarifying the First and Third person.
     
  7. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is it a good guy, bad guy story?
     
  8. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Just for laughs and giggles...I freely written an idea of part of the story. Beware I did not make any spelling or grammatical corrections.
    @Fitzroy Zeph An Urban Fantasy story about a woman who was born human but reincarnated as a fae type creature.

    ----------

    Underground in a secure location in Rion, an elite team of researchers stood puzzled over an empty cryogenic capsule. In the center of the icy coated room, an upright casket stood empty with only a mold of one who once slept somber. There was no evidence that the casket had shattered nor any evidence the being escaped. It was a mystery that started to cause some panic with some of the researchers.

    “Sir, we have a problem. She has escaped sir.” One of the male researches said to Sully, who just entered into the room.

    Sully observed the empty capsule and quickly looked away. A burst of excitement tickled his stomach as he was trying to hide his emotions from the researchers. “When did this happen?”

    The researcher stuttered, “I do not know sir. No alarms were set off. We need your permission to investigate further.” He held out a tablet, waiting for Sully’s signature for authorization.

    Sully grabbed the tablet, “This information does not leave this room without my authorization.” He shouted out to the reset of the researchers, “That is an order!”

    Sully approached Daron who was standing by the entrance way. From the look of Sully’s face, Daron let out a small smirk as he read his mind.

    “You got to be kidding me.” Daron said shaking his head.

    “We have to find her before they do.” Sully said quietly as both men were walking down the corridor.

    “How are we suppose to do that? She could be anywhere in the seven Realms.” Daron said shaking from the same excitement as Sully.

    Sully stopped in the middle of the hallway and stepped toward Daron, forcing him to the wall. “This is between you and me. You know what they will do if they find her.”

    Daron nods and shakes himself off as Sully steps back.

    “I know how to track her. I just need you to capture her and protect her. I will see what I can do here, meanwhile, I am leaving her in your hands.”

    Daron pauses for a moment, “I know just the right place.”
     
  9. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Third person can net you a more complete story (and a longer one) by filling in details that would otherwise be lost, in a first person narrative. But if you, the author, are trying to write what other characters are *thinking*; that can be difficult! I can hardly imagine trying to write out the thoughts that a girl has. [shiver]
     
  10. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    This is one of those moments where you make what you think is the best choice and COMMIT.
     
  11. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I like third person limited with more than one POV, myself.
     
  12. Motley
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    Motley Active Member

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    I'm also a fan of multiple close 3rd person POVs.

    I have written in first person when the story was the character's specifically and they had to tell it to get in all the nuances.
     
  13. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I write in first person exclusively. I like to feel like I'm the character actually telling my story and not some unnamed outside observer just recounting the events of something I saw. That's why I'm not a fan of 3rd person at all. Yes it broadens the scope of the story, but it also feels severely disconnected. I find I can't relate to the characters or events at all when I'm reading 3rd person, and most often I will put it down after one or two chapters. Mind you, that's no reason to not go with 3rd person, it's merely my opinion as a reader based on my preferences.
     

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