1. CristianOrtt
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    CristianOrtt Member

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    Style First or Third Person for Romance/Erotica?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CristianOrtt, Dec 11, 2015.

    Which do you think would be more effective? Within the many running projects that I have, I have an erotica novel that I started in the first-person POV. However, I was worried about the depth of the other characters and the length of the story. So I thought I could extend it by switching to third-person, but it doesn't seem the same from that POV. So my new idea is to tell the story from the guy's perspective and then retell it, either within the same book or in another, from the woman's perspective. Many people say that first-person is more personal so it works better when writing erotica/romance. I'm comfortable writing in both first and third, I just want to get some opinions on this matter to help me make a decision since I suck at decisions.
     
  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Which version do you like better? Have you run them past a couple of betas? Got some feedback?

    There isn't really any right or wrong on this issue. Only what works. Which one of the two versions you've written do you feel works better?

    Writing is cool, in that nothing is set in stone until it gets published. It's easy enough to change a POV if you feel one didn't work very well. In fact, it can be fun to revamp a perspective like that.

    I'd say either give yourself some distance on the project and then go back to it later and see how you feel. OR get some feedback on what you've written from other people. Or even both.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first question is how long is it? And how long do you want it to be?

    Applying a new technique to increase the length is not at its core an idea I support. Applying a technique should be about improving the story. Which may sound like the exact same thing, but they are very different. Applying a technique to increase the length takes the assumption that the length was a problem, which may be a false conclusion.

    My second question is what kind of story is it? Is it a love story that gets in the bedroom or a bedroom story that takes some breaks called a plot?

    Technically though, you can have multiple POV that are first person, you can also shift between third person and first person in the book if you think it would help.

    Something like this I think comes back to the framing. Or in a nutshell what story you are trying to tell. An example of what I mean.

    Writing in third person, when she is away from her lover or at work or other activities but then switching to her in first person when she is with him could be a interesting technique. As you might be trying to infer that when she is away from him, she feels very stale or lifeless, and you get into that lifeless voice by backing aay from her in third person, and then shift back inside her POV more closeless in first person when she feels more alive being next to him.

    To be fair, I am no expert. But saying that outloud, it doesn't sound bad. Might be tricky to write, but there is no rule against it. It really comes back to the framing you want and how you can express that framing.

    If that makes sense?
     
  4. CristianOrtt
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    CristianOrtt Member

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    It's not that I'm trying to change POV specifically for the length, but the length and the development of other characters. I've read that it's easiest to write in first-person and that's how most people start. I've been writing for a long time and I want to a) write a novel and b) have said novel be full of characters people can relate to/love/hate. I find that, as I map this thing's scenes out, that I'm going to have a hard time with pacing and building the other characters from just the first-person. I don't want things to move too quickly and I don't want my other characters to feel too "fake" compared to this real person who is telling the story. Does that make sense? So I guess it's not about length, but more about pacing. I have no problem with pacing in the third person, but in first it sometimes poses a problem. Maybe it's just me. But as I've typed this I think I've answered my own question. Plus, my girlfriend read them both and said she liked third-person better. While I don't normally base decisions about the quality of my work on one person, especially her's since I doubt she'd tell me I suck, I have always heard readers say they either have no opinion or that third-person in more interesting and easier to read and understand. Never the other way around. Third-person it is?
     
  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure if there was an exact question there.

    My reply is the same though. Which is. Why do you feel the need to writer in first person?

    First person POV has advantages but so does Third. It sounds like you are more familiar wtih Third, like Third better but ae only considering First because someone suggested it?

    I say stick with Third if you like it and it sounds like it is doing what you want better. :) Or like I said a book can switch between Third and First. :D lol
     
  6. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Did I miss something here? :confused:

    Okay I can see it might be fun, but that is a major undertaking to change the POV of a whole story. You have to rewrite everything, only the events stay intact..
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I didn't say it wouldn't be a major undertaking. Writing a novel itself is a major undertaking. What I meant was it's not difficult to do. It just takes some extra work and a new perspective (which is where the fun comes in.) However, you really do learn what POV can do for a story.

    Me, I would make whatever changes it takes to make my story better. I am speaking as somebody who DID revise the POV in several of my chapters over a lengthy edit period. And it really helped. It's a matter of deciding whose POV will transmit the most story information in any given scene.

    I think the point I was trying to make is that you won't know if something is going to work until you try it, and then look at it with a dispassionate eye, after it's done. If it's too much bother to change it to make it better, well, you'll have created a product you know isn't right, and you'll have to live with it. Some authors don't mind this, discard the flawed product, and just move on and write something else. Fair enough, but I'm not one of them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
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  8. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Ow when you put it like that..

    I was not advocating letting a flawed product go, that was just fear of a heap of work speaking ;)

    I still think it would be better to start with a few chapters, give them to Betas, check for responses before finishing a whole novel and discover at the end that it does not fly like that.
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's fairly rare to see a full-length novel of pure erotica - it's just difficult to sustain the heat/interest for that long. And you mention romance in your thread title, so... I think you're probably writing erotic romance?

    If so, I'd say third person is the more commonly used POV. Close third, usually alternating between the two leads. But you want to make sure you have enough for each of them to be doing in each scene - you shouldn't just rewrite the same scene from a different POV, you should have something new happening.

    Possibly I've misunderstood what you're trying to do, but in general terms, alternating close third is fairly expected in romance, including erotic romance.
     

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