1. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    First Person or Third Person Limited POV?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Phoenix Hikari, Mar 12, 2013.

    Okay, since I learned in this forums that first time publishers have no chance of publishing a series on their first time, I decided to write a Novella before my Shadow Ruins series. I have a hard time deciding whether I should write this one in first person or Third person limited Omniscient. So, I need your help guys. Below is the opening paragraph of this story. I don't want you to tell me how horrible it sounds because that belongs to the workshop. I only want you to read the two versions and tell me which one sounds better. Gracias. :D
    N is used to replace the real name of the character. Please note that this story is a true experience of mine and it does feel more comfortable to write it in first person. Is that a good enough excuse? Do you feel more involved with the first or third person?

    Third POV:
    First person POV:
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    It depends what you're trying to get across. Do you want the story to be more personal, the reader see the world through one character's eyes and only know what they know? Or less personal and the reader is by stander, watching everything unfold?

    I like both...I mean they both sound nice. Of course I'd feel more involved in first person because first person POV is meant to make you feel like that. I think if it's a true experience and you really want the reader to experience it, I'd go with first person personally.

    Hope that helped.
     
  3. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Well, first thing first - it is either third person limited or third person omniscient, I am pretty sure it can't be both.

    Now, the first person POV is more clear than the third person, at least in this small section. You might want to write a larger piece, maybe a few pages, and compare the level of clarify. I can barely tell what is going on in the third person limited POV version, but, at the same time, it seems more descriptive and suspenseful. On the other hand ...First person is more emotional poignant, it captures the reader and brings them into the mind of the narrator, taking them closer to the raw emotional turmoil...hm.

    Yes. I definitely think first person POV is the best for this story (at least so far).
     
  4. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    Hmmm, the character will sort of suffer from a mental health issue, so wouldn't first person effect how the reader see the events unfold? I mean, would it be okay to be inside the head of a nutcase? She's not really a nutcase but she'll suffer from PTSD and her brain flips back to block the event. Would first person still work?

    @murasaki_sama: I got the POV names from a website as I didn't know what they are called myself. Maybe the website was mistaken?
     
  5. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    That makes first person even more interesting by understanding, knowing and getting inside someone's head who is very different to the reader themselves. Although, it will be more harder to write and PTSD must be researched thoroughly in order for it to sound realistic. I also suggest finding some books written in the first person through someone who has a mental disorder such as PTSD (or similar to that)
    So yes, first person will still work.
     
  6. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    In first person, it is understood that the narrator is flawed and biased. The level of mental instability would change the narration style I would recommend. How unreliable is she as a narrator? That's why it is a good idea to write a longer piece and compare it. One or two paragraphs might be understandable, but three pages? Who knows?

    Third person limited focuses on the thoughts and actions of a single person. Harry Potter is narrated in this style. If Harry isn't in the scene, the reader doesn't get to see it unfold.

    Third person omniscient deals with multiple characters and viewpoints. It does this one of two ways; either it is a series of third person limited chapters, which switch POV from character to character or it just describes the actions and thoughts of all the characters as they happen. Sometimes it will focus on one part of the story, sometimes on the other.

    I do not know why a website would try and combine third person omniscient and third person limited, unless it was referring to habit of some authors to switch character POV but stay with third person limited, which would technically means the book is narrated in third person omniscient, since it deals with more than one character's POV....but... I don't know how the website described it, sooo....
     
  7. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I have been thinking along these lines and that seems like a good idea. I will start to write the story (since the paragraph I posted is not really the actual story) and I will compare the two POV and see which one sounds better. This should be fun.


    I finally re-found the site: http://users.humboldt.edu/tduckart/PoV.htm

    @Youniquee, thanks for the help. I shall look up these information and make sure I understand them at least 70% before I start diving into this character. :)
     
  8. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Interesting. I have never seen the two terms combined like that. What it calls third person limited omniscient is what every other writing book/website I have seen calls third person limited.
     
  9. Sandbream Devermann
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    Sandbream Devermann New Member

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    Write drafts in both perspectives. You will then see the limitations both perspectives impose on your narrative and you can then decide which one allows your narrative to be most effective. I think some stories need first person and some need first person and we can discover which ones need which through the process of trying both.
     
  10. Writer 2013
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    Writer 2013 New Member

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    Personally I like first person POV...to me it draws you into the character and how they feel.
     
  11. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Third person limited omniscient, is when you limit the omniscient view to only the main, or the most important characters of the story. It is well suited for high action or twisted plot lines, and provides for a quite intimate sound much like 1st person but without the draw backs--especially when delving into deep POV technique, which can bring it pretty close to 1st without actually using the word, "I".
     
  12. murasaki_sama
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    murasaki_sama Senior Member

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    Omniscient and limited are contradicted. You described third person limited, where the narration only uses third person knowledge on a single person, including knowledge of their thoughts. Third person omniscient is not, and cannot be limited, while also being omniscient. Third person is, by default, a sort of all seeing eye, an outside observer who does not appear in the story. The word 'omniscient' does not need to be added to the POV name to make this true, it already is true. Third person limited should not be called third person limited omniscient, because it is a contradiction in terms.
     
  13. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    You may be getting Third Person Objective and Third Person Limited Omniscient mixed up.

    http://www.mpsaz.org/rmre/grades/grade5/homework_help/files/point_of_view.pdf

    http://fritzfreiheit.com/wiki/Third_person_limited_omniscient

    http://www.qcc.mass.edu/booth/102/ptview/sld013.htm
     
  14. Mohawk
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    Mohawk New Member

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    Personally, I'm more partial to third person limited. I find it's become extremely prevalent in a few genres for authors to utilize first person, and sometimes I like to take a step outside of the main character. It's especially difficult for me to get into a first person story when I'm not so much a huge fan of the character I am following, whereas in third person limited, it's not so important how I relate to the main character because I feel it's more like watching things around him rather than feeling like I am him.

    Harry Potter was mentioned earlier. While I loved the series when I was younger, Harry was never my favorite. I used to love the characters around him and how they interacted with him superbly, though, and I don't feel it would have had the same feeling if that whole series was first person.

    It's hard to explain.
     

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