1. eclecticism7
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    eclecticism7 New Member

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    First Person vs. Third Person

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by eclecticism7, Nov 12, 2008.

    I mostly just want to know what the pros and cons to each are. Also, when I started writing, I was doing it in third person, but now I've switched to doing things in first person, for no particular reason. Is it going to hurt the quality of my work if i switch between them all the time? For example, if I have a short story, and two novels going and the short story and one of the novels are in first person, but the other novel is in third person, is it likely that the third person novel will be generally of a lower quality? If that makes sense... Thanks, guys.
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whether one chooses to use 1st person or 3rd person limited or omnicient, really depends on the story first, I think, and then how the author wants to relay it to the reader.

    I've had stories in both third person limited and first person published. I write in both, but it really depends on the story to tell which determines which POV I use.

    Sometimes you'll see a market that indicates they're not keen on first person, but that is not overly common. Some writers are 'better' in one POV than another. But the determination of whether one of your works will be lower quality because you're writing more in a different POV at the time...I guess it could be that way. It really depends on you. And if it is that way for you I would suggest that you simply do not write the third person novel until your other two are finished. Why? Simply because: Why put the time into producing a novel that you know is going to be substandard to your ability before you start--and it's a variable that you can fix by simply waiting?

    Terry
     
  3. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    3rd Person generally allows you to explore the thoughts of a wider range of characters while 1st person is limited to the thoughts of the character who's eyes your seeing the story through. 3rd Person will often let you reveal things in a more blunt fashion while in 1st person its a little harder (ex: in 3rd person you could say a character was handsome but in 1st person, its a bit harder to work this in without the dialogue sounding unrealistic). I'll probably think of some more later.
     
  4. Ti Odio E Ti Amo
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    Ti Odio E Ti Amo New Member

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    So you have your story planned out and you need to choose a POV to write in... Imagine both styles and decide which could make your story more unique and/or interesting. You might have more options with one than the other, it really depends on your creativity.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you want options, choose third person. First person has its uses, but is definitely less flexible, and more difficulty to do well.
     
  6. Triggerhippie
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    Triggerhippie Active Member

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    I personally write in third person more often than first person, simply because I have more freedom with third person.

    As others have said, and though it may seem redundant for me to say it as well I will anyway, with first person writing you are limited to the characters take on things. Say there are four people in a room and they are fighting over something, in a third person narrative you would get the story of all four, but in a first person you would only get one persons story, unless the narrator was a fifth person that was just an observer, in which case you could tell the story of all four people safely without having to step over narrative boundaries.

    It all depends on the story and your style of writing, I encourage third person even though I write in the first person occasionally, first person is usually used on personal subjects and third person is used more to tell a story.

    I hope I was of some assistance.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would also point out that anytjong you can write in first person can also be written in third person, by nailing the POV to the main character.

    The converse, however is not true.

    So why write in fiorst person at all? If you are limiting yourself to the main character's point of view, it can feel slightly more natural if it is told in first person. Mystery novels are one genre in which firstr person seems to work well, because the reader doesn't really want to know more than the investigator; first person reinforces that sense that you can't just hop to another viewpoint and get some of the answer the main character is so laboriously piecing together.

    But contrary to popular belief, first person is nort inherently more intimate to the MC than third person. You can get just as close to a character as with first person, even inside his head.

    So I would recommend third person unless you have an overriding reason for choosing first person. And then reexamine that reason. :)
     

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