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  1. radkovelli
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    radkovelli Member

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    Is 1st person POV the main character's thoughts?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by radkovelli, Jul 14, 2016.

    This may seem like a super silly question, but I've never really read fiction before...I'm more of a nonfiction kind of gal.

    The only book I ever wrote was written like a series of journal entries, however, my newest one is not that, and I'm just curious what a reader would think it'd be then, since it is in 1st person, and my main character is telling the story.

    To a regular fiction reader, is it just assumed that unless specified otherwise, 1st person is the character's inner thoughts?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Yeah, first person is a single character's experiences and thoughts. The thing about journal style stories is that each entry is presumed to have been 'written' shortly after they were experienced, while you could think of a non-journal story as being recounted all at once (assuming it's in past tense, anyway). Most 1p books you read won't be journals. For me at least, I kind of imagine most first person stories to be like the character themself actually telling me the story, rather than me reading their diary.

    But it depends on tense, as well. Past tense reads as "character telling me the story" while present tense reads as "I'm in the character's head as they're experiencing things".

    In general, though, yes: first person is about the main character's thoughts and experiences. My comment about diary format in the other thread was just because the only time I could think of dating as confusing the reader would be if it was a dated/time-stamped diary yet the character had no way of actually knowing those things.
     
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  3. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    The best advice anyone can give you is to start reading like right now. You wrote two novels and in all that time you never once got the urge to pick one up and see what one looks like? What ten look like? What 100 look like? Do you honestly have no interest in reading fiction? I don't understand why someone would want to write in such a bookless bubble. It's sad. You might be a great writer, but if you were also a reader, you would be so much better.
     
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  4. Rita M Gardner
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    Rita M Gardner Member

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    First person narrative is the view of the main character of the story however, regardless of what person narrative you decide to go in, it's best to tell the story from one person's POV. It helps the story flow much better. I hope this helps :).
     
  5. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd agree with izzybot: 1st person is thoughts and experiences of one character. Present tense sort of puts you more in their head, but I've never really liked present tense in either first or third person (can't speak for second person). It's jarring for some reason. Meanwhile, 1st past is like the character is telling a story.
     
  6. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    You can use FPOV thoughts for more than one character in 3rdPOV, as long as the reader knows which character is 'speaking' at that point in the story. The only way to get around such a thing is to have multiple 1stPOV, where it is easier to simply let out thoughts. But both work in their own way, and going back to change a lengthy piece of work from one type of POV to another is far more taxing, and might not be how you want the story to be told. Chapter swap between characters, or time/POV swap is much simpler provided again that the reader can tell who is telling their part of the story. Good luck. :)
     
  7. Wexeldorf
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    Wexeldorf Member

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    The point of view whether first person or third person is just the voice of the narrator. First person is the main character narrating. This can be past or present tense. 3rd person is someone else narrating. That could be you as the writer or possibly another supporting character (think the wizard in the Conan movies), at least until it comes to that character appearing, when it switches to a weird combination of 1st and 3rd person (correct me if I'm wrong).
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Honestly, First Person and Third Person are essentially grammatical issues, not style issues. First Person uses the pronoun "I", Third Person uses "he" or "she" and refers to the POV character by proper noun. But you can get deep inside a character's head just as easily in Third Person as in First.

    First Person: The heat rose in my chest, embarrassment so strong I thought I might actually pass out. Had I just said that? In front of him?

    Third Person (close or deep POV): The heat rose in Mary's chest, embarrassment so strong she thought she might actually pass out. Had she just said that? In front of him?
     
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