1. Jamal Hadjkura
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    Jamal Hadjkura New Member

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    Should I Write This In First Or Third Person?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jamal Hadjkura, Aug 1, 2013.

    I'm just about to start writing my first novel. I've written many short stories before but I've been sitting on an idea for a while and now that I have time, I thought it would be a good idea to start writing. It is a young adult novel. The novel is about a girl who goes on the run because she is being sentenced for a crime she did not commit. It's also has a slight science-fiction element to it as she can see visions/beings and when she tells the police they think she's crazy. The story is based mainly on the girl (MC). There is only one other main character. The majority of the book (about 3/5) she is by herself, in hiding, and thus does not contain many other character interactions.

    For me, it seems like it should naturally be written as first person. It would allow the reader to bond with the MC more and gives a larger surprise for plot twists. However many people tell me that first person will make the book worse. That it's too easy and that books should 95% of the time be written in third. I could write the story in third, it just seems like it would be more natural in first and that it would, in fact, be easier to write.

    In your honest opinion, taking into account the story, which person should I write in?
     
  2. CyberFD
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    CyberFD Member

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    If it's natural in first, then write it in first. However it comes naturally to you is the way you want to write it. Honestly, do you want to force yourself to write it a certain way and make it more of a chore to write? That's my opinion.
     
  3. Jamal Hadjkura
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    Jamal Hadjkura New Member

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    In my head it feels like it would be first. mainly because the lack of other characters. I just don't want to be half way through writing and then suddenly have to change everything to third person.
     
  4. Robin Murarka
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    Robin Murarka Member

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    Aside from what you think would be best, exploring a new style of writing is also open to you. I, for example, always gravitate towards third person because I liked to be able to provide omnipresent details. When you write in first person, you are somewhat limited to what the protagonist is experiencing or seeing.

    However, it depends on what is more interesting. You can often show the thoughts of an individual in third person almost like a conversation with their environment, and to some extent, it allows the audience to know as much as you want them to know, but not everything. In that sense you retain a certain kind of control.

    On the other hand, if you want the audience to experience the story as the character, to know everything the character is experiencing (rather than relate to it as an observer) then you go first person.

    I find lots of stories written in first person are written to sort of carry the audience away - a lot of details are mundane and irrelevant, but that is the nature of thought and observation. Third person tends to force the story more.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing first person is easy. However, writing first person well requires more skill than writing third person well.

    Asking the question means you don't know the strengths and drawbacks of each option, so in that light, I would urge you to write in third person. Master that before mastering first person.
     
  6. GoodTweetyBird
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    GoodTweetyBird Member

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    I was writing once upon a time, writing up a storm in 1st person, word count got upwards of 25000. I got boxed in. I had to do all the thinking, all the thoughts were mine. I wanted the other person to be able to express thoughts rather than what I understood from what they said. Also we all think a lot more than we talk and I needed to let the others think. The protagonist changed little with the change to third, he was still what he was before but now scenes could be seen from different perspectives.

    There are times when it works and works well but not for me. This may sound crazy but it seemed that the more I wrote in 1st the more I thought it could be inferred that main character felt the world revolved about him rather than he being a player in a world of others.

    jh
     
  7. TLK
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    TLK Active Member

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    Cogito has a good point. In my experience, first person really adds a lot of strength to the novels it's used in, but this is only because it's done well. Done well, it's fantastic but, as Cogito says, it's hard to do. In your short stories, what person did you write in? If you've written in first before and have had decent practice with it, then go for first person. If not, you may want to write it in third. You can get the story down and, if you think you're up for it, do some more practice in first person (i.e. more short stories) then come back to the novel and have a go converting it to first person. It should be a lot easier this time round, since you'll have fleshed out the story already.
     
  8. Jamal Hadjkura
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    Jamal Hadjkura New Member

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    1 of them was in first person, but all the others were in third. I think i'm going to write in third. I'll try it for a couple of chapter's, if it doesn't feel write then I'll re-do it in first. Then I'll compare them and get some people to read both and advise which they liked better. Obviously I have a biased opinion! :p
     

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