1. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    What "person" do you usually write in and why?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Phifty2, May 8, 2009.

    For me, first person. As to why, I just find it more enjoyable. I like the idea of viewing the story through one person's persepective. The only draw back is that it mostly requires, unless you're mixing styles, that your main character has to be in every scene.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It also means your MC always needs to be the POV character. Even if I do write an entire story from the MC's POV, I usually prefer to write in third person. It's more flexible, and I can still vary the "distance" from which I view the action

    You can better tolerate the limitations of first person in a short story, because short stories don't require (or tolerate) the complexities of multiple plots and characters usually required for a novel.

    First person seems to be used most successful in mystery novels, where you want the reader thinking with te same logic (and erroneous assumptions) as your MC. Still, third person can always be used instead, with nearly the same intimacy with your character.
     
  3. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I use third limited. I don't do well with being restricted to the POV of one character -- only being able to deal with what the MC knows. It just doesn't work for me.
     
  4. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    It's been a while since high school and since I usually write in first person and am rusty with the others can someone provide a link or give examples of all the "persons" there are. Tell me what person it is, explain the basic rules, and then give a writing example. I know this is a big favor to ask but there must be somewhere where it is already posted. Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Ice
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    Ice Member

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    I use both/either. First person is growing on me. It's intimate, intense, and suspenseful, and I really like its flow.

    And don't be fooled into thinking the first person automatically results in a simple plot. It ain't true.
     
  6. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    Yeah, I know those but isn't there more to it?
     
  7. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    You can get into Third Person Omniscent -- the narrator as a "god's eye" sort of narrator, who knows what all the characters are thinking, saying, and doing.

    Third Person Limited, where the POV is limited to one character per chapter or scene.

    Other than that I'm not really sure.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    One is a third person pronoun in that context. And it only maps to a syntactic person, not to a narrative voice.
     
  9. Phifty2
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    Phifty2 Member

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    That's what I'm looking for, thanks.
     
  10. crime.prose
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    Mostly I prefer the third-person as it's more flexible. I like to tell a narrative from more than one POV.

    That said, I do resort to the first-person in short stories where the story is simpler and the word count perhaps tight. The first-person has more immediacy than the third-person and so the reader can jump straight in the protagonist shoes.
     
  11. Sphi
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    Sphi Member

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    For stories more centered and character development, I use 1st person.
    For stories centered more on plot and events, I use 3rd person.
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Correct. There are only three grammatical people, singular and plural.

    I = 1st person singular

    You = 2nd person singular*

    He/She/It = 3rd person singular

    We = 1st person plural

    You/y'all = 2nd person plural

    They = 3rd person plural

    Even languages that posses formal and informal pronouns still conform to this rule, tho I must admit that as a thought exercise.... the 4th person... who would that logically be? Intriguing.

    * The second person singular was at one time the word thou (with the inflected forms thee/thy/thine)and things made a bit more sense since there was no confusion between the singular and the plural as there is today. But then English had to adopt the silliness of formal and informal pronouns and decided to take the 2nd person plural and use it for the 2nd person singular in the formal mode. And even tho we think of the word thou as sounding formal when we run into it because it is archaic, it was actually the informal pronoun, the one you would use with your chums/mates/pals/running buddies, confusing things all to ribbons. Oh, well. :rolleyes:

    Here's an article for those as nerdy as I: Thou
     
  13. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    What about a Sherlock Holmes story where Watson is narrating, and thus the story is from his POV, but the main character is clearly Sherlock Holmes?
     
  14. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    Doyle was just. . .Doyle. He could get away with scads of chyt that us lesser mortals look like idiots when we try it.
     
  15. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    First person is fun to write and I enjoy reading it, but I mainly write in third-person limited.

    The same weakness that applies to first person applies to third-person limited. You have to write from the POV character. Of course you can have more than one POV character, but so can you in first person; although, it's not done often.

    What's cool about third person is you can be object and bias depending on the mood you want for that scene. It can be used to great effect. In first person, you don't want to write objectively unless the person is objective.
     
  16. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    For me, I write in 1st person. Sometimes I write where I switch from viewpoint to viewpoint with two characters, but that's normally something I only do when I'm writing fanfiction. It's much harder to do with original fiction because the characters aren't already *set* the way that characters for fanfiction are.

    I use all three persons in my poetry, depending on my mood.

    As for using 3rd person in fiction, it's something that doesn't really fit me because I can't fully lose myself in the character the way I can when I write in first person. I need that deep inner connection to my MC to be able to write well.

    ~Lynn
     
  17. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    I recently started reading a book with another variation on the POV, which is yet another example where first person is not necessarily the main character:

    Stephen King's "The Eye of the Dragon" is written in the first person, but, unless I missed something, as far as I can determine at this point, the "I" in the story isn't a character in the story at all.

    It has the feel of a story being related around a campfire... "I already told you that Roland was..."

    Charlie
     
  18. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    Cognito wrote:

    Then I wrote:

    I just re-read this, taking it a different way... was "MC" meant to mean "Main Character" or "Master of Ceremonies"?

    If the latter, then clearly, Watson is the MC (Master of Ceremonies) and Holmes is the other MC (Main Character.) And, yes, I believe the first person is always the MC (Master of Ceremonies.)

    Assuming I previously misunderstood, I give my Homer Simpson... D'oh!

    Charlie
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    MC in this site will nearly always mean Main Character.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Master of Ceremonies is the anchor speakor for a show or meeting with multiple speakers. He or she introduces each speaker and gives the opening and closing remarks.
     
  21. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    I thought, perhaps, he was using it as a metaphor. "MC" is commonly used, most often at weddings and formal functions. ("We arrived at the reception hall from the wedding and the MC was late!")

    An MC, in the way I was taking it from the previous context, could metaphorically have meant... the one who's "running the show," telling the story... the narrator... introducing the characters and plot elements as an MC introduces the speakers at a reception.

    The metaphoric usage, I thought, could even encompass such examples as I gave, where the first-person narrator is not the Main Character (Watsen in a Sherlock Holmes story, or the narrator in Steven King's Eye of the Dragon) but is most certainly the "MC" (metaphorically, the one who is running the show, introducing the characters and telling the story.)

    It's not a bad metaphor, really. A narrator is an "MC," Master of Ceremony, of sorts.

    Obviously my afterthought was incorrect and my original assumption ("main character") was correct.

    Charlie
     
  22. Piestein
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    Piestein Senior Member

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    I try both. First, I felt more at ease with a 3rd person, but then I tried out first as well. And though the first time was a disaster, I am trying to improve.

    It might be me, but except that first time when I ordered myself "1st person, present instead of the 3rd and past!!!" -- with the 3 exclamation marks, I didn't really think a bit for what would be better. I just felt it right.

    I always start the story as if I'm watching a movie in my head. Then, I simply write what I see as I see it and as the narration of the movie goes. I don't know from which PoV it will be though.

    And about the Master of Ceremonies... interesting.

    p.s. I will read about Thou.
     
  23. Ziku
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    Ziku Member

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    I enjoy writing in first simply because it helps me connect with my characters more. Nothing helps understand someone like getting in their heads
     
  24. ozymandias
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    ozymandias Member

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    Both first and third, but I prefer the latter, mostly because I like to be able to switch between POVs with ease. I mostly use first person for shorter stories, and third for lengthier stuff.
     
  25. -NM-
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    3rd for practicaly everything i've written, except one project (never finished it) which used 2nd.
     

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