1. 92jose29
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    92jose29 New Member

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    Writing assignment

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by 92jose29, Apr 22, 2016.

    Hello,
    I have a writing assignment about summarizing a short story. The problem is that the main character of the story is the author herself. Do you know of the writing mechanics of summarizing a short story when the author is the main character?

    Does it look formal to write ''the author did this or the author did that''?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm confused. Are you saying that this is a fictional story written in first person, or are you saying that this is nonfiction?

    In either case, I'm not sure why the phrasing would need to change. If the author's name is Jane, or the first person narrator character's name is Jane, either way it seems to me that you can just say "Jane did this" or "Jane did that."
     
  3. 92jose29
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    92jose29 New Member

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    It's non fiction in first person.
     
  4. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    You could try to be funny and keep it in first person. "In the story, I did this." And if your teacher questions it, show him or her the story as evidence, where it's all about what I did. :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  5. 92jose29
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    92jose29 New Member

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    I have another question. I was told to summarize a memoir in the first person point of view, what is the difference between it and a 3rd person point of view? Can you give some examples?
     
  6. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    Well, in first person one can get away with describing feelings and thoughts, for example: "I thought I was going to die. That's when I felt the sense of peace come over me. I felt His presence, and I knew that I would be all right no matter whether I lived or died." That would not work in third person, describing the same scene might be more like "She remained calm and composed despite the life-threatening nature of her predicament."
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you mean what IS first person? That's something that you can pretty easily Google. Summarized quickly, First person is "I"; second person is "you"; third person is "he". Now, in first-person fiction there will also be third and possibly second person pronouns, but the main point of view is someone speaking in the first person.

    First person: I got a Coke.
    Second person: You got a Coke.
    Third person: Joe got a Coke.

    First person including third person: I saw Joe get a Coke.
    Second person including third person: You saw Joe get a Coke.
    Third person including third person: Frank saw Joe get a Coke.

    And to complete the set:

    First person using second person: I saw you get a Coke.
    Second person including second person: You saw yourself get a Coke.
    Third person including third person: Frank saw you get a Coke.
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    He thought he was going to die. That's when he felt the sense of peace come over him. He felt God's presence and he knew he'd be all right no matter whether he lived or died.


    I remained calm and composed despite the life-threatening nature of my predicament.​

    There's very little difference between first person and close third person other than the pronouns. The distinction being made in the examples is one of narrative distance, not first vs. third person.
     
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  9. Kate Sen
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    Kate Sen Member

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    Ok, I admit, you're right. That would work. I was trying to come up with a distinction, assuming the poster of the question knew the definition of first and third persons, and yesterday evening the feelings and thoughts distinction made sense to me, but you have clearly demonstrated that it does not.
     
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