1. Millamber

    Millamber Active Member

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    First or Third Person?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Millamber, Aug 3, 2017.

    Note - Apologies Admin if this is a duplicate post... I did search 'first person' and 'first or third person' but couldn't find something... it could be my bad skills though..

    Anyway - I'm curious, do you normally write in 1st or 3rd person? Does it depend on what you're writing (genre), or just what feels right?... do you find one harder than the other?

    I ask because... As mentioned under 'plot development' I wrote a scene (not posted) for some friends after they gave a prompt, and I enjoyed it so much I want to continue it. The thing that is stopping me right now is that I wrote the scene first person as it felt right that way for the short scene... however I normally write third person, as I find that a bit easier to do, you can switch PoV and cover different events that the protagonist can't see/isn't present for easier etc...

    I then did try rewording the scene from third to first, however it's just bugging me whilst at work that it isn't anywhere near as good and it'd suit first person better...

    Do you stick to any particular style? switch it up depending on what you write?

    Thanks,
    M
     
  2. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    I've written in both 3rd and 1st - I think a lot (perhaps most) of the guys on this site have switched between them.

    For me, it very much depends on how I feel the story is best told. Both have advantages. As you've mentioned, 3rd (distant 3rd, that is) can go everywhere and see everything. 1st puts you right in the MC's head, seeing only what he sees, but feeling what he feels in a way that 3rd - even close 3rd - can't.

    If you've started in 1st, and you're enjoying it, I'd say carry on. The worst that can happen is that, at some point down the line, you'll realize that it's the wrong POV. OK, so it's a bugger to go back and change all those "I said"s into "He said"s. But that's only if you feel it needs the change. If you reach the end and think "Damn, but that's good!"?????
     
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  3. Millamber

    Millamber Active Member

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    You know what, I'm going to do exatly just that! I did re-write to third (kept a copy of first though) and whilst I did really like it still, it was just in my head that as I played the scene out further (untyped, it was all mental), it was better from his PoV as first... I think I'll sit down over the weekend, try and do a few more chapters, see where it all goes, how hard it is and what it is coming aross like.... If it works and i'm cofortable, I can stick with that, if it's not, or i'm struggling too much... I can look to swap to third and just accept that i'll be re-writing/editing a few chapters!
     
  4. archer88i

    archer88i Contributor Contributor

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    The genres I work in and the audiences I write for will generally default to limited 3rd person, so that's what I use for most of my work. For shorter pieces, I often use first person because that saves me some time setting up the main character.
     
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  5. Walking Dog

    Walking Dog Active Member

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    I occasionally write first-person, but third-person objective is my norm.
     
  6. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I write everything in third person. I have a strong aversion to first person, as is puts me in the shoes of the character and I prefer to be an observer. I'm not saying that first is objectively bad, or that there's not good stories out their written in first person, but it's not my jam as a writer or a reader.
     
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  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Senior Member

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    I'm with you. I loathe first person. I'm always like why is this character constantly talking about herself? Shut up and do something interesting already!
     
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  8. OJB

    OJB Senior Member

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    I write 1st person, but usually, my narratives are unreliable, hence why they are 1st. If I ever wrote an Epic, I would do 3rd person all the way.

    -OJB.
     

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