1. CAR0527

    CAR0527 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado

    First person, and Third Person.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CAR0527, Jan 19, 2018.

    So in my novel, for my prologue I ended up writing it in the third person point of view. Then when Chapter One comes to play I switched it to first person, unintentionally. Is that something that's alright to do? Like have the prologue be in third person and then have the rest of the book be first person?

    Thanks,
    Courtney
     
  2. Lemie

    Lemie Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,364
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Location:
    Sweden
    I think it's generally frowned upon to change within the book. At least if there doesn't seem to be a good reason.

    Come to think of it, prologues aren't too popular either now a days.

    As a reader I don't like first person at all. So if I picked up a book and it started with third person and then switched, I'd be pretty annoyed.

    To be honest that actually happened in the book I read now. It all started out with a dream which is described in third person - but as soon as the protagonist wakes up it's all described from her pow in first. I'm not really a big fan of the book so far...
     
  3. CAR0527

    CAR0527 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hmmm, maybe I'll write the prologue later because I'm so focused on the book I was lazy about writing the prologue. I'll change it to first person.

    First person is easier for me to put myself into the book and think like the character(s) so that's why I write in first person.
     
  4. mirammda

    mirammda New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Argentina
    I don't think it's a bad idea writing the prologue in the third person and the rest of the story in the first person. I've seen it before and if it fits the story then it's the right call.
    Personally, I like it better when a story it's written in the third person but I don't mind the first person either, if you think that the first person pov is better for the story then there's nothing to talk about, hey!
     
  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    14,287
    Likes Received:
    11,480
    This suggests that perhaps you don't even need a prologue? I'm not saying this as a general anti-prologue sentiment (though I am often anti-prologue) but because a prologue usually has a specific purpose.
     
  6. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,034
    Likes Received:
    3,007
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    You can have a prologue in 3rd and the rest of the book in 1st. But I agree with @ChickenFreak - do you need a prologue at all?
     
  7. CAR0527

    CAR0527 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    The prologue in my book is how my main character's "parents" came to meet. In my book Lucifer was attracted to a normal girl with brown hair and blond high lights and they were both trying to play cool, but ya'll know what happens next. It just explains things. I know prologue's are rare or not very important but I thought for my novel it'd help.
     
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    14,287
    Likes Received:
    11,480
    Sometimes explaining things too early can make the book less interesting. Surely discovering that the character's father is Lucifer is an exciting discovery worth building up to?

    (For example, would the Star Wars movies have been a whole lot better if you'd known the identity of Luke's father from the very beginning? And even better if you'd known the identity of Leia's father?)
     
    BayView and EdFromNY like this.
  9. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,034
    Likes Received:
    3,007
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Definitely. In my crime novel, my mc's entire internal arc is about reconciling herself to events in her past - two, in particular - and I don't reveal either until well into the story.

    I'm also reminded of Julia Alvarez' In the Name of Salome, in which there are two story lines, one of the mother that moves forward in time, and one of the daughter that moves backward in time.
     
  10. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    13,778
    Likes Received:
    7,208
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I’ve heard it was always best to stick with either 1st person or 3rd. I once read a book that alternated from 1st to 3rd in every single chapter. Result? Unreadable by every stretch of the imagination. What made it worse was that this was a sequel to a book written entirely in 1st person, so clearly the author had an idea! Why he felt the need to change it up like that, I’ll never understand.
     
  11. MachineGryphon

    MachineGryphon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes was one of my favourite books that I read last year, and that regularly swapped between the protagonist's first-person perspective, and the antagonist's third. It worked well for this book as it enabled a wider view of the terrorist and his motives while keeping it personal at the same time. I'd think it's quite a hard balance to strike though, and would have to be planned out well.

    I'm planning a quick switch to third-person towards the end of my own novel. It's used in this instance to heavily imply the death of my protagonist, and I'm not totally sure if I'm going to include it just yet.

    Obviously people will have their preferences on perspective, but as long as it makes sense and doesn't disturb the flow then I wouldn't think a brief shift to another perspective is too damaging.
     
  12. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,034
    Likes Received:
    3,007
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I don't know where you might have heard it, but I would disagree. Hemingway included one 1st person chapter (the rest were 3rd person) in To Have and Have Not. And, as I've pointed out elsewhere, Christina Baker Kline in The Orphan Train moves between 1st and 3rd throughout the novel, depending on whose POV she is in at the time (there are only two). If you're more comfortable sticking with all one or all the other, that's fine. But there is no "rule" about it.
     
  13. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    14,287
    Likes Received:
    11,480
    Laurie King’s Holmes/Russell series bobs between first and third—Russell is first, other POVs are third. It works for me, which doesn’t mean that I’d have the confidence to try it myself.
     
  14. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    5,034
    Likes Received:
    3,007
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    As with anything else, I think you need a reason to want to write it that way. In The Orphan Train, both characters are transformed by their interaction with the other, but the 1st person character's transformation is greater and more unexpected, and it's seen from the POV of the 3rd person character (more reliable narration?).
     

Share This Page