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  1. SB108

    SB108 New Member

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    The Point of View questions thread

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SB108, Jul 8, 2007.

    I prefer to write and read third person stuff, but I recon that I can write much easier in first person.
     
  2. Heather Louise

    Heather Louise Contributor Contributor

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    i used to always prefer third person things, to both write and read, but after reading a lot of books my dad brings home i have started to enjoy both third and first person. i prefer to write novels in third person, but short stories in first. but i do like to change them about a little bit to make things a little more interesting.
    Heather
     
  3. Banzai

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Usually I write in third person, but lately (like heather) I've been reading quite a bit of first person. I'm now playing with the idea of writing a novel in first person.
     
  4. Heather Louise

    Heather Louise Contributor Contributor

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    you should try it Banzia, it is much easier than you would think. the good thing about first person is that you can get into touch with the charecor more. the bad thing is that you always have to be following them and what they can see,w hich can be limiting.
     
  5. Banzai

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That was always what put me off it, the limitations of one person's perspective. I usually have my characters spending half of the story with no idea what the hell is going on. But then, first person offers more opportunity for humor... I will have to experiment...
     
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  6. Mango

    Mango New Member

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    Inter-mix-relate-contort whatever person appears. Mangle opportunity for insight. *blows up perspective*
    :cool:
     
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  7. Edward

    Edward Active Member

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    I've traditionally written in third person, I don't actually have a preference for reading.

    I'm trying to write in second person though. You don't often find many books written that way. When I read over it it's kind of fun.
     
  8. xunrequited.lovex

    xunrequited.lovex New Member

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    Third person is my preference. It allows the reader to get to know each of the characters in a far more thorough way than going by what the first-person's view of that character is. Chances are if you're seeing through Bob's eyes and Bob hates Fred, you're going to hate Fred, too. I like to have my own opinions made by my thoughts of the characters offered in the story.
     
  9. Jackaroo

    Jackaroo New Member

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    De Elementen (translates as 'the elements') by Harry Mulisch was written in second person, and after a couple of pages that really worked. Since then I don't think I've encountered any more stories from the perspective, but I'd love to. *take the hint? haha j/k*
     
  10. TVDinner

    TVDinner New Member

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    first person is the way I normally write, because at least to me, it allows me to explain the feeling and a emotions of the characters more accurately and in greater detail then 3rd person.
     
  11. Torana

    Torana Contributor Contributor

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    I generally prefer to write in third person, not sure why really, just have always been that way. But I am writing a horror piece at the moment and it is in first person view.
     
  12. TVDinner

    TVDinner New Member

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    how in 3rd person do you address personal direct character emotions...I am curious how each of you handle it
     
  13. dushechka

    dushechka New Member

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    I'm currently (attempting) to write a novel in first person, though the lack of detail (or my horrible attempts at it) is rather frustrating.

    I do enjoy it though, as I think it's easier to express the character's emotions / feelings / thoughts way easier than normal "he saids."
     
  14. Ferret

    Ferret New Member

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    The parts of your soul you refuse to recognize.
    I like to write in first person. I tend to come off... without personality in third.
    Like Tv said, I like to use first in order to convey emotions easier, and dislike third since you have little connection to the charactes.
     
  15. TVDinner

    TVDinner New Member

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    I agree about the disconnect in 3rd person, but there are some incredible novels in 3rd person. I just cant do it well, lol
     
  16. beatgen_nerd

    beatgen_nerd New Member

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    You know, it's just that exact aspect that has always drawn me into the first person. Because you only have one person's point of view, there is always a sense of mystery and such to the plot. I also feel like it gives me more freedom because, as we all know, misunderstandings tend to be an everday thing in reality and can also be used literature to provide twists and such - a kind of take on Aristotle's ideas of the tragic hero, if you will.
     
  17. LionofPerth

    LionofPerth New Member

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    Well, I guess I'll write what that story calls for, I'd like to try second, but my last attempt was a failure.
     
  18. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    I tend to prefer 1st person POV for both reading and for writing, but I can work with and enjoy third person limited. Third person omniscient I've not tried to write, and I often don't enjoy books written with that POV either.

    Terry
     
  19. Dan Rhodenizer

    Dan Rhodenizer New Member

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    I'm not really sure, I'm descent at both. But with my new novel I'm attempting to write, is gonna be First-Person for the prologue (because it's a Personal Journal Entry) and 3rd person for most of the remainder.
     
  20. Milady

    Milady New Member

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    To make a long story short, my question is, What's the difference between writing third- and first-person?

    Okay, okay, I'm not a noob. I've been through seventh-grade English, and I know all about the "I"'s and "We"'s, "He"s and "she"s. I mean to take this question from an author or writer's standpoint.

    So, which POV do you prefer to work with? Why? Which, in your opinion, makes a story "better", or more reader-friendly?

    I can write in both, but I prefer first person for some reason. It's easier to put myself in the place of the character, and it's a great way to do character development.

    Unfortunately, it's easy for your character to become little more than a self-insert for your vicarious pleasures. It's also easy to just develop your viewpoint character and neglect the other, equally interesting ones. As in all writing, it's a difficult balance.

    So, what about you?
     
  21. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I prefer third person most of the time. With a first person POV, you are limited to one character's perception of events, unless you switch narrators at some point, which I consider very distracting. With third person, you can present differing viewpoints in an unbiased way, or more accurately biased to the needs and values of the character currewntly in focus.

    An other advantage is the possibility of suspense. Alfred Hitchcock has discussed the nature of suspense in terms of information hidden from a character but known to the audience. For example, a bomb ticking away under a table generates no suspense if the character knows about it. Neither does it generate suspense if neither the character nor the audience knows about it. But if the audience knows about it while the character goes about his business in the room, you have created suspense.

    The form of third person narrative in which you switch viewpoints is third person omniscient. A variation, third person limited omniscient, limits the narration to what a single character can perceive and think. The sentence structure is like third person omniscient, which is a very comfortable and familiar form to read, and it still has the same intimate knowledge of that person's thoughts as you can develop with first person. However, if you need to jump to someone else's viewpoint for a time, you can do so with far less disruption than you can from first person.

    Without omniscience, you can keep the characters thoughts sequestered, so the reader only guesses what each character really thinks from his or her actions. I like this style, because it encourages more showing than telling, but it doesn't work well if you need to reveal dreams or trains of thought in some detail.

    First person can be effective if you are concentrating heavily on the principal character's inner conflicts, but I doubt I would be very tempted to use it for anything more than a short story.
     
  22. Milady

    Milady New Member

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    Sage advice, there, Cogito. I understand the many pros of third person, but I can't write it well. I think I read too much first-person.

    The main problem I have writing third-person is that I focus on one character so much that I tend to make it indistinguishable from first, or I have so many characters that I can't keep them all in check. I guess I use first as my crutch.

    Most of my stories tend to involve just one person that's at the heart of all the conflicts, so it sort of works...


    Huh. I wish I could write third person well.
     
  23. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds like you just need to do more reading of the best writing by the best writers [not always the most popular], to see how they do it... constant reading is a requisite for learning how to write...
     
  24. Bluemouth

    Bluemouth Contributor Contributor

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    If you can't write third person, then the story becomes noticeably stagnant. At times I've come across this, so lately I've been avoiding third person altogether.

    Both styles have the potential to be very addictive, but I've found authors writing in the third person bloat out everything to a point where it becomes boring. This can occasionally be seen with first person, but I find reading from a character's perspective more engaging. Every word, in fact, is actually a piece of characterisation.

    If your story is going to contain action from various perspectives, the obvious choice is third person. But if you want to follow a single person and allow the reader to understand them, I'd go with first person.

    If you want an example of a very good novel written in first person, then check out The Beach by Alex Garland.
     
  25. Montag

    Montag New Member

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    I'm fairly decent at writing both, but I don't particularly like reading first-person.

    I find it easy to stall in first person writing, so with something that will end up being fairly long, I generally go with third.
     

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