1. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    82

    What perspective to write with?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Accelerator231, Aug 22, 2019.

    I'm currently writing several stories, and here's the thing. I'm not sure what perspective to write.

    First person?

    3rd person?

    I want the depictions and descriptions to be evocative and informative. And also informative. There's going to be lots and lots of information, whether from scenes, or the protagonists' own inner thoughts. Which is the best type of perspective to write, and what flaws does each one have?
     
  2. RobinLC

    RobinLC Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Chillicothe, OH
    I like 1st person and that's what I've written my latest story in. I like that it puts the reader in the action. However, you can't do a lot of head-hopping. Keeping the POV consistent is a challenge. I have started to change characters during a chapter change by denoting the character name at the beginning of the chapter. Just don't change characters within the chapter.
     
  3. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    82
    Well, personally, I have issues with developing characters. I'm... not good at the 'writing human perspective' thing. The more characters I write, the more there's the possibility of fucking up.
     
  4. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll I am the reason for safety briefs. :P Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    16,391
    Likes Received:
    23,409
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    It seems to be much more popular to write in third than first.
    First person present being the most unpopular of the lot.

    While it is much easier to write evocatively and informative,
    since it is the most intimate and direct way to express the
    character in all aspects, it is possible to do the same in third
    limited. Third is more reliant on dialogue and limited use of
    more direct personal thoughts (i.e. using 'I' outside of speech)
    to build a deeper character in that fashion. With first it is hard
    to keep the narrative and everything inline with the way the
    character would think/see things, without breaking the intricate
    way they are portrayed from a much more direct focal point.

    Overall each has it's merits and flaws, but it all comes down to
    the authors style and preferences in writing a given story. :)
     
  5. Richach

    Richach Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2019
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Birmingham Uk
    For me it depends on the writers experience. As I am fairly new to writing so I use the omniscient 3rd person P.O.V. Also my main story invlolves multiple charcters and there is plenty of dialogue at times.

    I choose this P.O.V not because it is the easiest, but I have to go with the types of stories I like to write. Also I do not have the experience and skill set to change yet.

    I am learning that much about SPAG, telling, informing, showing the reader whats in my head. I think I will stick with what works for me right now. For me choosing the P.O.V is not an option, but it is a goal that I am working towards.
     
  6. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    15,710
    Likes Received:
    17,382
    Location:
    Scotland
    I think the most important thing to consider is which perspective you feel most comfortable in. When you envision your main characters doing what they do, do you tend to think "I did this" or "He/she did this?"

    Keeping in mind that first and third limited are similar—in that you can only depict things from a single character's perspective in a particular scene—which suits you best?

    The only way you'll find out is to give it a try.

    I do think if you plan to change perspectives in your story (have several POV characters) it's probably best to choose third person limited for each character's portion of the story. You CAN do this first person, but the shift can become a bit difficult for the reader to adjust to. (Which "I" are we in now?) Third limited is probably what you want if you're planning to move between POV characters.
     
    Richach likes this.
  7. Lawless

    Lawless Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    116
    It depends on what kind of a story you want to tell and how do you want it to come across. I feel very uncomfortable writing in 1st-person perspective, but my current main project is in first person because it's that kind of a story. It's about what the protagonist sees and thinks and feels and the reader isn't supposed to know what the protagonist doesn't.

    I think 1st-person gives the reader a more immediate feeling of being there and 3rd-person is more comfortable for giving background information to the reader. For example, if you want to show how your protagonist walked into something that took them by surprise, then in 3rd person you can describe the situation in advance and let the reader anticipate the protagonist's surprise; but in 1st person you'll have to leave the reader clueless along with the protagonist and explain the background afterwards as the protagonist learns of it.

    Also, 1st-person forces you to have only one main character with everyone else remaining rather remote to the reader. Unless, of course, you do something like in Wilkie Collins's "The Moonstone" which gives an awesome reading experience but is, I imagine, very hard to write.

    So,
    3rd: more freedom for the writer
    1rd: greater immersion for the reader
     
  8. RobinLC

    RobinLC Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Chillicothe, OH
    What is your process for developing characters?
     
  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    3,910
    Likes Received:
    3,123
    I'm more comfortable writing in first and using present tense. That combination isn't everyone's favorite, but all of the short stories I've sold (with one exception) have been written that way. I also write and publish essays (creative nonfiction) that are obviously in first. My novel is also first person, but I am using pat tense. I don't switch narrators. I have written several things in third person, but I do find it more challenging. However, it I believe it works better for some stories. I think it's about trusting yourself to know which is going to present the story in the way you want as well as looking at what's out there. Most novels are not in present tense. That's why I'm writing my novel in past tense. Most short stories (not all) in the places I want to publish are in first.

    Be careful, though, because first person is not all about inner thoughts and perspective. I have very little of that in my writing. I despise inner monologues. For me, that pretty much kills a story and just comes across as a long ramble from the writer.

    I read somewhere that most new writers start writing in first then move to third (with a different story) then gravitate back to first (again with different stories). I don't know how true it is or how many writers follow this path, but it is sort of how it has worked for me.

    I don't think it's easier to develop characters in one vs. the other. That's sort of its own issue. Aim for consistency and clarity in whichever POV you choose. Sometimes it's best to stick with what you're good at and what feels easier. Other times it's good to push yourself. If you're working on more than one story, you can try out different POVs in different stories. One is probably going to feel easier and more natural.

    You say you're trying to get a lot of information across. make sure you're telling a story and not just feeding info to readers. Story comes first, and keeping that in mind can help you stay on track with whichever POV you decide on using. Readers don't need to know everything at once. I like to lightly drop in the info as needed. And I let subtext do a lot of the work for me when it comes to things like this.
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  10. StoryForest

    StoryForest Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2019
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    77
    I write better in first. The problem is, I want to write in third most of the time because that's how I see the story, and I feel like it's the best way to present it. But words usually come out in a very casual and conversational way in my mind so I've always found myself struggling with that.
     
  11. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    82
    I throw them into situations and see how they react to it. Courage. Compassion. Irritation. Anger. It is in the firestorm that people show their true colours.

    So what you're saying is, is that 1st person means that I have a stronger, deeper connection to my protagonist... but it comes at the cost that because its from his pov, that means that information, whether from other characters or from the narration, is now far less.
     
  12. Lawless

    Lawless Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2018
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    116
    Yes. That's what I think, based on my current knowledge.
     
  13. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    82
    3rd person it is, then. I'm never good at this kind of thing.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice