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  1. #1
    Grandmaster Sik

    1st/3rd person mixing...

    Gosh, so I've read this horrible, horrible style in other books (thankfully rarely), whereby the whole novel is in the first person narrative, switching to third person as it follows secondary characters in what may as well be tacked-on page-filler chapters.
    I shan't go into too much detail as I'm tired (am typing here to take the words from my own writings out of my head so that I can sleep without the need to get up to continue), but I just started reading this pretty bad book by an author calling herself MJ Rose and - frankly - it's bugging the s**t out of me... almost as much as her ludicrously fragemented sentences - never more than eight words long - bedazzling us ocassionally with her extraordinary use of grammar by way of a comma.

    Surely, switching/mixing/befuddling 1st and 3rd person narrative is a cardinal sin in literature, but please, more opinions on the topic...

  2. #2
    Dave O

    Re: 1st/3rd person mixing...

    I asked a similar question not too long ago, and was given what I believe to be a good answer.

    Almost any technique can be used in writing, as long as it is used well. I believe the exact words were, "Good writing trumps all." Perhaps I'm biased, because my own book does something similar (granted, only the first two chapters are third, and the rest are first), but you asked for my opinion, and there it is. If an author can make it work, then I don't see why not.

  3. #3
    Cathy C

    Re: 1st/3rd person mixing...

    Several authors do it quite well. You might pick up one of the "Jack Daniels Mysteries" by J.A. Konrath. I think the first one, where the heroine was introduced, was "Whiskey Sour." He does the heroine in first person, and the VILLAIN in third, which is a lot of fun, because he does a great job of keeping the villain's identity a secret from the reader.

    Sorry you aren't enjoying the M.J. Rose book (her real name, BTW) I like her books. But then I like unusual techniques from time to time. <shrug>

  4. #4
    Grandmaster Sik

    Re: 1st/3rd person mixing...

    Ha, [i]Good writing trumps all<(i> - I suppose it's true to a certain degree (it still bugs me though - seems so out of context).

  5. #5
    June Casagrande

    Re: 1st/3rd person mixing...

    Harlan Coben did it in "The Woods" -- a big, big seller (I know, I know).

  6. #6
    d. Leroy

    Re: 1st/3rd person mixing...

    Andre Dubus did it in "House of Sand and Fog". I thought it worked okay.

    I'm doing it my current novel (very sparingly), where the story is written in first person, but I'm writing the short sections of events that occured in Desert Storm in 3rd person, from the main characters POV. Don't know why, just felt like the right thing to do.


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