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Thread: First Person

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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    First Person

    Does anyone want to offer an opinion on first person narratives? I've done my research and read a ton about it, but I've never written something in this style. So if anyone wants to tell me your experience or tips, that'd be great.

  2. #2
    Member K.S. Crooks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Toronto, Canada
    All perspectives have their strengths and weaknesses. First person narratives are good for putting the reader in the shoes of your characters. It allows you provide more in-depth thoughts of the characters and have the reader find things out at the same time as the characters. It can limit the number of main characters you have as changing to too many different first person perspectives can be confusing. In a way I feel that there needs to be more emphasis on how the characters feel in given situations because it is their voice that drives the story.

    My current novel series is in third person because I have four main characters; however the one I have on the back burner will be in first person since I want more insight into the main character's thoughts and emotions. A good fast way to see the difference is to read comic books about one character (Batman, Superman, Daredevil) vs. ones that involve a team (Justice League, X-Men, Avengers). Look at the difference in usage of dialogue, inner thoughts and third person narrative. Hope this helps and good luck with your writing.
    K.S. Crooks - Dreamer and Author

  3. #3
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    First person to me can often come off as cheesy if not done well. Never was as comfortable to me.

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
    I've used both and don't really care.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    If you're a beginner, first person is usually not a good idea. Many beginners like the idea of first person, because they can "be" the main character. The only problem is they enjoy "being" the MC so much, they forget they need to tell a story. The writing ends up as a bunch of narcissistic yammering about what the MC likes and dislikes, how he plans to increase his likes and decrease his dislikes in his life, how he feels about that, and what he thinks about what other people think about him. Gets old real fast.

    If you're a beginner, learn how to tell a good story in third person first, then try first person.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Agreed John. It can get a little "Mary Sue" and the main character becomes an idealistic idea of the author himself. It's hard to be objective when you write first person but it can be done, and done well.

    I like first person. It's limiting but can be a great challenge to tell all the relevant story with a limited POV. I don't like multiple first person. I prefer to intersperse third person for any other character who needs to have a voice, because as you say, too many first person narratives can be confusing. I actually like the contrast and juxtaposition of a third in there too.

    Great thread. I will be interested to read anyone else's comments.


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