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First or Second Person?

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Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:46 am
Emmzziee says...



So which do you prefer to read?
And which do you prefer to write in? :)

(Which would be better for a thriller/horror type of book?)
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Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:57 pm
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Kyllorac says...



Second person in general is extremely difficult to pull off without annoying your readers ("No, I would not do that" being a very common response), especially with longer works.

First person is also difficult because you are limited by what the character sees, and if the character's voice is not appealing to the readers, then you risk losing them.

Personally, I prefer reading and writing in third-person. There's a lot of flexibility in how intimate or distant the narrator, characters, and readers are from one another.

As for which would be better for a thriller/horror type of book, it depends on the writing. Some stories work best told from first, others in second, others in third. If you think your story is best told from one PoV, tell it from that PoV and then post it up for feedback. It's a bit hard to say which is better for your story without seeing it because generalities really don't apply that well to individual pieces of writing. ;P

In general, though, first or third person would be your safest bet.
Screwing with gender since 1995.


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Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:14 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



Another thing to keep in mind is that first person requires a very good understanding of the character's voice. Normally, I only write in first person if the character is demanding first person. Every other time, I use third.

I have written in second person once, but the idea was created specifically for second person. I wouldn't use second person for any old idea.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:43 pm
Emmzziee says...



Thank you for your responses :D I always thought that first person was from the author's view, second person was from one point of view and third was the hard one :) oops. :D
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Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:09 pm
Rosey Unicorn says...



The only thing that determines what person a novel is in are the pronouns used. So the persons are:

First- I, me. (I being the point of view character, usually the main character; the point of view usually doesn't change from that one character)
Second- you (hence why it's the least favourite; sentences read like "you opened the door" for the whole novel)
Third- He, she, it. (think of it like a camera over the character's shoulder that also reads their mind sometimes, but can also change characters it follows)
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:56 pm
shadowraiki says...



The way I see it is like this:
1st; A character speaking in the form of a journal, thoughts, or a diary. Either that or an author giving his/her opinion.
2nd; Only seen this a few times in the old GooseBump series where you go to decide on what "path" to take. I'll agree Kyllorac though. Often times you have people just saying, "That's not what I would do."
3rd; The bread and butter of every single novel/story/etc

I've never written anything in second person. Third person seems to be most believable because it's like a person experienced the events and then told another person who wrote the stuff down.
If words are just letters put together, why do we decide on what they mean?

I step away from the grammar to review the story.

I don't do poetry.