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3rd Person Writing

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Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:42 am
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thunder_dude7 says...

Alright, so I've been writing third person all my life. I'm not completely sure why - maybe it's because I started writing in 1st grade and I thought it was stupid to say I was a fictional character.

All the time, I see writers saying they prefer 1st person because it allows you to relate to the characters. I literally laugh out loud, because, frankly, it makes it sound like you can't relate in third. It's actually quite possible.

I like to call it "Diary Style". It was inspired by a book I read called "The Shadow Thieves" by Anne Ursu - after I finished reading it, I felt close to the characters, despite the third person narrative. But why? I looked into it to find out, and diary style was born.

Basically, in Diary Style, you pretend you are the main character in that scene - then, think of it like the character is writing their diary in third person.

For example, here is the same passage written twice, the first in regular third person, the second in Diary Style.

Normal wrote:Jenny sighed as she dialed her mom's number in her cell phone. Ever since a boy ran away from home after school a few weeks earlier, she had to call her mom and stay on the line until she was home. She hated it.

Diary Style wrote:Jenny punched her mom's number into her cell phone. Ever sense a boy ran away from home after school a few weeks ago, she had to talk to her mom the entire mile walk home. It was almost as if her mom didn't trust her.

You will notice that the last sentence in the diary style example let's off a sarcastic tone which taps into Jenny's character without going into her thoughts - an occasionally awkward practice in third person.

Diary style can boost up third person writing tremendously - it can help you truly tap into the character and emotion of your characters without employing first person.

Try it!


Now! You'll forget it if you don't!



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Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:48 pm
Chloe(: says...

Nice! Recently I have decided to write in third person only. It's not as easy, but you can focus on more than one character.
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Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:00 am
pudin.junidf says...

I write in both first and third person P.O.V.
To be honest, thirs perso P.O.V has that something that makes the reader feel engaged by the story and continue reading it. I write in first person and believe me, I've found many disadvantages on it, so I'm trying to work it out.
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Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:30 am
AspiringAuthorA..M. says...

What about third person omniscient?

I can handle basic third person, because that is what I always write in. Except for right now, since I am writing in first person.
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Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:20 pm
Durriedog says...

Whoa, very helpful! And Shadow Thief... wasn't that written by a 14 year old? Inspiring! xD I'll try this out!
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Mon May 03, 2010 8:07 am
Rulani says...

Nice! Dre, I`m going to try it out.

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Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:53 am
Pencil2paper says...

Thanks! I really needed to figure out what POV to do my book I'm writing in, and I think the diary style's perfect. Yay, one less problem to solve! :smt001
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Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:53 am
Paracosm says...

This is a very interesting technique. I'll definitely have to give it a shot!
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Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:51 pm
rachellecarter says...

You are a genius! I haven't been a good 3rd person writer in a long time! Now it's like I'm writing in 1st person, but still in 3rd person! Thanks a bundle. :D

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Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:02 pm
seeminglymeaningless says...

I read "diary" as "dairy" the entire time. I was very confused.
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