Created by qualeshia3
Post Reply Calling all writers and readers! Which do you prefer and why?
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28 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 2/13/18 , edited 2/14/18
When it comes to reading or writing fiction, which narrative do you prefer to read in or write in?

Tell me why that is.
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Canada, Toronto
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Posted 2/14/18 , edited 3/3/18
It really depends on the genre. The first-person perspective can make help explore the psychology (perception, cognition, theory of mind) of a specific individual and would attract audience with one highly relatable character. The third person attract the audience with multiple characters who are partly relatable in different senses. The first-person narrative can cover the details of microscale plot while the third-person can cover the macroscale plot within a much shorter narrative.
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F / BuBbLeS!
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Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/14/18
I have done a few first person, but they don't appeal to me, I prefer second and third, I have a bad habit of talking in second and third so it makes it easy to write in said fashion as well.
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28 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/14/18

niotabunny wrote:

I have done a few first person, but they don't appeal to me, I prefer second and third, I have a bad habit of talking in second and third so it makes it easy to write in said fashion as well.


You read and/or written a story in second person???
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32 / M / Usually right und...
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Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/14/18
I'm a reader, my own writing limits itself to RP in some of the games I play(ed).

I'm going to agree with sinoakayumi, it depends on the story.
First person stories are great when you want to stick to one (or a small number of) protagonist(s) and give the audience deep insights into their inner workings and/or want to create a more intimate initial connection between the audience and your protagonist. It places the audience in the role of "active" participant in the story. It's an interesting way to build up the audience's understanding of the setting as the protagonist's understanding of it grows and lends itself extremely well to plots that hinge on differences in perception.
On the other hand I've read a couple of stories that tried to pull off first person narrative while switching through the perspectives of a multitude of characters and the end result was disorienting and hard to follow, third person simply works better for bigger casts and multiple parallel plotlines.
Third person is the tried and true format most stories I've read follow. There's not much you can do wrong with it and it still allows you to convey the thoughts and motivations of your characters. The downside, if you will, is that is places a bit more distance between the protagonist and the audience at first. They take on the role of passive observer and have to build their connection to the characters from there.
With that said the two are not, strictly, mutually exclusive. I've read third person narratives that used first person chapters to great effect. Just know what your primary format is going to be and only break away from it in moderation.

The only times I encounter second person narratives are when playing games or in the old choose-your-own-adventure books of my childhood.
I think this is a format that is extremely hard to pull off in the classic novel because it suggests the reader has some agency to act on their own and not providing them with that choice can break the audience out of their immersion in the story. You'd have to make it clear to the audience that the perspective they take is that of a completely passive observer with no agency of their own, like a prisoner or someone who is otherwise restricted in what active role they can take.
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34 / F / Maryland
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Posted 2/14/18 , edited 2/15/18
I prefer third person in terms of writing. I find it more difficult to do in first person as I usually write with a lot of characters. First person writing is better focused on one or maybe two characters in my opinion.

Reading I can do either first or third.
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27 / Kanagawa
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Posted 2/26/18 , edited 2/27/18
I still prefer the third person pov, although I also enjoy reading first person pov.
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31 / M / Sacramento, CA
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Posted 2/26/18 , edited 2/27/18
Mmm. I'm going to go ahead and +1 those who said it depends on the story.

Personally, for my stories, I prefer the third person method. I feel like it makes it easier to hide things from the reader, whereas with 1st person storytelling you basically have to let the audience in on anything the main character knows. Well, you don't necessarily have to, but it always bugs me when I'm reading something from one character's perspective and then the author tries to drop a bombshell on me that the character would have already known somehow. It can often times feel like a cheap cop-out, so I try to avoid it whenever possible.
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26 / F / PA, USA
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Posted 2/27/18 , edited 2/27/18
Overall, I prefer to write in first person, hence my choice of "first;" however; when it comes to reading, I'm equally comfortable with both first, second, and even alternating person. Outside of gamebooks, I usually don't care for third person.
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20 / F
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Posted 3/2/18 , edited 3/2/18
Third person.
Personally I find first and second person annoying to read/write.
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Unhatched / Egg / 卵
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Posted 3/2/18 , edited 3/2/18
It's not about preference. It's a matter of what the perspective does for the narrative. Sinoakayumi has it covered.
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Posted 3/3/18 , edited 3/3/18
I've never read a commercial novel in the wrong perspective. It does depend on what's right for the story.
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