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SubZero61992
March 29th, 2005, 10:35 PM
Whats required?
Do I need to describe as much as I need to in 3rd person?
As in, do I need to describe everything, such as my hair or anytihng else or should it all just flow together somewhere near the beginning?

Expendable
March 29th, 2005, 11:20 PM
It's all on you. What you see, feel.

My namesake book is written in the first person, you can read the first chapter online (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/038079439X/ref=sib_fs_bod/104-8521633-7441558?%5Fencoding=UTF8&p=S00B&checkSum=h6qwTAeaaCPuFz4P%2BXzC8AZXnGoQxdj3XbuIoIS dFng%3D#reader-link) from Amazon.

Other books written in the first person is Roger Zelazny - Amber series and Doorways In the Sand; Sheri S Tepper - Beauty;Gene Wolfe - Book Of the New Sun;James Gardener - Expendable.

Zanzibar
March 29th, 2005, 11:21 PM
I kind of like writing in first person because I find I need to describe less, which is a nice change. All you really need to do is describe only things that the character from whose perspective the story is told can percieve. If there's a monster waiting around a corner you wouldn't make the reader aware of it until the character is similarly enlightened. This method of writing makes creating suspense somewhat easier as I think it draws the reader in more.

SubZero61992
March 29th, 2005, 11:25 PM
Yay! So I know what Im doing!

Zanzibar
March 29th, 2005, 11:31 PM
When writing in first person perspective I think most people tend to make their protagonists think more (meaning they put that character's thoughts into words, almost like a monologue within whatever prose or dialogue is already taking place).

Be careful about the perspective thing, though. If you're going to do it the "I see it so the reader does too" way you've got to make sure you don't slip up and accidentally reveal something that your character doesn't yet know, which creates a continuity error.

Expendable
March 29th, 2005, 11:34 PM
Much of Sherlock Holmes (http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext99/advsh12.txt) is written in the first person. So is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/7/76/76.txt) over at Project Gutenberg

TheEarCollector
March 29th, 2005, 11:50 PM
Well you are judging third person from a skewed perspective... when writing in third person you also don't need to describe everything. Unless hair color is vital to the plot then you never need to read about it.

Physical descriptions of characters are NEVER needed.

MrBF1V3
March 30th, 2005, 10:47 AM
Physical descriptions of characters are NEVER needed.

NEVER? Are you sure?

Zanzibar
March 30th, 2005, 11:07 AM
I would say it's rather important to create an image of the characters for the readers, unless your intent is to allow them to do it themselves. What I meant was, in third person perspective you are generally following around more than one character, meaning they are typically exposed to more, meaning you must explain and describe more, especially since the perspective is that of an outside source and none of the characters themselves.

choppy
March 30th, 2005, 11:38 AM
One of the great advantages of first person perspective is that it allows you a little more freedom to insert comments on the story that would come from the character (as opposed to the author). This can offer a lot of insight and provide a venue for getting information across that otherwise would be difficult to communicate.

I tend to worry less and less about physical description, regardless of point of view. Some attributes are important. For example if you have a character trying to lift something heavy, it makes a difference to know how strong that character is. I recently finished Stephen King's From a Buick 8. In it there's a scene (towards the end) where the characters are described by the kinds of cars they drive. One character, a middle-aged police dispatcher pulls away in her Volkswagon Rabbit with that has a bumper sticker that reads "My karma ran over my dogma" and it somehow creates this perfect picture of the character.

Details about hair and eye colour are the kinds of things that can be filled in by the reader's imagination in many cases.