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September 18th, 2002, 06:23 PM
A story in the First Person POV, or one writen in Third Person?

I personaly find first person more difficult than the third, but I certainly want to read about more peoples' opinions (that's why I posted this topic! :D)

I find the 1st person a bit restrictive and challenging at the same time. One thing I think it's more difficult about it is that you have to put problems for the characters to solve, but you must try not to overdo it. It's a weird balance, because, if the character goes through TOO much, then the believability (sp?) is lost. Also, you just can't show events that s/he doesn't see, so the 1st person is better for stories that centre around one character and his/her life.

What do you think?

September 18th, 2002, 06:48 PM
First person is definetely harder. But this could be interpreted in a few ways.

For one, you only have to write about one character and describe mostly only his feelings. This can be easy or hard. Since you can't put the story in another person's perspective, the story will usually get a little boring. (esp. if you are writing an epic fantasy in first person. But in that case, which author in their right mind would write epic in first person?) But if you are talking about milder fantasy, with more action and less background and subplots, then I would have to say that first person would be easier, only because you don't have to worry about so many other characters. I, personally, tend to write in third person; it's just alot more fun. When I write in first, I usually get tired of my main character and I just stop writing the story. (Uh oh, my first ramble. Eeeeep.)

Soooo. The bottom line is that first person can be easy or hard.

September 18th, 2002, 07:20 PM
I find first person easier to write in when I'm working on a story that has a lot of internal dialogue, internal conflict, or problems that need to be mulled over. When the conflict is external, or if I have a need to tell the story from multiple points of view, I like to use third person.

One of the problems I find with first person, however is that it becomes difficult to define the character - in having him or her react to events as that character and not as I would see myself reacting.

September 18th, 2002, 11:39 PM
First person is great for getting inside the mind of a particular character, but it's hard to do a whole story from it.
Saying that, Bram Stoker wrote Dracula entirely from first person perspective using journal entries, letters to and from characters etc, but it was a long-winded affair to tie in all the events of each character and broke up the flow somewhat.
I think a combination is necessary and you need to be the story-teller in an external as well as internal sense to make a story work well.
To answer the question I would say first person is harder as the singular POV in general, unless the nature of the tale is a diary/journal or even interview styled piece.

September 19th, 2002, 01:30 AM
I only write in 3rd person, because I read 3rd person. I find I can't really get into 1st person books, at least fantasy ones anyway.

One thing with 1st person though is that you don't have to get the sentence structure and all that perfect. 1st person is much more flexible and easier to write, if you know how.

On the other hand, 3rd person is so fun, describing things in detail.

September 19th, 2002, 09:17 AM
I think it is subjective, some people will find one easier than the other.

I voted for Third Person as harder, because personally, I find it hard to keep a track of multi POV, and all that detail!!! Gah.

milamber made an interesting point though, First person does give you freedom to use slang and sometimes intentionally sloppy prose. You can really communicate a character's personality and character using first person. Although I find it easier than writing 3rd Person, I prefer reading Third Person :confused:

September 19th, 2002, 05:05 PM
For me first person is the hardest.... I can't get my head round one view point all the time.

Third person, where I can write a section from one persons view point then as the scene changes use another I find better.

I also then to use a more "stand offish" if that makes sense 3rd person. You are seeing it through character B's eyes but it is slightly one step back from him... It gives me scope to draw the scene large on small.

It is nearly two weeks since I wrote a word on any of my works I seem to have lost the "will" to write at the moment.

The last piece I wrote had the first chapter in first person present tense as it was set in one world... As the story shifts to the "next world it will be in 3rd person mainly through the eyes of four or five people. But though the person in the first chapter will be in the story you won't see this "next" world through her....

September 19th, 2002, 06:41 PM
I enjoy reading short stories written in first person but I tend to become very bored if an entire novel is restricted to one persons point of view. All of those "I am" or "I heard" makes me feel as if that world is closed to me as the reader. Also, I don't enjoy writing in first person. It makes me feel restricted.

However, I really enjoy those writers who can incorporate both views. For example, Orson Scott Card often has an occasional paragraph written in a first person type form. In other words, even though he is writing in third person he still takes the time to go into a characters mind. I suggest that you all read Ender's Game or Seventh Son and observe his technique.


Aik Haw
September 22nd, 2002, 02:11 AM
First person viewpoint is very difficult to write, unless you are an excellent author like John Christopher who written the Tripod Trilogy!! Also, it is easier to see things from a third person viewpoint than being the person himself, in my experience anyway.

September 22nd, 2002, 08:38 PM
Well, I definately think that first person is harder, because you don't have as much control over what the reader knows, where in third person, you can make sure the reader doesn't know certain details that will stun them later in the story. In my opinion, second person is just plain weird!