I Like First, But She Prefers Third

I really enjoy writing in first person.  I love getting into the character's head, exploring their beliefs, strengths and weakness.  It's so exciting when a character's voice booms out and fills the page with the tiniest amount of effort.  The best part about writing a story from the first person perspective is how close you can be with your character. When I write in first, the words pour out and my character is in every single word of every single page. 

But I have never written an entire manuscript in first. 

I think it boils down to how I imagine my stories.  For me, it's like going to the cinema.  I chill out in my personal HD, digital surround sound AWESOME Coleplex (I have more than one idea at a time so I need multiple screens) and watch my ideas from the outside.  Meaning, I tend to write plot-driven stories rather than character-driven. I see events unfold and watch the characters react.  I can't say for sure, but I reckon someone who writes an excellent first person narrative probably starts out inside their character's head.

Third person suits me to the very core of my creative being.  I can still dip into a character's thoughts, but I can distance myself and see things from waaaaaay above.  I like that distance.  No, actually, I LOVE it.  I can jump into my character, then leap right out and into the sky and set the scene. 

"As the hungry MC walked through the mall, he dodged the shopping-crazed crowds..."

You wait, my next MS will be first person now :P

How about you? Which perspective do you prefer to write?

Comments

  1. Duuuude, I think we were telepathically linked for today's posts, or something... cause I definitely did a 1st/3rd post today, too! >.<

    I have to say I like them both pretty equally. First is easiest to get into a character's head, but hardest to do well. Whereas third is very versatile, but doesn't let you show all of a character's thoughts directly.

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    1. I know! Scary :P

      I love third's versatility. I tend to write third limited too, so in some ways I get the best of both worlds.

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  2. I love the Coleplex imagery, that's brilliant. :D

    I like both 1st and close 3rd person. I like being able to shape the narration round the character's thoughts, which keeping 3rd person very close allows me to do.

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    1. Thank you ^_^

      I like 3rd person limited too. I like closing in and pulling back at will ;)

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  3. I have written more in 1st, but I love 3rd. The next project I work on--I swear it will stay in 3rd! (I always end up changing it.)

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  4. I've been writing in 1st person, but I like reading in both. I think sometimes certain stories just feel right in a certain POV.

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    1. I completely agree - the story will know which POV it needs.

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  5. Same as you--I like 1st, but I prefer to write in 3rd. I find it much easier to write my story as if it's a movie unfolding in front of me. Then I can go back and add some context or tension but for my first pass, I have to tell the story/movie. I have to get it all out (in 3rd person!) and then go back through and smooth out the rough bits.

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  6. Wow, this is a popular topic lately! Your post is the second I've seen today. Woohoo. :)

    I'm definitely the same as you. My imagination rolls like a movie and I just love being able to see the story unfold from so many different directions and angles. I honestly think I'd get bored if I had to do a whole story in first person (though I'm hoping to try it later this year with a fun MG idea!). I love third!

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    1. This and querying seems very popular right now!

      I love third too, but something tells me I'll write a first someday!

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  7. I'm a third person writer! I prefer writing in it for exactly the reasons you said. You get into the characters head but also expand on what's happening in the rest of the plot. I've never been a huge fan of first because sometimes it feels like we get the characters thoughts too much and we move away from the plot of the story and the flow of it too. Plus I tend to use mulitple MCs so to switch from character to character in first would be confusing.

    However I did try first once for a writing project at uni. My lecturer suggested first might be better for the story and it could also help me because I admitted I was having trouble getting the character and voice right. It actually did work out better. So I won't refuse first. I just automatically write in third.

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    1. Third person is definitely my automatic setting too.

      I have read multiple first person perspectives and they do work. I wrote one when I was 13 with no less than four characters! Aaaaand it's never seeing the light of day ever again.

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  8. I feel most comfortable writing in first. I started my current WIP out in third but couldn't get past the first page. When I switched to first, the words just poured out. It's funny, though, because I see my story as movie, like you.

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    1. And that's why blogging about writing is so awesome - you learn all about how similar and yet totally unique we all are ^_^

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  9. I like both of those perspectives for the exact reasons you said. I prefer to write in third myself. First gets very rambling, with the character completely taking over and talking about useless information for awhile (at least for me). I need to learn how to reign them in and get them back on track, I think, before I'll be able to finish a novel in first person. I did write a few short stories in first person.

    I have a confession. I unfollowed you because my blogroll got insane and I felt horrible for not commenting. But I missed your posts so I am following again! Hi! *waves awkwardly*

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    1. HOW DARE YOU!?!?! :O :O

      ;) No worries! Welcome back ^_^ It's lovely to know I've been missed!

      My first narratives ramble on and on and on too - lots of fun for me, but not for any reader who would have to try and work their way through it all.

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  10. I find it depends on the character and story, for me. Generally, I prefer first person simply because it's easier to throw in the introspection (which is so blasted hard for me!), but third person has been good exercise for me. (FRACTURED RADIANCE is in third person. I've been tempted to move it to the first, but I like the feel that third person is giving it. Less YAish, if you know what I mean.) But first person is great for a really angsty teen char (like in my thesis, RED SKY). So they're both good (as Brian Reagan says).

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    1. Introspection is something my MC does in a rather abstract way. I do my best to fold it into the narrative rather than making a point of this is my character thinking. I can't really describe it any other way.

      My current batch of MCs are third friendly. We'll have to wait and see what the future brings ;)

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