Jennifer Lyon

Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Question of the Day

I’d really love your opinion on this:

First person or third person? Why? Do you sometimes like first, and other times like third?

Enlighten me!

15 comments to “Question of the Day”

  1. Jane
    August 18th, 2011 at 3:46 am · Link

    I always prefer third person.

  2. B.E Sanderson
    August 18th, 2011 at 5:22 am · Link

    Either POV can work well if they’re done right. For me, it usually depends on the story. I’ve written in both. Heck, I’ve written my current urban fantasy in both. With this one, first definitely works better.

  3. Jen Lyon
    August 18th, 2011 at 10:37 am · Link

    Jane, thanks!

  4. Jen Lyon
    August 18th, 2011 at 10:37 am · Link

    B.E., I think that’s the key–it depends :-) Wouldn’t it be easier if there were hard and fast answers :-)

  5. Silver James
    August 18th, 2011 at 11:03 am · Link

    I’m a third person witch all the way. I abhor first person present tense in writing. I’ve bounced several popular books off the wall for being written that way. Now, that said, I wrote a book where the beginning of each chapter was in the heroine’s POV, first person, as if she were talking out loud to herself before the plot moved into third person for the “rest of the story”. That “device” didn’t last past the first time an editor looked at it. I’m currently reading a book where one chapter is in the heroine’s POV, 1st person, and the next is in the hero’s, 1st person. It’s…well, I’m 100 pages into it and still reading but I’m not thrilled with the format.

    Like so many have said, a lot depends on the story. It’s a well documented fact that I’d have as many POVs as I can get away with in a scene. LOL Seeing everything from only one set of eyes and thoughts just doesn’t do for me as a reader, or a writer. I won’t *not* read a book because it’s in 1st person, but it has to be a really strong story! And an author I really like.

    Is it time for appletinis yet?

  6. Silver James
    August 18th, 2011 at 11:06 am · Link

    I should add that 1st person past tense doesn’t bug me quite so much. I left it sounding like I dislike all 1st person tenses. While not found of 1st person, it’s only 1st present that really pushes every one of my “do not like” buttons! :P

  7. Silver James
    August 18th, 2011 at 11:06 am · Link

    found=fond GAH! I will be so glad when I get my desktop computer back today. Perhaps with it and enough coffee I can actually type correctly and edit my typos. *sigh*

  8. ban
    August 18th, 2011 at 11:27 am · Link

    I’m not picky – I like first AND third person. Unfortunately, it’s true, it really does depend on the story… if you want to reveal a lot of stuff the MC wouldn’t/couldn’t know unless told, then first is a bad choice BUT, if you want the reader to be as in the dark as the MC and have things revealed to them both at the same time, well, you may just wanna give first a try ;)

  9. Candy
    August 18th, 2011 at 12:01 pm · Link

    I will not read a book written in first person. I’m a third person reader only!! I have a couple of authors that I really love but I refuse to by their first person stories. It just takes something away for me.

  10. Viki S.
    August 18th, 2011 at 1:45 pm · Link

    I like third person more but am okay with either.

  11. Jenn
    August 18th, 2011 at 8:16 pm · Link

    Silver, okay you’re cracking me up! I understood exactly what you meant the first time, but your followup comments made me laugh. Our brains work in a similar (and scary!) fashion.

    Present tense isn’t my favorite either.

    I’ve written a cozy series in first person, and it can be limiting. But it also makes everything much more personal to the heroine, so it’s a tough decision.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  12. Jenn
    August 18th, 2011 at 8:17 pm · Link

    Ban, good points. Everything is more immediate to the heroine in first person. (Umm, including sex, which is weird to write that way!).

  13. Jenn
    August 18th, 2011 at 8:18 pm · Link

    Candy, you’re not alone in that. I’ve heard many readers say that. I think first person can limit the depth that third person brings.

  14. Jenn
    August 18th, 2011 at 8:18 pm · Link

    Viki, thanks, I appreciate your input too!

  15. reenib
    August 23rd, 2011 at 8:55 pm · Link

    I’ve written in both third and first person, and I love them both. I’m an avid reader and enjoy both styles of writing. I have found though that if the series is focusing more on one character, their feelings, and their thoughts the book tends to be first person. Whereas books that focus more on multiple characters, descriptions, and umm well everything else ( :) ) tend to be third person. The tense doesn’t bother me when i choose a book to read. It’s the plot, cover, and author who gets my attention.

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