Thursday, 11 August 2016

First or Third Person Viewpoint...

I've always preferred third person viewpoint, both writing and reading.

Occasionally I have written a short story from the first person viewpoint, but I hadn't intended it. I started writing and that was how the character and story seemed to fit.

Now I'm in the same situation again with this 1920's story- hopefully a pocket novel.

As I've been writing blocks of dialogue from the ideas in my head, I've been getting inside the mind of my heroine, but I do wonder if that will remain once I start adding description and narrative, or will I find I'm writing in the third person as usual?

Though the idea of using first person would fit this particular plot well I'm really not sure I can carry it off!

I suspect there will be a lot of editing by the time I've finished it-whichever direction it goes...

So what's your thoughts on viewpoint in your writing? Do you prefer a particular viewpoint, or does it depend on the story you're writing?

First or Third?

























Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at www.freedigitalphotos.net

12 comments:

Anne Stenhouse said...

Hi Carol, I find it very hard to write in first person. I start off well, but invariably get in a muddle when I want to tell part of the story the 'I' couldn't know about at the chronological best moment. anne stenhouse

Carolb said...

I suspect that's why some books have more than one viewpoint to keep the immediacy, Anne, and allows the reader to get the information they need to know, but the 'I' doesn't. :)

Patsy said...

For me it depends what I'm writing. For short stories I've used 1st, 2nd and 3rd. With novels so far I've used 3rd, but I'd happilly use 1st if that seemed the best ft.

Teresa Ashby said...

I like using and reading both, but sometimes I'll be halfway through a story and find the viewpoint has suddenly changed because it just didn't fit the way I'd initially chosen :-) xx

Wendy's Writing said...

Oh it's a dilemma isn't it! Like Patsy, I write magazine stories in 1st, 2nd and 3rd. My novel was originally in both 1st and 3rd then, when I took a character's viewpoint out, moved to just 3rd. I think some genres lend themselves more to 1st e.g suspense.

Carolb said...

I think that's a good point, Patsy, it's which is the best fit for the story.

Carolb said...

And of course it means you have to change that first part in the next draft, Teresa. :-)x

Carolb said...

Yes, I agree, Wendy. There are some genres where 1st person works so much better, and I suppose with suspense the element of not knowing increases when it's from the 1st person viewpoint.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It very much depends what I'm writing, Carol - I've written in first and third as well as male and female. Same with reading - depends on the story!

Carolb said...

I suspect my story will decide which POV I use, Rosemary.

If it doesn't work then I can always change it when I edit. :)

Maria said...

Agree with comments above, think it all depends on the writer, and the story. First person brings us closer, but limits what we can write. Third person is better if you need to divulge information more generally.

I like reading and writing stories where each chapter is from alternative POV...
Like Teresa, I've been known to rewrite from a different POV and why not if it makes it better.

Carolb said...

That's a good reminder, Maria, that if it doesn't seen to work in one viewpoint try it in an alternative viewpoint. :-)