Monday, June 19, 2017

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Choosing a Narrative: Using First, Second and Third Person Point of View


Quote of the day: 

Nobody is a villain in their own story. We're all the heroes of our own stories. -George R. R. Martin 




Does literature-either prose or poetry, hold a special place in your heart ? If yes you may be familiar with the concept of first, second and third person accounts. To elaborate here is a fun BBC page with explanations and exercises for each view.

Looking back at my poems I've concluded and gauged my writing to be more first person than not, holding prominence over either second person or third person views. After all It makes more sense to tell a story from a point of view you are familiar with, which is what the first person account tends to achieve.


First Person

The first person perspective is often told through a lens consisting of personal stories or thoughts not entirely distinct from reality. You, the reader undergo a metamorphosis and effectively watch the scenario unfold through the character's eyes -the character being me the writer of the text. This style of writing is said to be popular with personal journals, and autobiographies. There is basically a lot of 'I did this', or 'we did that'. With first person perspective there is a split between present tense and past tense. The singular form of the first person is the use of 'I', Its plural form is the use of 'We'. Others include the use of 'me/us', 'my/mine', 'our/ours'. Here is a list of popular first person books.


Second Person

The second person account on the other hand uses the 'you', 'your', and 'yours' pronouns -and can be unconventional, and the most difficult to pull off - especially when writing a novel. It suggests that the audience or reader is also a character within the story or poem. It certainly is a unique form in itself. Here is a list of popular second person books.


Third Person

The third person account is more popular with fiction writers. It involves the use pronouns such as the use of 'she', he, or 'it', when referring to a person, place, or thing. Here is a list of popular third person books.

 No matter which account is used, consistency is the watchword. A big deal of telling a story in first person is the urgency it gives the reader to discover the psyche and sensibility of a character as expressed by the writer -in this case an author or a poet. It can sometimes be tricky to write in this manner, distorting the plot, with more emphasis placed on the character than on the narrative itself.

Delving into the whole concept of the art of writing, choosing a narrative and sticking to it fully is by no means a modest feat. For me, my lessons often come from trial and error and not overthinking what form to use when expressing my thoughts -I just write what comes to mind. However, my poems tend to lean toward the narrative or descriptive corner, telling a story in first person, with rhythmic patterns and without.

I love writing and I hope to continue to learn ways to improve my poetry and concentrate on prose as well. That is my quest, to escape my comfort zone, to write more in second and third person, and as a challenge I plan to do just that this week.

Lastly, to the writers and readers out there, which account works for you the most? First, second, or third person? And can you give a brief reason why?


Have a splendid week!


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Chris Bell - Elevator To Heaven



41 comments:

  1. With our "personality Fragmentation" issues... this is easy for us... sometimes even a 4th (sometime even Another)... arguing a point (or idea from several points of views at the same time... ... makes things "interesting", good Sir... so, we are Never really "alone"...

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  2. and We are the Villain of my Life... (and of my Home-Town...

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    1. at present involved in a bit of "Drama" in which Stacey is to try to be "Hero"... wish us Luck...

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  3. We serve both hero and villan roles in our own lives really, at least that's how I see it. I hopeI play the villan less as I mature and learn.

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  4. I guess I have used all three narratives, it depends on what I am writing and how I am feeling that dictates the style.

    Peace, light and love always!

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    1. Its interesting that you have used all three -again depends on your emotions at that fragile moment. Thanks for commenting!

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  5. I do not write poems but I like to read them. In your post you have paid attention to very important things :-)

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    1. I try, and good to know that you enjoy reading. Thank you and nice of you to visit!

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  6. Interesting point of view... keep on writing!
    Kisses, Paola.
    Expressyourself

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  7. Great post dear!

    http://iameleine.blogspot.com/

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  8. First person, beacause it sounds more realistic, but we know that's pure fiction :)))

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  9. First and third I've used to spin many a tale. But haven't bothered with second much.

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  10. I write first person memoir type stories but I recently read a book that mixed the points of view up through out the book and had the main character's long monologues tell things he couldn't have possibly known. It drove me crazy. The book was a perfect example of what not to use points of view.

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    1. That must have been an eye opener for you. It certainly does no good mixing up the points of view -just lots of confusion. Thanks for sharing that, and warm greetings!

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  11. Most of the poetry I've written is in first person, because that seems like the most natural way to orient what is, essentially, an outlet for my personal thoughts and feelings. For novel-writing, however, I stick mostly to third person, because it allows for a much broader approach than a first or second person POV.

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  12. I'm an avid reader, yet I'm not sure I've read any novels from the second person perspective - but perhaps poetry (which, in my mind, would lend itself to second person more easily).

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  13. I always write in third person, but I try first person every now and then. It's a complete switch for my brain.

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  14. I like first and third. I've heard it said that first person is lazy because of how easy it is to just turn your story into a sort of journal, but I like getting into the character's head, especially when you have an unconventional character with a unique way of thinking. That's hard to translate to third person.

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  15. I have heard first person is a difficult POV to write. In third person, each chapter can be devoted to a different character. You can get inside his or her head. See what s/he sees, hears, feels, but in first person, you're limited. You don't get to see things from another character's point of view.

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  16. Sometimes I like to write as if I'm there at the moment. I think it's interesting for the reader.....and entrancing for me to write. : )

    You should keep on writing. Your stories speak to the crowd.

    ~Sheri

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  17. You wrote it so beautiful.
    Nice week.
    Greetings.

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  18. Third person is what I'm used to I guess. It's certainly more impersonal.

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  19. I usually write first person. I like to get into my characters' skins and tell the story in their voices, from their perspectives.

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  20. Replies
    1. Oh but you are in your own little way :)

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  21. I like writing in first person, but it's been very rare that I've done it. Third person seems easier and I feel like I can be more naturally objective.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  22. I usually always write in third person, but I'm working on a mystery series that's in first person. It's extremely difficult, but I wanted to tell the story from my main characters POV. I can work in other POV's as she has conversations with others in the story. However, I may write the next two books in third person. I wonder if that would be weird for a series.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com

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    1. It certainly won't be a first to write a series in third person. I believe whichever way you decide on in the end, it will turn out just fine so I wish you all the best. I appreciate your comment and visit!

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  23. Interesting point of view... keep on writing!

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  24. Thank you for offering this insight.

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  25. Nice piece. Its a good reminder but I wish my English teachers would have said that is ok to use second person every now again. I remember being taught it was a no-no!

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  26. I usually write in third person. I wonder why that is, I hadn't thought about that before.

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  27. Hi Blogoratti - I really appreciate this post - I get tied up in knots sometimes and I'm only writing blog posts ... stories I have hardly gone there ... but this is really helpful, as too the comments - cheers Hilary

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  28. Interesting post! I prefer first person. I read mostly autobiographies, and I write in first person. I think it is because I am always interested in learning how someone else experiences life first hand, not as a bystander. I looked at the book lists of each, and have only read books in the first person list! Thank you for visiting my blog :) Karen

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  29. I love that quote. I sometimes talk about myself in the 3rd person. does every one do that? or just me? any who? ( ;

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  30. I'm personally a 1st person bigot now. Started with 3rd person...and grew up :)

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  31. I enjoyed reading this post and the only writing I do is on our blog which is usually in first person style, but sometimes third person. I listen to a number of podcasts, and my favorites, including the Moth, are generally told in the first person. I also listen to Selected Shorts which includes a variety of styles since this podcast features writers' stories read by well known personalities.

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  32. Very informative post, I have used all three but for the majority of us it is easier to use the first person in our posts.

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  33. Interesting to read your post and also the comments.
    I have never written a book and certainly have no plans to but I do enjoy writing and reading blogs ...

    All the best Jan

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