FIRST PERSON versus THIRD PERSON

As I write, I have wondered whether the story that I want to tell should be told in fist person or third person, and I have been experimenting with both. Having just posted a chapter of my book, I know I am not satisfied with it. But I am asking myself if I would have been better to have used the third person. I would be interested to hear your views on first and third person for story telling.

37 thoughts on “FIRST PERSON versus THIRD PERSON

  1. For me, it’s what feels natural to the story and the writing form – for poetry I most often write third person, yet it could be about me, and when first person it could be third – I like poetic ambiguity. For fiction I’ve tended to fall into first person but maybe that is because I most often write in dialogue form, as a man and a woman! A friend of mine has, on her fourth book of a series, switched from first to third person – I thoroughly enjoyed all four books, but I appreciate the added perspective and depth of story on switching to third person. I guess the thing for me is to write as me yet show little of myself, the balance I now see tilting to third person in my new WIP.

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  2. blindzanygirl

    Wow. Thanks for all that Eric. It is thought provoking. I am writing my life story, as many people have asked me to, and I began by writing in the first person as it was my story but with things Inhave learned along the way and understandings that I have come to. But then I started writing it in third person and the difference was amazing. I could make it more punchy. I am still not sure which I like best! I enjoyed the third person exercise very much.

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  3. If we know it is about you, then first person is fine. But if it is part fictional, then maybe some kind of ‘narrator’ would work just as well. I don’t actually mind either way.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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  4. blindzanygirl

    That is very interesting Eric. Firstly, I would LOVE to read your story. I bet it would be fascinating. And secondly, yes, there is a big part of me that wants to avoid the β€œI” . So yes, I am experimenting. Good luck with your book too Eric. Please let us know when it is done.

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  5. It depends on the story-line and characters.Third person is, of course, easier and you are omnipresent, but first person has such an immediate appeal too.. In my novel The Catalyst, the first ten chapters are in third person and the remainder in fiirst and it worked well.But, in the present book I’m writing, it is all third person. It’s solely what you feel works for that particular book.Good luck!

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  6. blindzanygirl

    Thanks so much Joy. And Thankyou for taking the time and effort to comment. I appreciate that. Good luck with your book too. Is your novel The Catalyst under the name you have posted under? I would love to read it.

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  7. Thank you so much! It was very kind of you to buy my book. When young, I lived and worked in the UK, so was affected by the terrorist bombings in 2005 in London. Although that part of the story is authentic, my characters are fictitious. I do hope you enjoy reading it. It does get happier…Good luck with your own book. Let me know when it’s finished! Cheers!

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  8. For me, I think it depends on whether I want the third-person narrative to provide a little distance in the main story. When using the first-person narrative, it seems more intense and when that impact is needed, it’s probably best to use it.

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  9. blindzanygirl

    Thanks so much. I will let you know when I have finished reading your book. It takes me a little while as I am blind, but I really want to read it.mmi did wonder when I read about it whether you had experienced being in London during the bombings. How awful. I will let you know how I get on with the book but am sure I will enjoy it. Best of everything to you.

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  10. blindzanygirl

    Thanks Susi. As I am writing my life story I do think first person is best. I was a little concerned though about people being able to be recognised although that is not very likely.

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  11. I do prefer first person – but I think that’s because of how I write myself.
    You do what feels right for you my friend – you have a talent for both! πŸ‘πŸ–€

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  12. blindzanygirl

    Aw, Thankyou so much, my story is a bit shocking but I think it would lose its impact in theirs person. I want it to be inspirational though, not just a shocking story lol bearts

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  13. Well it certainly worked for me.
    I commented here before I had read the chapter you had posted – and now I have I would say it definitely carries more feeling and gravitas having been written in the first person πŸ‘πŸ–€

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  14. blindzanygirl

    Tha no’s so much. That is a great help. Glad you liked the way I write it. Mind you, my whole life story could be summed up in one word really, and you know what that word is lol xx

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  15. I agree with going with what’s more natural.

    I prefer first, but that’s only because I read a lot of YA. Third person can be written just as well. Just depends on the story.

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  16. First person makes the narrative more believable and honest. I think third person is best left for descriptions that are not part of the emotional landscape of the characters/persons.

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  17. Hello.
    I found you via the WP Reader and, like you, have been experimenting with this.

    One thought I not heard mentioned, 1st person is the character of the story and is allowed to error in making statements or judgments as the story unfolds. 3rd person (the narrator) is presumably omniscient and can’t misrepresent something to the reader.
    This makes it easier for a younger you in your story to be wrong about something and grow to learn better truths as the story continues.

    I too am writing some of my life story and you might find my approach interesting or useful.

    I describe my approach here:
    https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/about-my-site/

    I hope you find it useful as a different approach, and maybe take a few stories out for a test read.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. blindzanygirl

    Oh gosh – Thankyou so much. That is a really interesting approach. Thankyou so much for responding. I will certainly read that link. I love to reading life stories, and would like to read yours too. Are you publishing it? I intend to publish mine but don’t think any publisher would take it, though you never know. Thankyou so much. I will go read your link right now.

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  19. Hello BZG. You are mot welcome. It was pleasant to have someone asking such a great question thus giving me the chance to think it through some.
    Question: Are you really blind? I’ve had some students who were/are blind and think you guys are amazing.
    Next thank you for checking out my “About” page. It speaks to some of your question about publishing autobiographical stories.
    I think that publishers couldn’t care less about our history. They don’t have that luxury and barely have time to figure out what readers will pay to read and most of their decision pivots on this one point. Personal stories tend to be data dumps that few care about – so I chose to write my DOT short essays with just a few points that I could tell in a humorous fashion somehow. I decided to write to entertain and not write anything that just related history. Any story from my DOT collection should make the point but, if you’re blind, I do have a few photos and of course they would not help you so I’d love to hear about anything I could do differently to make sure that you can enjoy my story.

    But you claim to be “zany” so I bet you’ll do just fine because my style is a tad rowdy, clean but rowdy. I also try to write visually – so as to leave an image in my readers mind. And to you, that might be the only value a story could have, so I want to know if I got it right.
    Anyway, it is a pleasure to meet you and I hope to have further conversations as we both grow our art.
    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. blindzanygirl

    WOW. Thankyou SO much Gary. It is lovely to meet you. I only just saw the comment as I have been occupied for most of the day. It is BRILLIANT to connect with you.

    Yes, I am really blind, and also in a wheelchair following a serious cancer from which I nearly died. And yes, I AM truly zany. I laugh all of the time – iften hysterically giggling at things that no one else would find funny lol.

    I have my sad side, but my zany side has got me through.

    I see you have made another comment so I will go read that now. I am in the U.K. by the way.

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