First vs. third person

Use this forum to discuss the April 2019 Book of the month, "Adrift" by Charlie Sheldon
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Re: First vs. third person

Post by Lunastella »

Charlyt wrote:
03 Apr 2019, 08:33
Perhaps using the third person gives readers a broader area of perspective (of the surroundings, circumstance, other characters) by using the main character of the chapter. And maybe using the first person allows the reader a more intimate insight of the character and what they are thinking. Like, maybe, it was important that the reader knows what Myra was thinking and feeling that it had to be delivered in the first person. I hope that made sense.
I agree. At least in my experience, this is usually the case and that's why authors switch points of view. Although, personally, I would've liked more first-person perspectives.

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Post by Summer_Moon »

I dislike the use of first person and then the switch third person. Definitely does not feel like it flows very well. It's an odd choice to make.

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Post by Acwoolet »

I find the switch between first and third person narrative very confusing. The main characters in first person make sense, but switching back in forth between all of the characters is hard to follow. It was an interesting book to read though.

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Post by danielleamy »

As the author explained, using different forms of narration depends on the purpose of the narrative. 1st to explain feelings and 3rd to give background or a wider picture. This style is not for everyone, but can be useful when done effectively
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Post by Agnes Masobeng »

The third person narration gives the author and omniscient voice. I believe
Sheldon knew and wanted to make use of this fact. But, the way Adrift was written, it brought alot of confusion or rather inconsistencies to be reading other people's stories in third person.
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Post by Brendan Donaghy »

It is extremely difficult to mix first and third person narratives successfully. I'm not saying it's never done, but I think it's fair to say that in most cases, mixing up the narrative viewpoint can leave the reader a bit disorientated. The fact that we have a separate thread to discuss this aspect of 'Adrift', makes me think that the technique as used here wasn't entirely successful.

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Post by AA1495 »

vishu wrote:
03 Apr 2019, 12:26
Personally, I like this kind of writing style. While writing in the first person provides you some much needed insights, writing in third person makes it possible for the writer to direct the flow of the story.
I agree with you. I believe most books need a mix between first person and third person narrative.

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Post by spencermack »

First Person is a lot more personal and bias towards the situation. The third person is typically a narrator that doesn't have a stake in the outcome of the story. This doesn't diminish the emotions but gives it possibly a more realistic view.
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Post by jessinikkip »

Switching between a LOT of points of view and even between tenses can be very confusing. I have dyslexia so it's hard enough reading, things like changing from an I to a he-she-it kind of wording with no clear reason just makes it harder on me and I wish authors wouldn't do it with no clear point.

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Post by pixiestyx »

I haven't read this book yet, but I'd have to say having the characters written in two different POVs (first and then third) would be frustrating and make it much more difficult to enjoy. At least I feel it would for me. I'm glad to know the characters are written that way, because now it makes me hesitant to give it a go.

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Post by Kibetious »

I guess the author decided to narrate the stories of the primary characters in first person. This assertion cannot be totally valid though since I believe William and Louise also had some huge roles to play in the story.
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Post by Anna Maria 86 »

I found it fascinating! It brought a different perspective now and then, but didn't make the whole book kind of a diary, letting the plot flow really well and allowing for some fast pace. I didn't find it at all confusing. And I think it was Myra and Steve that were narrated in first person. The author must have seen it as beneficial for the story to choose these two.

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Post by jahagen »

I also wasn't exactly sure what the purpose was for the different writing point of views for different characters. The story still flowed relatively well, and having the names as the title of the chapter definitely helped differentiate between who was speaking. There were a couple times that it really threw me off though and distracted me from the reading.

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Post by Choine »

I found that strange that the author didn't keep a consistent point of view during this book. I have never encountered that before. As for my opinion on why: perhaps the author wished to emphasize if the chapter were focused on a small group of people or an individual. I believe it was a technique used to show where the reader's focus should be.

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Post by mickeyvv »

Well, choice of person is a very important decision for an author to decide upon universally. I agree with a majority of the forum's responses of first person making a more intimate relationship between the reader and speaker, and it opening a different type of pathway of expression. Having Myra's character be written in first person allows readers to feel as those they are directly being told Myra's experiences, where if it were written in third person the speaker would feel detached. Sometimes, third person can be a more effective choice. For example, if you have a story where you need to easily incorporate the experiences of a larger group of people, because all of their thoughts and actions are equally important for the plot development - it's way easier for readers to read the story in third person. It is definitely a case-to-case basis by book and what king of mood and impact the author wants to elicit, but it is possible for a story to be successful either way.

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