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Why do you like first-person narratives?
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TOPIC: Why do you like first-person narratives?
#111183
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Why do you like first-person narratives? 3 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 6
Hey everyone, I finally broke down, and decided to read the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. -I know. I held out a looooong time lol.

Anyway, reading this first-person narrative got me thinking...

Who likes first-person narratives, and why?

If you read it or write it, I would love to know about your preference.
 
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#111184
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Re:Why do you like first-person narratives? 3 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 57
I only like first person narratives that are incredibly well written. I've only read one book that managed to do that in all the books I've ever read. It was an old paperback from the eighties about an empath in a scifi-future world. Fabulous, even if the plotline was downright sexist based on gender-roles and slavery. It was very well written to the point where I didn't mind constantly reading 'I thought that he would...' etc in every sentence.

It was engaging and just plain beautiful. I've honestly never read a piece of fanfiction that stands up to it. Or another published book that stands up to the quality of the writing too. It was phenomenal.

I think it was delivered in such a way that made the character engaging without making her exceptionally boring.

The author didn't struggle with describing the environment the character was in or what she wore too for example. It was detail rich with just enough logic to keep it together without being confusing.

The only decent fanfiction example of first person narratives I've read is a piece of fiction where the reader chooses different paths, like in the old adventure books from the eighties and early nineties.

Those are quite good if the author is skilled enough to write the various endings.

I've tried reading other fictions, but the only one I actually liked that was decent was written for the Avatar - The Last Airbender series from the perspective of Zuko being a slave.

It was exceptionally good.

~ Pyre
 
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#111185
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Re:Why do you like first-person narratives? 3 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 92
I prefer third person narrative but I don't mind the occasional first person story. I've used first person narrator especially when I write original stuff. I think this is because most original things I've written in the past year have been really short, under 1,000 words, and compared to third person, first person narrative can feel more personal and engaging, so it can pull the reader into the story quicker. A first person narrative allows for a more intimate relationship between the reader and the character, I think.

Of course sometimes it can be frustrating to write in first person because you're stuck in that one person's mind -- but in other cases those limits can work in your favour. Introducing the premise or the world of the story, for example, the readers can learn alongside the character.

And there is one type of a story in which first person narrative is in my opinion the best option to use: When the narrator of your story is unreliable. If you want to surprise or mislead your readers, first person works great because they will only know what the narrator knows or chooses to tell them.

As for books with first person narrative, I've got some in my own bookcase, such as Jane Eyre, The Memoirs of a Geisha, Gone Girl, The Shock of the Fall and Robin Hobb's The Farseer trilogy.
 
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#111198
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Re:Why do you like first-person narratives? 3 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 12
Okay, I don't read a lot of books.

As far as first person narrative goes, I couldn't get pass the first couple pages of Twilight (this is a secret because my bff forbid me from reading it). First person narrative, if written unsuccessfully, make me cringe and cry really badly (you know what I'm talking about)....

BUT, of course, there are exceptions. For example, Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud, a teenage supernatural fiction series, which is written in 1st narrative and is a fantastic read, about ghost busting and haunting cases, setting in old Great Brittain (There is some romance, just enough ). . I never really like sci-fi stuff (love LOTR, HP, Sherlock, okay with Star Wars, don't care Doctor Who ...please don't throw rocks at me ). My point is, if you want to try a thrilling, exciting 1st person narrative, you should try his Lockwood series, very well-written.

Harry Potter was written in 3rd person limited narrative. And that's just the style how I normally like to read fictions and fanfictions. Most great fanfictions are usually in this kind of narration, don't you agree? I can see 1st per narrative can be very good too, but I personally think that it's usually hard to pull of and keep readers interested.
 
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#111199
Shizuka Asano
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Re:Why do you like first-person narratives? 3 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 7
For me I more or less tolerate first person narratives but only when it's sparked my interest or the storyline seems interesting. Like even if a fanfic or book is horribly written in 1stPpov I'll rough it out to see if my initial interest was correct or not. In fanfics and roleplay though 1st person is my absolute least favorite method and if the story doesn't fall under one of the two categories I mentioned above I can't really get past the first paragraph. I really do try to give them a chance but sometimes I just can't.
For me 1st Person pov needs to be done a certain way to actually draw me in so I try to avoid them whenever I can.
The only exceptions I really have to this are two authors one of which is my all time favorite author. They only reason they are exceptions though is because their stories are rich with details and really draws you into the world. So much so that I don't even notice it's first person. Those exceptions are Amelia Atwater-Rhodes and Andrea Cremer. The former being my all time favorite author.
I love her books so much I own the majority of her works in hardcover format for liesure reading.
The real reason she's an exception is because though all her books, I believe, are in first person she's always shifting the character who's pov we read it from. Not chapter to chapter but book to book and since her books fall into one universe/world we get to see the many different ways people see the world that she's created. So it's always a fresh look on the Nyeusigrube world. For publishing her first book at 14 she's done a fantastic job at maintaining reader interest. I had a whole more well written reply to this thread but my cell erased it entirely when the page refreshed but regardless point was that first person can be great when well written but difficult if poorly written I kinda think of it like a test if you can write a first person pov fanfic or story that can grab readers then you're a pretty talented writer. Idk if I have the confidence to tackle such a test though myself...
 
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#111202
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Re:Why do you like first-person narratives? 3 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 65
I can understand the draw of writing it to some authors. I, however, find that First Person POV is a horrible way to write a story. Before anyone flames me for saying that, I've written in first person and have read several books written in such a fashion. That being said, as a writing exercise it is amazing at helping new writers develop a sense of how much information the narrator should share at any one moment.
 
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#112409
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Re:Why do you like first-person narratives? 2 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 0
I'm an avid reader and can say that first person narratives can be done well if the author is confident and committed. Chuck Palahniuk NAILS the first person narrative like no other in my opinion. If you really want to get sucked into someone else's head, give his books a shot. I can't say I have ever been disappointed in him.

Personally though, I prefer writing third person narratives because I feel less confined. I like to explore other character's emotions and perspectives and find it too limiting to stay with one character forever.
 
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