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AshLeigh's avatar

Writers: Do you prefer to write in first, second or third person?

Asked by AshLeigh (14976 points ) July 23rd, 2014

Usually, I write from first person. Lately, I’ve been writing from second person for the first time, and I love it.
What about you? Do you have a favorite?

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23 Answers

cookieman's avatar

I like to write in third person, but I’m trying to write a current project in first person.

I’m not sure I know what writing in second person looks like.

AshLeigh's avatar

@cookieman, In the second person point of view, the narrator tells the story to another character using “you”.

Example: I shook my head, chuckling at your easy tone. Sometimes, you’d been able to convince me that my presence didn’t terrify you. “That would have been a beautiful lie to believe.” You said.

cookieman's avatar

@AshLeigh: Ahhh, I see. Thank you.

Seems too confessional for my taste. Too intimate. First person is intimate, but, as the writer, I feel I can see the character from up close or afar. I like to be able to detach when needed.

Second person feels like you, the author, is the character, not just writing as the character.

Cool though. Thank you.

KNOWITALL's avatar

First person. You can be any chracter you want & as a reader I feel more invested.

AshLeigh's avatar

@cookieman, It is more intimate, I think. That’s why I wanted to try it, for a more emotional story. I’m still finding what works best, for certain stories. I usually prefer to read in third person, and write in first.

Any time.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have a hard enough time sounding semi-literate, writing in different styles would be a stretch for me.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It depends on the “project”

Pachy's avatar

Totally depends on the type of story I’m writing and how much distance I want to keep between me and my characters. That said, I’m generally more comfortable with third person.

muppetish's avatar

I’m generally the most comfortable in first person, but I’m trying to get myself to try other perspectives as well. I don’t think I’ve ever tried second person, so I’ll definitely give it a go one day and report back.

In one of my graduate courses, we read an author who described eleven different types of narration. I still want to challenge myself to write a story using each one some day.

AshLeigh's avatar

@muppetish, ELEVEN different types?! Holy guacamole. That’s a lot.

DominicX's avatar

I kept trying to make my most recent project work from first person, but I couldn’t do it. I kept reverting back to third person and decided to end using that in the end. So in this case I don’t even know if I prefer third person, but I don’t seem to be able to write well in anything but. _

Part of it is probably that I always prefer to write from various people’s points of view rather than just one (though there will always be one main one). For that reason, I think third works better.

AshLeigh's avatar

@DominicX, I switch point of views a lot, too. I agree that 3rd works better if there are many different POV’s.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I prefer those like me.

The Unreliable Narrator.

Coloma's avatar

I’m all over the map and just do what feels natural in the moment or is pertinent to the sharing/ story telling.
That Coloma, she’s in a league of her own. lol

marinelife's avatar

I like to write in first person, but I tend to write in third person.

Kropotkin's avatar

You like writing in the second-person narrative.

AshLeigh's avatar

@Kropotkin, I see what you did there.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I’m the most comfortable to write in third person, but focus my view to only one character.

zenvelo's avatar

I generally write in first person, although that i amore because of the type of writing I do. I mostly write poetry and short prose pieces.

One of the most effective things I wrote in a course last summer was a letter, which seemed to involve all three tenses. It was written in first person but in a conversational tone with you, yet it was descriptive of my grandfather.

GloPro's avatar

GloPro says third person feels very egotistical. If someone wants to share GloPro’s thoughts, GloPro will.

downtide's avatar

It varies depending on the type and length of the story. Second person can be effective for a short story but I think it would be near impossible to maintain in a novel.

If I’m writing something in which the plot requires more than one POV I write in third person but I have to admit I prefer first. First-person present is my favourite. Here is an example of a story I wrote in first-person-present

ucme's avatar

ucme is comfortable referencing himself in literature, it’s a subject he’s familiar with.

bluish's avatar

It depends on the feeling I want to convey, the way I’d like to tell that specific story, the mood, everything.

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