THURSDAY SPARKS: FIRST PERSON OR THIRD PERSON VOICE — AUGUST 1

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Welcome to another Booking Through Thursday:  our opportunity to explore bookish topics.

 

Today’s Exploration:

Do you have a preference between “person” in the books you read? Do you prefer third-person to first-person? Or don’t you care?

And … why??

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I’ve been thinking about that very thing lately.  It didn’t matter to me for years…and then suddenly, I started realizing that I connected to the characters more when at least one of them spoke to me in the first person voice.

Yes, it’s like I’m inside that character’s head.

The other characters can “speak” in third person, but with one of them in first person, I feel as though I have the inside track.

Sometimes I like having alternating first person voice.  Last month, I read a book about twins, and in this book, the author chose first person for only one of them.  I realized that, as I neared the end, I really disliked the other twin.  And then it hit me!  I needed her perspective to balance things out.

Here’s the book and my review:  Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld.  (Click for review)

 

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Here’s an excerpt from the review:  “Narrated in Kate’s first person voice, we see everything from her perspective, and because it seems as though Vi is the weirdest, most annoying person in the universe, it is suddenly clear to me that what is missing from this rambling tale, with its numerous flashbacks, is Vi’s perspective. I would have enjoyed seeing a second narrator (Vi) to lend a little balance to Sisterland: A Novel.”

 

So what do you think?  Interesting topic, isn’t it?  Come on by and chat.

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8 thoughts on “THURSDAY SPARKS: FIRST PERSON OR THIRD PERSON VOICE — AUGUST 1

  1. I think it’s interesting how many people say they prefer first person because they get to know the character better… personally, I often find first person distracting unless it’s done “just right,” which can lead to not connecting to the character or the story. As long as it’s well-written, though, that’s the most important thing.

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  2. I like my romances in 1st person so I can see the development of the protagonists’ feelings, even if they haven’t got around to articulating them yet. Science fiction seems to work better for me in 3rd person as there is often so much going on in the world, I want the option to explore a bit beyond what the protagonist can see. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  3. Years ago, I tended to prefer third person. But I’ve read some great first-person books, and I’ve come to really enjoy it when it’s handled well. I’m still iffy about present tense, though. Sometimes it works for me, and sometimes it doesn’t.

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    • That has been my experience, too, Lark….but the really great authors I’ve enjoyed sometimes use the present tense and make it work.

      And the first person narrative works if it’s done well, and when it’s clear who is narrating. Thanks for stopping by.

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