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Pov?

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.

What POV do you prefer in a novel?

First Person
4
11%
Third Person
7
19%
Either
26
70%
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 37

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Sat September 20th, 2008, 12:09 pm

I voted either. It really depends on the type of story and the quality of the writing, but I also often find myself attracted to really well done 1st person PoVs.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sat September 20th, 2008, 1:59 pm

I voted either, but generally I do prefer the third person, although a good author can do a nice job with first person, especially 19C authors. Bronte and Dickens come to mind. Multiple POV's are starting to grate on me now. I know I enjoyed it in PG's Boleyn Inheritance and Wier's Innocent Traitor, but I've just run into a couple of other books where it's been used and in one quite badly. Lucy Billy which was a Vine Book from Amazon. Dreadful.

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LCW
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Post by LCW » Sat September 20th, 2008, 6:10 pm

Either! I used to only like third person but I've read quite a few good first person books lately that changed my mind.
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

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Julianne Douglas
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Post by Julianne Douglas » Sat September 20th, 2008, 6:46 pm

[quote=""diamondlil""]Just wondering, if there are first and third person narratives, is there also a second person narrative?[/quote]

There is the practice of second-person narration, in which the narrator refers to the protagonist using the pronoun "you." For example, "You walk into the store and look around. When you see the pile of silk scarves on the counter, you saunter over and drape one about your shoulders. It feels like the soft arm of your best friend's mother on the day your own mother died." Lame, off-the-top of my head example, but you get the point.

It's very difficult to sustain this the length of an entire novel, but it is done, mostly in literary novels. The wikipedia entry "second-person narrative" gives a list of modern books that use this device.
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Vanessa
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Post by Vanessa » Sat September 20th, 2008, 11:21 pm

I'm repeating myself, but I love books written in the first person, I feel like the character is chatting to me!
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Mara
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Post by Mara » Sun September 21st, 2008, 4:41 pm

I prefer third person, but no more than from one or two characters. If there are more than two I sometimes find it's just there to drag the story out to fill more pages and it's not always beneficial to the main story.

First person is more useful for emotional scenes, I agree. I don't mind novels written in first person, but what I do mind is if there's another character told in third person. It's sometimes done in time travel type novels. That is very confusing!

I prefer writing in third, too. For the sake of writing practice during a recent course, we did some paragraphs in second person pov. I didn't like it at all. It sounds outdated.

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Leyland
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Post by Leyland » Sun September 21st, 2008, 7:12 pm

[quote=""Julianne Douglas""]There is the practice of second-person narration, in which the narrator refers to the protagonist using the pronoun "you." For example, "You walk into the store and look around. When you see the pile of silk scarves on the counter, you saunter over and drape one about your shoulders. It feels like the soft arm of your best friend's mother on the day your own mother died." [/quote]

Ah, takes me back to the when I was taking programming classes in the early 80's and we'd be playing Zork I on the mainframe instead of entering code! "You walk into the forest ..... You take a right turn at the oak tree .... wrong move, you're dead now, start over" or something like that. I never got very far alive in Zorkland. :)
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Mon September 22nd, 2008, 12:22 am

I hesitated between "like both" and "third person" because there are many novels written in first person narrative that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Some novels demand to be written in this way. But when I thought about it, I had to give just a bit of an edge to third person narratives. It might seem ironic, but it's just a bit easier for me to lose myself in a novel and feel like I am inside the main character's skin, experiencing his or her life, when a novel is written in third person. The "storytelling" nature of a first-person narrative tends to have the effect, at least in the beginning, of making me feel like I am with another person who is telling me his or her story, putting me at one remove from the character rather than right inside. With a really well-written novel, the effect is negligible, though. For example, I just finished reading Catherine Delors's Mistress of the Revolution, which is first-person, and I was right inside the story all the time. But I do especially favor third person. And I dislike the present tense narration that has become all the rage lately, but that's another issue entirely.
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Carine
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Post by Carine » Mon September 22nd, 2008, 6:16 am

[quote=""Vanessa""]... I love books written in the first person, I feel like the character is chatting to me![/quote]

Same here, although I have read many good books in third person as well.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Mon September 22nd, 2008, 10:49 am

I think either is fine, as long as it's well-written and a good story, although I agree that first person does feel more like the reader is being directly spoken to. However I do also like multiple viewpoints, although not too many as it can make the story a bit repetitive and feel like padding! Tracy Chevalier does multiple viewpoints particularly well I think.

I don't like second-person pov at all!

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