Monday, July 27, 2009

First or Third, which is better?

If you are winning an award, I say definitely first. It’s always better to win the first place prize than the third. But when it comes to writing, which is better?

I like writing in first person. A lot of YA fiction is in first person. I think it gives the author a little more credibility. That is, if they are credible.

For example, I wrote Ordinary Me in first person, but that doesn’t mean that I was driving a car in Driver’s Ed, that inadvertently ended up in the middle of a police chase, that resulted in stopping an escaped convict. But I was once a high school student, who did take Driver’s Ed at school, and I am female. So I have some credibility, I think.

However, writing in third person doesn’t mean I have any less credibility or any more either. It’s just different. For my short story, Just Perfect, I used third person. I can’t explain why, it just worked better in third person than first.

There is also the genre to consider. YA works in both first person and third. Historical Romance works best in third, (I think, because I’ve never read a first person historical). Contemporary works in either too. In the end I think the authors have to look to the characters to see which is better, first or third. After all, it’s their story that is being told.

Just my random thought for the day!

Happy Monday,

other writing by jsproat


L. Diane Wolfe said...

So far all of my fictional works have followed two main characters, so I've stuck to third person. Might have to challenge myself to a first person story!

L. Diane Wolfe

Morgan Mandel said...

I usually like third person, but once in a while I find a book I really get into and it doesn't matter then.

Morgan Mandel

Terry Odell said...

My romantic suspense are in third - I follow "convention" and write the expected h/h POVs.

I've got two mystery shorts under contract, and the character for that one demanded 1st.

But I prefer third for anything with more than 1 POV. I've seen some where the main protagonist is in 1s, and everyone else is in 3rd. Once I adjusted, I got into the way it would switch.

And then there's my mom, who really has no clue what POV means, but she said: "I don't like books that start with 'I'."

Margot Justes said...

I prefer 3rd person-less intimate-it's the comfort level of the story teller that counts.

Terry, I love your mom's reason.

Margot Justes

Marilyn Brant said...

June, I love writing in 1st person, but only when I think a character is interesting or twisted or quirky enough to warrant it ;).

Deb Larson said...

I prefer 3rd person most of the time - especially with more than one character. The switching from 1st to 3rd in a book wears me out and I hear my old English teacher screeching in my head - pick a POV and stay with it! :)