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POV - which and why? Options · View
Splattercat
Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2014 5:51:41 PM

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Joined: 1/2/2014
Posts: 11
Location: Nowheresville, Daddy-O, United States
Newbie here, so please forgive me if this topic has been addressed in another post, but I'm wondering what y'all think about POV? It seems to me that the a lot of stories I've read here are in the first person, and I've written my share of those, too. But as a writer, I find the third person POV more fun to write, and my readers - all four of 'em - seem to like it better, too, if the number of reads each story receives means anything. So, when you sit diwn to write, do you make a conscious decision about POV, or does the story just sorta flow and come out however it comes out?
Wilful
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 12:30:43 AM

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Joined: 6/15/2013
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Location: Digging a hole on the beach, Australia
I'm almost exclusively first person past tense. Although I am writing a first person story at the moment with a series of third person inserts to get at what my protagonist doesn't know, but the reader needs to.

I find first person much easier to write, essentially because it's my experience, or a version of it. I don't have to keep track of anything else or what anyone else is thinking or feeling. It's just a matter of observing their behaviour. I also find that first person puts me, as a reader, more in the story, rather than watching it from afar.

I should, and probably will branch out one day. But in the meantime, I want to get it nailed before I move on.

Please check out my latest story, Girls Night.
Haineko
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 12:36:38 AM

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Location: my heart & soul is with my Mistress in, Greece
I find first person comes easier to me but that being said I plan on trying out 3rd person with a few of my stories.

I like challenging myself.

comp story: The Sweetest Number Thank you to everyone who read, voted and/or commened on my comp story. Wish me luck!

Collaboration
no title yet: Lesbian story written with BabyDollSlave

Under construction
Writing: Aphrodite's Gift ch1 (Fantasy/Sci-fi)
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my latest
My Dark Lover ch1 (supernatural)
bethalia
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 4:58:52 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 11/23/2013
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Location: United States
I've always preferred first person for a couple reasons.

1) It allows the reader to be inside the head of a narrator who is inside the story (as opposed to only hearing a narrator who is outside the story). To me that makes the perspective more immediate and better draws the reader in.

2) It allows you as a writer to keep things hidden naturally and to deflect and misdirect. An omniscient narrator outside the story knows everything and should reveal everything (In fact, as a reader I actually feel a bit cheated when I read a third person story and there is some reveal near the end because I think 'Well, you're the third person omniscient narrator so you knew this all along. Why didn't you tell me before?' It makes me feel manipulated). But a first person narrator in the story is not that way. Maybe that character doesn't have information, or they have information that they don't understand, or they have information they have misinterpreted, or they have incomplete information, or their understanding of information is colored by some emotional or relationship issue. You see, there are many reasons why a full understanding may be delayed.

It's one thing when you read: "He suddenly realized.....(something that the narrator obviously had to know all along)

It's another thing entirely when in the natural course of the story you read: "The truth became clear to me. All these years I'd thought he.....
naughtynurse
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 5:22:32 PM

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Different stories demand different pov's :) write what feels right



A special thank you to all who read and voted on my competition Quickie, a Recomended Read: Something Borrowed
MadMartigan
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 5:34:16 PM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 6/17/2013
Posts: 1,888
Location: United States
For short stories, I've always used 1st person.

Longer form, 3rd person limited.

However, the current story I'm working on, I'm splicing together both 1st and 3rd for two different POVs for two different characters.
Mazza
Posted: Monday, January 06, 2014 5:46:30 PM

Rank: Mazztastic

Joined: 9/20/2012
Posts: 2,854
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom
naughtynurse wrote:
Different stories demand different pov's :) write what feels right


What nn said!

I just tend to start writing and see what happens...
overmykneenow
Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 1:12:52 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 6/8/2010
Posts: 966
Location: United Kingdom
I've changed from first to third between drafts before. First is fine if the only head you need to be in is the one telling the story

Looking at my own work, gender appears to be the deciding factor. Where a female character is the focus of the story (Daguerreotype, Three bears, Brazilian Wanderer) the stories are told in 3rd person. Where a male is the focus (Student Body, Unreserved Seating, Totally Unacceptable, Scotch Bonnet) I use first person.

Luckily you have a gender-neutral name and av - this helps with first person as some readers are easily confused. For me, a female voice from a clearly male author (and vice versa) can impede the flow or lead to extra exposition in the opening. Yes, I know lots of people here manage it but I must be in the easily confused portion of the community.

There is a draft of Unreserved Seating where at the end it's revealed that the narrator is female but I dropped it before publishing. It can still be read with a male or female voice but I would think 99.99% of people read it as male.

Warning: The opinions above are those of an anonymous individual on the internet. They are opinions, unless they're facts. They may be ill-informed, out of touch with reality or just plain stupid. They may contain traces of irony. If reading these opinions causes you to be become outraged or you start displaying the symptoms of outrage, stop reading them immediately. If symptoms persist, consult a psychiatrist.

Why not read some stories instead
celaenoeos
Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 5:44:54 AM

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Joined: 7/26/2013
Posts: 139
Location: Sydney, Australia
Agreed. First is easier to write but with third - you can write more. It really depends on what you feel is better for you as an individual :)

A tale of love and romance...

From New York to Yorkshire, eighteen year old Ever Carter meets Nicholas Howard - a man who personifies perfection.
In a whirlwind romance, Ever and Nicholas fall in love.
But not unlike real life, their story isn't perfect.

*To read about their story, CLICK HERE
seeker4
Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 9:22:11 AM

Rank: Story Verifier

Joined: 10/17/2012
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Location: In the great, beautiful Cosmos, Canada
I like first for erotica, esp. for "stroke stories', because there's an immediacy to the sex and a chance to delve pretty deeply into the feelings if you wish. Third, on the other hand, works well if you're trying to see more of the big picture rather than focus on one person's experience. In the end, as others have said, the story will often dictate which is appropriate.


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Sweet Tasty Treats

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The Professor
Hyoscyamine
Posted: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 3:26:15 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 10/23/2012
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Location: Bulgaria
I believe 1st person flows better. However, I'm always trying to get something different, more original, a "twist in the narrator", if you please.

Sometimes I feel it is a great idea, sometimes - not that much. Having a third "person" narrate brings more opportunities of using both 1st person, third person, and jolts of humor, which otherwise wouldn't be obtainable. However, it also distracts from the story. I'm continuing this because I believe originality in a story is what sets it apart from others, and even if you couldn't get off, you'd certainly remember it.
RumpleForeskin
Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 7:43:18 AM

Rank: The Right Rev of Lush

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Posts: 2,839
Location: Lost in the ozone somewhere east of Luckenbach Tx,
Just a gentle reminder that there are different types of third person POV. Probably the easiest is 'limited' where the narrator tells the story through the POV of just one character at a time, Any switching to another POV occurs only at clearly delineated spots such as scene shifts or chapter breaks. 'Omniscient' is sort of POV gang-bang. All characters are lible to join in at anytime. The challenge is to avoid confusing readers about which character's POV is being used at the moment.

Bottom line is, IMO, to take the advice of Maz and our Noughty One.

FWIW, one of the stories linked on my sig line is first person with a female POV while the other is third person limited with the POV of a big mouth bass.

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords. - ROBERT HEINLEIN

REUNITINGhis need, her want, in a cab -- my contest entry

FROM:
Becky -- FOR: Matt -- With Love:
a Festive contest winner – honest

HOW HUMANS DO IT: a fish-eye view of sex an Editor's Pick - no kidding
Mazza
Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 8:09:00 AM

Rank: Mazztastic

Joined: 9/20/2012
Posts: 2,854
Location: Scotland, United Kingdom
RumpleForeskin wrote:
FWIW, one of the stories linked on my sig line is first person with a female POV while the other is third person limited with the POV of a big mouth bass.
glasses8


I have read this story and I urge you to check it out if you've not read it - it's very clever and a damned fine read!!

My 2 cents
Alexandra_A
Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 9:00:39 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 4/25/2013
Posts: 38
Why this obsession with odd ordinal numbers? What's wrong with second and fourth? And will fractions and decimals ever get their say?

I think for erotic short stories, first person is generally more effective, more intimate and arousing, allows a more personal perspective on what is generally a very personal interaction and thus makes the whole more believable. I've written erotic stories in third person and have later changed them to first and found them more effective, but I suppose it depends what your aims are, what you are trying to say and why.

However, if you are simply choosing between 'I fucked him,' or 'she fucked him,' I can't imagine it will make much difference.

"If I sign off with pithy quotations, ignore all preceding opinion for I am undoubtedly a fool. And if, after our discourse, I abuse you by proffering my vulgar produce, cast me into the gutter."
RumpleForeskin
Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 12:10:52 PM

Rank: The Right Rev of Lush

Joined: 7/3/2009
Posts: 2,839
Location: Lost in the ozone somewhere east of Luckenbach Tx,
Alexandra, the decimals and fractions are reserved for Jack Kerouac, James Joyce and other stream-of-unconsciousness writers.

Maz, that last drink you knocked off over at Rumplations must have been a triple, not the double you put on Dirty Martini's tab...but that warm fuzzy more than makes up for the difference.

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords. - ROBERT HEINLEIN

REUNITINGhis need, her want, in a cab -- my contest entry

FROM:
Becky -- FOR: Matt -- With Love:
a Festive contest winner – honest

HOW HUMANS DO IT: a fish-eye view of sex an Editor's Pick - no kidding
bethalia
Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 2:02:45 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 11/23/2013
Posts: 79
Location: United States
Alexandra_A wrote:
Why this obsession with odd ordinal numbers? What's wrong with second and fourth? And will fractions and decimals ever get their say?

However, if you are simply choosing between 'I fucked him,' or 'she fucked him,' I can't imagine it will make much difference.


I've never tried a story in second person. I suppose it would be necessary to be very clear if the narrator is taking about him/herself (essentially talking to one's self or describing one's own actions), taking about the reader, or objectively observing another person in the story.

I can see a lot of difference between 'I fucked him' and 'She fucked him.' With a third person limited omniscient POV all the narrator can do is explain what is physically going on (which in itself can be enlightening and insightful). But with 'I fucked him' the narrator has free reign to go into their internal aspects: why fuck him? how do I feeling about fucking him? What do I hope to get out of the encounter or achieve? etc.

Alexandra_A
Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 2:40:57 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 4/25/2013
Posts: 38
bethalia wrote:


I've never tried a story in second person. I suppose it would be necessary to be very clear if the narrator is taking about him/herself (essentially talking to one's self or describing one's own actions), taking about the reader, or objectively observing another person in the story.

I can see a lot of difference between 'I fucked him' and 'She fucked him.' With a third person limited omniscient POV all the narrator can do is explain what is physically going on (which in itself can be enlightening and insightful). But with 'I fucked him' the narrator has free reign to go into their internal aspects: why fuck him? how do I feeling about fucking him? What do I hope to get out of the encounter or achieve? etc.



Well, yes, there is a difference, but if the 'story' is simply about two people fucking then I'm not interested in who did what to whom or what the POV is; I'd rather have a cup of tea and watch Grand Designs. That was my point, though I didn't make it very clear :) x

"If I sign off with pithy quotations, ignore all preceding opinion for I am undoubtedly a fool. And if, after our discourse, I abuse you by proffering my vulgar produce, cast me into the gutter."
Chanel
Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 12:03:32 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 12/13/2013
Posts: 130
Location: United States
Wilful wrote:
I'm almost exclusively first person past tense. Although I am writing a first person story at the moment with a series of third person inserts to get at what my protagonist doesn't know, but the reader needs to.

I find first person much easier to write, essentially because it's my experience, or a version of it. I don't have to keep track of anything else or what anyone else is thinking or feeling. It's just a matter of observing their behaviour. I also find that first person puts me, as a reader, more in the story, rather than watching it from afar.

I should, and probably will branch out one day. But in the meantime, I want to get it nailed before I move on.

Thank you! This was really helpful to me.
Willyc2licu
Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 3:47:45 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/30/2012
Posts: 225
Location: United Kingdom
I'm with naughty nurse - it depends on the story, though generally I write first person narratives - but i'm not always the same person!!

Willyc2licu
Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 3:48:42 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 9/30/2012
Posts: 225
Location: United Kingdom
Further thought for Chanel - you can write a first person narrative involving me anytime. Love, Will xoxoxox

Kal-El85
Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014 4:07:16 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/22/2010
Posts: 2,308
Location: Philadelphia, United States
For me I like 1st and 3rd POV.

1st because it feels like I'm telling the reader the story as if I was sitting right in front of them.

3rd because I get to play God: make my own world on the pages and affect my characters within it.
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