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Censor in POV writing

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Vicki27, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Vicki27

    Vicki27 Minstrel

    As a reader, I am fairly happy with whatever POV the writer is using in the book as long as it's done well. However, after discussions with fellow scribes, I would like to do a quick censor on what other writers think. I'm going to make a stab in the dark here and say I think it depends on which generation you are from - but will be interested in other opinions.
  2. Eduardo Letavia

    Eduardo Letavia Troubadour

    I concur with you, Vicki27Vicki27, but for some reason I tend to avoid first person POV stories. For me it's nothing more than a personal preference, although I won't deny the influence my physical and intellectual or social surroundings have over my choosings. Maybe you were thinking in particular about how the social media is shaping the minds and preferences of the younger generations in comparison with the older ones?

    If so, I must mention the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma (I just happened to watch it recently), which is about the sheer scale and undeniable power of the social platforms and their very real influence in the human world. I think you'll find that closely related to the generational aspect you propose: our environment shapes our mindset, our preferences, our life and those platforms are doing so in an unprecedented scale and speed. It's just not the POV, is the shape itself of the stories people will look for, shape that will depend heavily on the formats offered (or favored) by those platforms. Think about it, now you can tell a story just by tweeting it; we're not bounded anymore by the physical limits of books or pages just to make a fiction. This is the real gamechanger for fiction writing, something that also affects the readers heavily and determines what kind of stories they might like to read or, rather, they'll be nudged to read by the media they've subscribed to.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    To read? I want to say I don’t care, but for some reason I think I am slightly put off by 1st person fiction. I don’t really know why or if that’s fair.

    To write I’ve come to really enjoy doing deep 3rd POV. It’s like a fun writing challenge to find ways to keep moving deeper, and to change the prose as it gets closer to reflecting the character’s literal thoughts. I also think it helps to get across the character’s raw emotion, as a second goal in the narrative in addition to tension.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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  4. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    I like an authoritative voice, whether this be from the perspective of the writer as the narrator or from the perspective of the main character. I've noticed that I check out rather quickly when a story leans heavily into show over tell, which is more often the case with 3rd person, especially 3rd person limited. When I read fiction, I want to be told a story, I don't want to figure out the story on my own.

    Because you said that you believe it matters which generation one is from, I was born right at the start of Gen Z.
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  5. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    Gen X. I prefer to read 3rd person past tense and that's also how I write. When I was little I tended to shy away a bit from first person. Not entirely sure why, but I suspect Asperger's is involved.
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  6. Third person allows you to like the characters more - because you can attach to them as outside yourself. think like a first person POV video game vs 3rd: In the first the character sort of IS you. so you don't really have a picture of them outside yourself. if that makes sense. they are not a whole person without you. But in 3rd person they can exist as a person without you. so you can actually identify and "love" them more.

    all that said I am writing in 1st person now just because it fits the story I am writing. next I will go back to 3rd person though.. its pretty hard to do 1st.
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  7. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    The one that I am least fond of us first person, present tense.

    I tend to prefer reading first person, but third person limited or omniscient, (past tense) work for me as well. I really think that it depends on the story to be told, and counting on the author to determine the proper POV through which to relay it to the reader.
  8. I think first person present is the most reviled and also what I am doing! haha. It was a decision that made sense but I know it may not go over with many many people. I am actually growing tired of it as it is very limiting on what one can express but I feel like I need to stick with it for now to see the story through.

    I DO think that one reason people don't like 1st person present is that its not been explored or well written in up to this point. A real master could bring it to life and change people's minds. but since 99% is not written that way, those that are are often sub-par writing in a POV people are not comfortable with. which just turns people off out of the box.

    In writing in that POV, you soon find yourself in uncharted lands- and making stuff up as you go. In more traditional POVs you have so many strong hands and guides to refer to, often which are already embedded in your mind as a reader. In 1st person present... good luck!
  9. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    First Person POV, Present Tense can work. A couple of noted books I've read and enjoyed would be The Zombie-Driven Life (David Wood) and Carry Me Home (Sandra Kring).

    But, generally, it's not something I tend to enjoy, and 'not so well' written first person POV, present tense tends to read like a 'play by play' action description.

    Good luck as you press forward, Joshua McDermott, with your effort!
  10. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Maester

    I've written in first person and I've written in third (both single and multiple POV) and can't say I actually prefer one over another, either for writing or reading. There are advantages and drawbacks to all of them (but I do want past tense—present just feels gimmicky). I've lately been drawn to 'objective third' (aka 'cinematic' or 'fly on the wall'), which is sort of like omniscient. That is, the narrator knows everything that’s going on, what every character is doing and saying, but does not see into their minds. Any motivations and feelings are guesses, and identified as such. This works well with an intrusive narrator, a story teller.
  11. I admit I play a bit fast with the "present" aspect of the 1st person POV, as sometimes they are narrating what has happened up to the point that it's the "present" . Like someone asks how your day has been, so you tell them, then just keep talking as you go about your day. I am not sure I am pulling it off but its a decision that has been made. The reason for all of this is that the MC is internally monologuing to herself as she does things - due to a dissociative disorder- she is often "outside herself" looking in. But because she is doing this, I have also been caught into doing first person present when I switch to other characters... just to not annoy.

    I am second guessing myself on this and considering going back and re-writing everything not from her POV as 3rd. it would make more sense but may be jarring to a reader -
  12. As a reader, I'm flexible and only have an issue, personally, with the rare second person. . . I never feel like it connects. Yet the once or twice a year when I see a published book written in second person, I'll give it a go. lol

    It seems most books I love are written in some form of third person, usually limited and past tense. Yet I often find first person easiest to write in for some reason. In fact, almost every story I have ever written, at some stage, was explored as a first person POV even if didn't stay with it. When writing, I find it helps me discover and understand the character, which is helpful (for me) when using an outside narrative voice in the end. I like dialing in on one character's experience and, when that suits the story being told, I find it the most inviting.
  13. S J Lee

    S J Lee Sage

    V27, as you know I am into 3rd person limited...as deep as it needs to be to get my interest. Some "really deep" stuff is just a writer hiding the fact that he doesn't want to get on with the story because he doesn't have much to say.

    I think you meant "census"...! But you really meant "poll"...? ;-)
  14. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Sage

    I'm writing a 3rd person story, and suddenly I slipped and wrote "I" instead of "He". Felt super creepy!

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