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Thursday, June 08, 2006

First or Third Person

I intend to work on my Gothic/Historical-style novel this summer. This project is more along the lines of Mary Stewart or Dorothy Eden. I loved those stories when I was younger and for a while, they were very popular. Every book had the big old mansion, the brooding hero, the dark and sinister secrets... And most of them were written in the first person, though not all.

One of my favorites was Ravenscroft by Dorothy Eden. (1963) That is written in third person with only the heroine's viewpoint. In fact, all of the books in that genre were limited to the heroine's point of view. That way it was easy to make the hero appear to be a dastardly villain because nobody ever knew what he was thinking. :^)

Today, many of the chick-lit novels are written in first person, which gives them a certain air of immediacy--I suppose, making them resemble diaries.

Do you enjoy reading books written in first person or third person. Here's one sentence in first person: "When I reached the crest of the hill, I stopped to look down upon the town of Taylor’s Grove. Nothing had changed there in the ten years since I had left." Here's the same sentence in third person: "She reached the crest of the hill and stopped to look down upon the town of Taylor's Grove. Nothing had changed there in the ten years since she had left."

Which would you prefer?


Leann said...

I definetly like stories told from the third person perspective.

Just Nancy said...

Usually I prefer third person, but I don't mind it in chick lit and gothics. I guess it's because I expect it in those genres. I'm working on a Mom Lit in first person. I think it's more intimate and in chick/mom lit, you kinda want to be that close to the heroine because it's about her journey, not so much romance. Gothics, I think, have more of a "spooky" feeling when we're seeing things only from her eyes and how she interprets it. I hope you write it! I'd love to read it.