Thursday, August 1, 2013

Booking Through Thursday: “It’s Personal”

btt buttonfrom Deb (August 1, 2013)

Do you have a preference between “person” in the books you read? Do you prefer third-person to first-person? Or don’t you care?

And … why??

Interesting question. I think it depends a lot on what kind of story it is. A consistent first-person narrative means keeping a limited perspective. This can be very effective if it is done right but it requires a certain skill from the author if at the same time he/she wants to convey things to the reader that are meant not to be perceived by the fictional narrator. 

On the other hand, there is probably even more danger of careless slipping from an intended main character perspective if the author uses the third-person kind of narrative. I think what irritates me most is when there are sudden illogical side-steps from the main perspective. (Like if 95% of the story is told from the main character’s perspective and we only get a few sudden glimpses here and there from someone else’s unspoken thoughts.)

So I’d say the most important thing is that the author makes consistent and well thought-out use of whatever narrative perspective(s) chosen. Shifting perspective can be totally okay too, but it has to be done in a consistent way or it will come across as “cheating”.

8 comments:

  1. I like either one, and sometimes a mix, depends on the writer does it.
    I like first person, as long as the I's are not so numerous i start to count how many in each sentence...the one first person i do not read is when the story is told as a narration... drives me nuts.

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  2. Yes, consistency is important...I think we need to know right away which character is narrating.

    Here's MY BTT POST

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  3. "So I’d say the most important thing is that the author makes consistent and well thought-out use of whatever narrative perspective(s) chosen. Shifting perspective can be totally okay too, but it has to be done in a consistent way or it will come across as “cheating”."

    I think this is most important. Any kind of narration CAN work if the author uses it well.

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  4. Consistentcy is necessary and important.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2013/08/booking-on-thursday.html

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  5. Your new header and background are beautiful!!!! I don't really care about first person or not in a book. What matters to me is good writing and characters I care about or that make me laugh.

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  6. On the whole I prefer the third person though there have been, obviously, some books written in the first person that I have thoroughly enjoyed - from Black Beauty to The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It was lack of consistency that made me wonder how on earth Wolf Hall won the Booker Prize!

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  7. I don't mind what pov is used as long as it is done well. Head hopping is a pet peeve of mine that plagues 3rd person limited in particular. Bleh! Here's mine Backchatting Books BTT

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  8. Exactly, Monica, consistency is the magic word here.
    A book that is very well written is one that I can hardly imagine reading from any other perspective. Take the Harry Potter series, for instance; of course Harry could have been the narrator, but it would have been VERY different, wouldn't it!
    And if I think of the "Teacher"-series I like so much, I can not imagine them NOT being told 1st person by the author himself.

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Communication is what makes blogging fun :)

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