First-Person Narration - A Good Option?

Use this forum to discuss the February 2020 Book of the month, "Opaque" by Calix Leigh-Reign
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Re: First-Person Narration - A Good Option?

Post by Bergahitaxxxxla »

I think it deoends on what the author sees fit. In my opinion as long as it would not confuse the readers, then its good.
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Post by Amanda Newton »

I think third person would have been better. It's not bad to use this style if the two voices are very distinct, but I found myself a lot trying to remember who was speaking.
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Post by Bookreviwer2020 »

Sometimes the switching between first person and third person can ne alot more interesting. Although I did think this book was more of a third person narration
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Post by damis »

AntonelaMaria wrote: 16 Feb 2020, 13:43 First-person narration is all fine and dandy when you can make a difference between the characters. Otherwise... I don't know it is not about first or third person narration it is more of what kind of book it is. Maybe for fantasy, I wouldn't choose the first person.
To be quite honest i'm not a big fan of first person writing, and this is among the reasons why. If it ain't carefully handled it has the risk of turning the narrative messy and hard-to-read, not to mention that it has to display different describing styles in order to show different point of views, which in general, is not easy to achieve for most. In this particular case, i would have gone for third person; but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me, either.
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Post by Gifted Soul »

I personally believe that the different types of narration individually serve different purposes, and so we cannot conclusively overwrite 1 POV over the other. Like someone has mentioned here, the 1st POV is basically used for character dev' because it allows us to delve into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of the character whereas the 3rd POV primarily advances the plot, moreso the third-person omniscient. Therefore, we first have to analyse the intentions of the author before coming up with a conclusion.
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Post by siusantos »

Yeah, this works. I've read a couple of books that did this, and they worked out great. I enjoyed the flow and it was not confusing at all. It would help if the characters have been developed well so the readers could relate to them.
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Post by FelDee »

esp1975 wrote: 18 Feb 2020, 13:13 This wasn't first-person narration. First-person narration would have meant Adam or Carly was telling the story. Instead of "Adam felt....", it would have been "I felt...".
This was third-person omniscient. Someone else, who could see inside everyone's heads, was telling the story.

What you are talking about here is the switching of point-of-view characters. I am not a huge fan of third-person omniscient to begin with. I hate it even more when it is used to flip back and forth between point-of-view characters, sometimes only a sentence at a time. So that actually drove me crazy.
I don't mind point-of-view shifts, but they need to be obvious (section breaks if nothing else) so that I am not left trying to figure out why Adam thought "X", only to go back and re-read and realize that we switched into Carly's POV for one sentence only. It makes things very confusing for the reader.
It's also kind of lazy, writing-wise, as the author then never has to show what one character is thinking by their reactions and actions. They instead just flip over into their head for a moment and then flip back.

And all of this was made worse by writing in present-tense. Very few authors can pull that off. And Leigh-Reign isn't quite that talented. (Or, her editor wasn't.)

I was just reading through all the comments and wondering why people were saying this was in the first-person narrative. However, I think that this was more third-person limited not omniscient. Third-person omniscient is when the narrator knows what's going on in everyone's head at all times, but I will say there were definitely several times that the author slipped up and went to third-person omniscient narrative If she had just stuck with one of POV in a scene at a time I think that would have made the present tense style less jerky to read.
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Post by PRECIOUSreads »

Personally I prefer third person instead of first person as it gives the characters more definition and more physical description. I like to picture when I read. I'm sure most of you can relate.
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Post by Aubrey Lewis »

I think the first-person narrative would work much better if it were focused on one character alone. Since the book alternated between the two characters, it's quite confusing sometimes. Since first-person POV is usually a hit or miss with me, I think I would've preferred this to be third-person instead.
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Post by leximutia »

While I love to read from multiple characters' perspectives within a book, I feel that the switching perspectives within Opaque could have been executed in a better way. I did find myself having to go back and reread sentences to reorient myself and figure out which thoughts belonged to which characters. There were no clearly defined "markers" inbetween the perspectives switches, so I was often confused.

I didn't have a problem with the alternating narratives, but perhaps the points at which they changed from one character to another should have been indicated in a more obvious way.
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Post by ahmaria »

I haven't yet read the book, but I find that I prefer books with first-person narration. I find that not every author is equipped to write an engaging story and well-fleshed out characters with a third-person perspective. Also, certain genres (like romance, YA, etc) just seem to call for first-person perspectives. However, I think the issue with first-person perspective arises when an author unintentionally demonstrates a preference toward one character over another. Then the narratives become lop-sided and one character ends up coming across hollow.
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Post by Marty_Kelly »

Personally, I enjoy the first-person point of view more especially when it is done with much skill. It makes the story feels closer and personal.
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Post by tjportugal »

cristinaro wrote: 15 Feb 2020, 07:49 Do you think that it was a good idea for the author to alternate between Adam's and Carly's first-person narration? As far as I am concerned, I found Adam's passages more interesting and believable than Carly's. Would a third-person narration have worked better?
There are a couple of stories (movies included) with first-person narration alternating between characters. It can work really well if the author is good. For books, I like first-person narration coming from one character only, like in Code Name: Dodger by Eric Auxier. Regarding the element of first-person narration, this book is amazing
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Post by JohnKasha »

First persona narration was a good option. It makes the reader feel as being part of the characters themselves and this makes it enjoyable.
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Post by danielleamy »

I usually prefer a first-person narrative. But if it follows more than one person, it's less confusing to use third person. That way, there's no confusion between which person/perspective you are following.
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