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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CambaReviewer
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Re: First-Person Narration - A Good Option?

Post by CambaReviewer »

I like first person narratives because of the depth of insight I gain from books written like this. However, the distinction of whose POV is written should be clear and unambiguous. If it cannot be so, third person narratives will work better.
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Post by Howlan »

CambaReviewer wrote: 22 Feb 2020, 11:57 I like first person narratives because of the depth of insight I gain from books written like this. However, the distinction of whose POV is written should be clear and unambiguous. If it cannot be so, third person narratives will work better.
First-person narratives are great if you want to get into the head of the character. Especially for character-driven novels.
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Post by Nym182 »

CambaReviewer wrote: 22 Feb 2020, 11:57 I like first person narratives because of the depth of insight I gain from books written like this. However, the distinction of whose POV is written should be clear and unambiguous. If it cannot be so, third person narratives will work better.
yeah that was one of the things i had a hard time with... it seemed like it flipped flopped mid chapter and I never knew who's eyes we were seeing through!
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Post by sarahmarlowe »

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?
Interesting question! I like books that have more than one character doing first-person narration. I think it does give us great insight into characters. I think that third person would have taken away some of the mystery of the motives.
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Post by Nym182 »

sarahmarlowe wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 17:08
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?
Interesting question! I like books that have more than one character doing first-person narration. I think it does give us great insight into characters. I think that third person would have taken away some of the mystery of the motives.
The one thing that is good about third person is the POV is less biased. In first person you are seeing things through a characters eye and that can be unreliable.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” HST
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Post by centfie »

Switching first-person narration gives the reader a perspective of the individual characters, which wouldn't have achieved the same results in third-person. The author must have had a good reason for choosing to tell the story using first-person.
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Post by Howlan »

Nym182 wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 12:01
CambaReviewer wrote: 22 Feb 2020, 11:57 I like first person narratives because of the depth of insight I gain from books written like this. However, the distinction of whose POV is written should be clear and unambiguous. If it cannot be so, third person narratives will work better.
yeah that was one of the things i had a hard time with... it seemed like it flipped flopped mid chapter and I never knew who's eyes we were seeing through!
Yes, it was confusing. But it was refreshing to see things from another perspective.
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Post by Howlan »

sarahmarlowe wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 17:08
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?
Interesting question! I like books that have more than one character doing first-person narration. I think it does give us great insight into characters. I think that third person would have taken away some of the mystery of the motives.
Yes sometimes if the narration is not good enough and that is such a killjoy!
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Post by Howlan »

Nym182 wrote: 25 Feb 2020, 12:15
sarahmarlowe wrote: 24 Feb 2020, 17:08
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?
Interesting question! I like books that have more than one character doing first-person narration. I think it does give us great insight into characters. I think that third person would have taken away some of the mystery of the motives.
The one thing that is good about third person is the POV is less biased. In first person you are seeing things through a characters eye and that can be unreliable.
But that really gives us a good perspective into the main character.
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Post by Howlan »

centfie wrote: 26 Feb 2020, 14:25 Switching first-person narration gives the reader a perspective of the individual characters, which wouldn't have achieved the same results in third-person. The author must have had a good reason for choosing to tell the story using first-person.
It gave us a great but disturbing insight into the main character.
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Post by mhopkins »

I think the first-person narrative was a good choice for this book with Adam's inner thinkings, especially at the beginning. I don't know if a third-person narrative would have given us as much insight. But, I don't think it should have switched to Carly's - there was no difference in the voices, so it was hard to know who was talking at the time.
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Post by danicommissions »

First-person can help if you have characters whose actions are unsympathetic or questionable; you get to inhabit their mind and see their reasoning for doing it, while also not having their actions be strictly endorsed by the person telling the story. However, it does mean that there needs to be clear differentiation between the voices of different characters, and that's kind of an issue in this book.
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

I actually prefer the first-person narrative because I feel like I can better relate to the characters. I agree, though, Adam's narrative is far more convincing than Carly's.
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Post by Drakka Reader »

I'm a pretty good fan of first person. The emotions usually come across better and it is easier to tell what characters are thinking if it switches between characters.
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Post by Howlan »

mhopkins wrote: 26 Feb 2020, 15:45 I think the first-person narrative was a good choice for this book with Adam's inner thinkings, especially at the beginning. I don't know if a third-person narrative would have given us as much insight. But, I don't think it should have switched to Carly's - there was no difference in the voices, so it was hard to know who was talking at the time.
Yes I either the author should have gone through with the single person narration or if she wanted to add more characters she could have put it in the third person narrative.
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