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It's all a matter of perspective

When reading, do you prefer stories told from a first person perspective or a third person perspective? How important is perspective to you? Are some stories better told in a given perspective than others?


New Member
I like it when writers use more than one perspective, like in if on a winter's night a traveler or a season in hell.


New Member
i do not prefer one form over another the only important thing is the right perspective is chosen for the narrative. First person can place you closer to the character, scene or action, whereas third person can give a better overall dimension and suits a more traditional narrative, ie the story teller.


ps what the hell are you doing up at 7 in the morning?


Active Member
I like all styles of narration. I especially like those that are just that little bit different such as second person (e.g. Calvino's if on a winter's night a traveller, Banks' Complicity) or the collective (first people?) who tell the story in Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides.


I prefer third person, mostly because I feel that I'm missing part of the story if its in first person. However, I lose that preference for well written books...it really depends on the style of writing and the story. Because I'm so analytical, though, if I'm just reading a random book, I prefer third person so as to feel I've gotten all the information that I need to consider.


New Member
Makes no difference to me. I actually rather enjoy the second perspective, drags you into the book more.


New Member
i like first person better though it all depends on how the story is presented.

The story is exposed from a particular point of view in first person. that view maybe be wrong in some cases or against our own which makes it quite dynamic, to read.
In third person, the story becomes impersonal and matter-of-fact.


Active Member
I've never really paid attention to this until recently. I'm reading a book right now which constantly switches between first and third, and this has made me very aware of perspective, something I had hardly notices up until then.

My favourite (in this novel): First person.

Cheers, Martin :cool:


New Member
It depends which is more suitable. In Dickens' Great Expectations,and Defoe's Robsinson Cruesoe, for example, the importance of the story lies largely in the protagonists' reflections on their previous lexperiences; thus it is necessary to write in first person. I do, however, think that first person is often over-used.

A third person may be more appropriate when much of what is written is unknown to the protagonist or another character who might otherwise narrate. Such a category may include Anna Karenina, or The Iliad.