NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > GENERAL DISCUSSION > Creative Writing Corner
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Point of View in NYCM stories
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Point of View in NYCM stories

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
td333777 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 29 Jan 2017
Location: MO
Status: Offline
Points: 2069
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote td333777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Point of View in NYCM stories
    Posted: 26 May 2020 at 4:37pm
Felt like starting a thread to discuss technique a little while we continue the torturous wait for third round results in the SSC.

I've written probably 60-70 short stories in my life, and I don't give a lot of conscious thought to picking a POV before I begin.  The POV just kind of...happens...when I start.  Most of the time, I default to third person because it allows me a larger breadth of storytelling.  I find first-person easier to use when I'm trying to misdirect for a twisty ending.  I did second-person once, in order to try to put the reader into a man's shoes who doesn't realize that he's slipping slowly into an affair.

I feel like first-person lends itself to more emotional scenes because readers don't have to infer a lot--the emotions and feelings come right out of the narrator's head.

Third-person seems to work better in action (although some very tense stuff can come out of first-person action/suspense when you want the reader concerned for the MC's safety.)

So I put the question to you all--why do you pick one POV over another?  Do you have a distinct tendency for one?  Has your POV inclination changed over time?  More of my first-person stories were written earlier in my writing career, but I've gotten more fond of 3rd person as time progressed.

I also wonder if there's an advantage in contests for one POV over another.  I know it's a small sample size, but four out of the last five Short Story winners have been first-person, and four of the last six Flash Fiction have been first-person as well.  If someone did a tabulation of POV for round 3 and the majority of entries are first-person, that could explain why first-person is so well-represented by overall winners.  Or maybe it doesn't.

What say you regarding POV?

Trey 




Edited by td333777 - 26 May 2020 at 4:38pm
SSC 2020 - R3 H8 Double Entendre
SSC 2018 - 2nd place
FFC 2017 - 1st
Back to Top
Zelda View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Location: Louisville, KY
Status: Offline
Points: 3363
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zelda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2020 at 5:14pm
I write a lot of first person. Not sure why, but it's an intuitive decision like with you. In general with writing, I ask myself if the story is one character's, or if it's a group story. I've got one stand-alone novel that's third-person, and I was delighted to discover that there were so much more opportunities to develop the characters; and I saw some limitations on first-person writing. Interesting question! I've also written my middle grade series in which each volume has one of three different narrators who switch out. I think for the twelve volumes, it's Corey, Corey, Andi, Corey, Andi, Corey, Corey, Andi, Corey, Andi, Julianne (new character), Corey. (I hope that sentence was fun to read. I enjoyed typing it.) Tongue That gives some flexibility too of third-person writing because I can develop each character with a per-volume focus. 
Back to Top
chrissie0707 View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 07 Feb 2018
Location: Indianapolis
Status: Offline
Points: 3370
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrissie0707 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2020 at 6:04pm
I have always written in third and HATED first-person with a fiery passion. 

I wrote one story in SSC last year in first, and it was rough. I wasn't sure about it, and my trusty beta readers were like "I don't like this. You don't write like this."

And then as I started writing more and more flash length stories for comps, first-person has been the POV that has popped into my head in the brainstorming phase. I've found that it's helpful for keeping to a lower word count and creating an emotional connection with the reader. I've found myself enjoying stories written in first-person much more lately, too, since I've started writing some that way. 
FFC #1 Beneath the Surface
Back to Top
jennifer.quail View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt


Joined: 07 Feb 2018
Status: Offline
Points: 4211
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 May 2020 at 8:08pm
Whatever feels right for a particular story or character. Overall I probably average third person more often than first, as it's a bit more flexible if I need multiple POVs. Some characters absolutely seem to fit one more than another. (Aleksandra is always first person, past tense, Mattias is just a third-person-present kind of guy. ) Generally, it's about the tone of the story. Some just seem to flow better when they're in first and usually if I find something not working, when I change from first to third or vice-versa, it starts to work better.

One thing I can't stand is second person. It takes a really, really exceptional story for me not to bin it immediately seeing second person.
SSC 2020 R3 G1: Hermitage
MF100 R1: Minder
Back to Top
Lexiconundrum View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Regular
NYC Midnight Regular
Avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Location: Chicago
Status: Offline
Points: 372
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lexiconundrum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2020 at 12:21am
I love topics like this. The more I write, the more I find myself sticking with third-person limited POV. Writing third-person omniscient seems to have gone out of style. Another reason I usually stick with 3rd person is that it's sort of the tool I know best as a writer. I might pick up other tools once in a while, but for contests, I usually stick to where I'm strongest. 
1st person POV always feels disconnecting to me...I guess if I'm reading a story about Indiana Jones, I like to imagine that I could possibly have these adventures too...but I know that I am not the "I" of a 1st-person POV story, I'm not as interested. That said, Rebecca is one of my all-time favorite movies and books, so if the story's really good, I'm fine with it.
I think 2nd person works best with stories about abstract concepts. I wrote my R3 story in 2nd person, and I almost talked myself out of it because I do think it was a risky decision,  contest-wise. But I wanted to demonstrate my main character's feelings of dissociation and disconnection from her environment, and as though she was giving herself stage directions to cope with her situation. I felt strongly enough about it that I decided to keep it in 2nd person despite the risk, because so many people do dislike 2nd person. But I think if you have a specific goal in mind, 2nd person can work. When I was younger, I used to write things in 2nd person because I thought it made my stories sound soooo poetic (it didn't). :)
FF 2019 CH2 Group 88 - Millennials are Ruining Hell for Everyone, say Death, Beelzebub, and Nestle CEO
Back to Top
RichmondRoad View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Regular
NYC Midnight Regular
Avatar

Joined: 26 Jan 2018
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 431
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RichmondRoad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jun 2020 at 7:03pm
As is always the case I believe that there are no rules and anything can work in the hands of a master (I’d use master/mistress here in the spirit of gender equality ... but it has a bit of an S&M ring to it). But being no master myself I tend to go for whatever is easiest. I was always impressed by how J.P Donleavey could switch so seamlessly from 3rd person to 1st person and I have sometimes tried to imitate that ....but it has never worked.
My tendency is for 1st person because it seems like a more natural story telling vessel. My observation is that 3rd person is a bit of a ‘when in doubt’ refuge (that I take regularly). Great 3rd person short stories sometimes include, in the first sentence, the name and location of the protagonist, but the bad ones almost always do.
Whenever a story starts like ‘Little Joey lived alone in a tidy wooden house in Sommersby with a neatly trimmed hedge. By day he worked packing shelve’s at Robinson’s grocery and at night he dreamed of being a lion tamer’ I think, “oh, dear. Here we go again ...”
BUT .... as I regularly stress to anyone who would listen, what would I know?
Back to Top
WoodyGS View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Groupie
NYC Midnight Groupie
Avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2020
Location: Oakland
Status: Offline
Points: 108
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WoodyGS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2020 at 6:30pm
love having this conversation. awesome to see how peers are using their unique strengths to make their technical choices. 
1st person: i use this when i have a vivid character who won't shut up. historically it's been my favorite. :) the drawback is remembering the character isn't necessarily a writer, wouldn't necessarily speak with the description or prose that we as author would default to in, say, 3rd. so i have to show more discipline (method acting?) with the way i describe things.

2nd: i use 2nd for stories driven by strong emotional or mental experiences. there's an immediacy to it, super internal, but it's not inhibited by a narrator's (read: human's) tendency to guard or make themselves look a certain way. when i was younger and writing characters similar to me, i would write first drafts in 2nd & then revise to 1st or 3rd later.

3rd: i use 3rd when i want us to look at the characters from the outside and have the reader retain their own separate identity (if that makes sense?). a more cinematic experience. i find 3rd most challenging because you're under the responsibility to control sooooo much more in the scene. i always have to be thinking: where is the camera? where have we situated the reader? what else does the reader need to be immersed? so many of you execute 3rd so well and i really admire that~!


Edited by WoodyGS - 03 Jun 2020 at 6:35pm
Back to Top
NorthernPixels View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Newbie
NYC Midnight Newbie
Avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2020
Location: Toronto
Status: Offline
Points: 90
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NorthernPixels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2020 at 10:17am
I often write second-person at work. In a video game, when the character interacts with something, I write it like a dungeon master in D&D sort of. You stumble upon a mouldy tome, it crumbles apart in your fingertips as you attempt to turn the pages. 

That's really the only time I've thought about using second-person. 

Typically, I write in third-person when I'm more interested in a detached POV, when I want to explore a characters emotions and actions without their own voice attached to it. This is especially true if I have multiple POVs or want a more objective feeling to the story. I almost always use limited-third as well. 

On top of that, it feels timeless, somehow.

I use first-person when I want a more intimate or subjective take on something.  


Edited by NorthernPixels - 05 Jun 2020 at 10:20am
NYCM WRITER'S GROUP <- Click to join!

Back to Top
CathyM View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 24 Jun 2015
Location: Omaha, NE
Status: Offline
Points: 2736
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CathyM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2020 at 7:21am
For longer stories, I mainly use third-person. It gives the story more breadth, I feel. For short intense stories, I tend to use first to give the story an intimacy it needs for short and intense.
100 Word MF Rd1 MOTHER
Back to Top
Vernacula View Drop Down
NYC Midnight Black Belt
NYC Midnight Black Belt
Avatar

Joined: 21 Jan 2016
Location: West Coast
Status: Offline
Points: 3421
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vernacula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2020 at 7:49pm
Everything I do is pretty instinctual. Maybe I shouldn't admit that, but there you go. I will say, I really feel first POV is best suited for shorter fiction, like flash. On very rare occasions, when I write something and it feels off I'll try changing perspective. I usually end up loving the stories where I've done this.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.250 seconds.