First person writing

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Re: First person writing

#16 Post by LVUER » Sun May 02, 2010 8:34 pm

Novels that I love most are (almost) all Tom Clancy's novels. They're in 3rd person and have overly-long and detailed narration/background description. But it's so detailed and realistic that I don't feel bored even the slightest.
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Re: First person writing

#17 Post by prezzey » Sun May 02, 2010 8:38 pm

Not necessarily relevant to VNs in particular, but I like Samuel Delany's advice that you should only write in first person when your character has an interesting voice.
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Re: First person writing

#18 Post by FeatherThief » Sun May 02, 2010 9:02 pm

I agree with everyone for my dislike in most first person. Being the character but having not much control unlike visual novels, however one of the few exceptions I have to this rule is Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Homes. It really depends on what you are writing it for. I would probably never play a vn in third person if someone pulled it off and avoid books because they are in first person, but in Doyle's case Holmes is supposed to be this amazing, insane, smart, detective and therefore you can't get inside his head or else it would ruin it and he also seems more insane from someone else's veiw. First person at least in books should only be left to skilled writers unlike Meyer. Also to Lunethex, sure they do become there characters but in some way don't all artists make these things with part of there soul. Whenever I write I feel like I am creating a new world and in many ways I am accepting Einstein's thereoys or not. So They have to become there character in many ways to make it at all acceptable.
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Re: First person writing

#19 Post by number473 » Mon May 03, 2010 4:49 am

Lunethex wrote:Real writers use third person.
Real real writers can even get away with writing in first person.
As far as novels go the above is an acceptable rule to have, but in shorter pieces especially it is possible to pull off a good first person piece. And in the case of vns we can just about throw the rule out of the window.

As far as writing in first person, the tip I can give is to watch your tenses. If you write the whole thing in present tense it can be a bit hard on the reader. Other than that, write like you would write third person, just change your viewpoint from the great eye in the sky to the particular character that you have as your narrator.
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Re: First person writing

#20 Post by LVUER » Mon May 03, 2010 6:15 am

Real writer wouldn't argue over first or third person view. Both could be used, both are good, only different.
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Re: First person writing

#21 Post by IceD » Tue May 04, 2010 2:20 am

For those who are confused - try to write in both :)

Sekien no Inganock is a perfect example of this - it mixes first person writing from the point of view of different characters and third person narrative. It switches from one to another in certain situations, when needed. That creates really good experience for readers.

I don't think that first person is bad - it's just a matter of writer's personal preferences and ideas on their work. It's a fact that first person narrative is easier to cope with than third. Third person requires alot more work, that's why certain part of beggining writers tries to write in first person. Awful first person narrative causes writers to create "Mary Sues" and tends to be awful to readers, but when it's written properly it may leave even better experience than the third person narrative, ss it was said earlier - it tends to immerse us far more within the novel's surroundings. I remember that Holly Liesle wrote alot interesting materials for beggining writers on how to and when use first and when third person narratives. Also, Stephen King wrote some interesting notes on it in his biography. It would be great for everyone to take a look at them, I found them quite useful information.

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Re: First person writing

#22 Post by Aleema » Tue May 04, 2010 2:26 pm

Lunethex wrote:Real writers use third person.
That's like saying Rap isn't music.

Just because you don't like it doesn't make it a lesser form of art.

Now let's argue about third-person omniscient vs third-person limited -- annnnd GO!

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Re: First person writing

#23 Post by Fireserpent » Sat May 08, 2010 4:42 pm

I'm currently doing a dating sim game that takes place in first person, because the game is essentially happening to "you." You even have to introduce yourself and tell the game your name in one of the first dialogues.

First you need to decide if it takes time in present tense, or past tense.

When a character emotes I have the emote being directed at "you", very much like in a classic text adventure. When I write a menu choice, I have the menu choice reflect your decision if it's an action, or your thought process right before its formed into words, if its something spoken..

What was most important was to make a decision early on, how I wanted to do this.. Coherence is definitely important :)

I'm sure it's not the optimal way of doing it (Not sure if there is, with all the writing styles out there), but it works for me right now.

I'm not sure if that helps, or if you're more looking for specific things related to writing style.. I'm just a happy amateur, so not sure how well I can help you there.. :)

As far as first person being useless or dumb or anything like that is in my view extremely shortsighted. We're not writing books in the traditional way here (Except kinetic novels maybe), but -games- where you interact with the character. It's a whole different experience.

First person can be awkward if you don't have much control over the character's choices, but becomes a lot more interesting when you have more choices and interactions (which books don't have at all.)

Anyway, just my few cents on the subject..

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Re: First person writing

#24 Post by Wintermoon » Sat May 08, 2010 4:53 pm

Fireserpent wrote:I'm currently doing a dating sim game that takes place in first person, because the game is essentially happening to "you." You even have to introduce yourself and tell the game your name in one of the first dialogues.

First you need to decide if it takes time in present tense, or past tense.

When a character emotes I have the emote being directed at "you", very much like in a classic text adventure. When I write a menu choice, I have the menu choice reflect your decision if it's an action, or your thought process right before its formed into words, if its something spoken..
Wouldn't that be second person instead?

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Re: First person writing

#25 Post by Fireserpent » Sat May 08, 2010 5:04 pm

I might have caused a bit of confusion.. When I mean it's happening to "you" I mean "you" as the player.. That's in my understanding first person.. Wouldn't second person be yourself seen through the eyes of others?

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Re: First person writing

#26 Post by alberte » Sat May 08, 2010 5:12 pm

There is no "true" writing, however on the contrary, what if a writing has both 1st and 3rd person?

Does that make it decent trash? L0l
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Re: First person writing

#27 Post by Wintermoon » Sat May 08, 2010 6:51 pm

Fireserpent wrote:I might have caused a bit of confusion.. When I mean it's happening to "you" I mean "you" as the player.. That's in my understanding first person.. Wouldn't second person be yourself seen through the eyes of others?
In the English language, it works like this:
First person singular: I am in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
First person plural: We are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
Second person (singular or plural): You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
Second person singular informal (archaic): Thou art in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
Third person singular: She is in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
Third person plural: They are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.

In other words, first person is when the speaker is talking about herself. Second person is when the speaker is talking about the listener. Third person is when the speaker is talking about some third person other than the speaker and the listener, hence the name.

Games are usually written in second person. Books are often written in third person, sometimes first, never second. Visual novels usually use the first person.

This is somewhat confused by the use of first person graphical perspective in e.g. first person shooters, where you see through the eyes of your character. Graphical first person perspective is not really analogous to any grammatical person, since there is no speaker.
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Re: First person writing

#28 Post by Jake » Sun May 09, 2010 5:36 am

Wintermoon wrote: Games are usually written in second person. Books are often written in first person, sometimes third, never second. Visual novels usually use the first person.
I've always presumed that the first-person convention of VNs is mostly because they fit better as an emulation of written literature (where the positioning is generally that the protagonist is narrating the story to an unknown audience who has no control over it - that is, the reader) than as an emulation of computer games (where the player 'is' the protagonist, through direct and more or less total control, and the game is the arbiter and moderator of the game world with which the protagonist interacts).

Since VNs don't generally offer complete control of the protagonist's actions, using a second-person 'you' would probably make the player feel even less in-control than they in fact are. The first-person viewpoint doesn't really cloud the issue, it just means that the protagonist is giving the player a highly-PoV-driven account of events, as he remembers them.

(But as it goes, I'm pretty sure I've read [non-game] books which use second person. Although for the life of me I can't remember any titles off-hand.)
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Re: First person writing

#29 Post by Wintermoon » Sun May 09, 2010 3:04 pm

(I meant to say, books are often written in third person, sometimes first, never second.)
Jake wrote:I've always presumed that the first-person convention of VNs is mostly because they fit better as an emulation of written literature (where the positioning is generally that the protagonist is narrating the story to an unknown audience who has no control over it - that is, the reader) than as an emulation of computer games (where the player 'is' the protagonist, through direct and more or less total control, and the game is the arbiter and moderator of the game world with which the protagonist interacts).
I've also always considered visual novels more novel-like than game-like, but perhaps it's more accurate to say that visual novels are somewhere on the spectrum between pure novels and pure games. At one extreme, you have non-interactive visual novels, which work well in third person. At the other extreme, you have menu-driven adventure games, which can benefit from second person. First person works well across the entire spectrum, so it's the default choice, especially for those visual novels which fall into the middle of the spectrum (as most do).
Jake wrote:(But as it goes, I'm pretty sure I've read [non-game] books which use second person. Although for the life of me I can't remember any titles off-hand.)
Yes, "never" was definitely too strong a term. I'm sure there are plenty of writers who think it's fun to write in the second person future perfect (e.g. "You will have been in a maze of twisty little passages."), just to be different. They are a tiny minority.

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Re: First person writing

#30 Post by linkdragon0 » Sun May 09, 2010 4:16 pm

The second future perfect tense writing would be a good book to read. I gotta fond one.
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