Author Topic: 3rd person & 1st person combo  (Read 686 times)

Offline TomMullettUK

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3rd person & 1st person combo
« on: June 25, 2018, 10:08:07 AM »
Hello Hello.

I'm currently hard at work on a story that I've been working on for the past two years.
It's about two characters whose stories are told alongside each other.
They never actual meet, however as things progress, their actions and decisions influence each in quite extraordinary ways.

I've been considering an idea for how to present the two main characters, and it involves a combination of 1st and 3rd person.

The first character would be presented via a more traditional 3rd person approach. I've written a great deal for this character and I am happy with the progress and how his world is shaping up.

The second character is a man that is incredibly Blockedytical and reflective. I have already written a couple of chapters for him in the 3rd person, however I'm not quite sure it's suiting his character... but an idea came to me yesterday: his entire story could be told in the 1st person via reflective diary entries. This would allow me to apply a lot more detail and attention to his thoughts and feelings about the world, people he interacts with + his 'story' as things progress.... however one of my concerns is that this could potentially feel a little hollow, especially with regards to the reader getting a 'feel' for the world in which he exists.... although maybe this detail can be supplemented by the other character whose story is told in 3rd person.

So my main questions are:

Do you think the mixture of 1st and 3rd person would sit well together?
- is the contrast interesting or too jarring?

Does the 1st person 'reflective' approach offer enough depth for a main character?

« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 10:24:39 AM by TomMullettUK »

Offline Mike_Cobley

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Re: 3rd person & 1st person combo
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 11:52:58 AM »
I think if you stick with different chapters in different view points, and not mix them up within a chapter, it will be fine.

Also read it careful and make sure if flows well.

Published Works:
'The Eyes of the Devil' -
'The Shadow Grounds' -
Currently working: - 'Anomaly' Sci-Fi  - save the world type, 'NeverLeave' - horror, and 'A Meeting of Worlds' fantasy.

Offline bailish

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Re: 3rd person & 1st person combo
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 12:18:12 PM »
Different viewpoints for different characters in different chapters is fine, but what you're talking about is mixing 1st and 3rd person. That's where I think the problem is. This way suggests that the character in 1st person is more important than the one in 3rd, but your description suggests they are parallel. Therefore, I'd suggest either both in 1st or both in 3rd, but not mixing them.

I'm also wondering about 3rd person not fitting a character, so you switch to 1st. The usual pattern is opposite, since 1st person is the more restrictive case.

Offline oodiemohar

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Re: 3rd person & 1st person combo
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2018, 10:07:41 PM »
What you are trying to do can VERY easily come across to a random viewer as confusing. If you are having 2 'heroes' of the story, then they must BOTH follow the heroes journey. Until you have written something that has gained traction, I would recommend holding off on this.