Is there a specific point of view set for a specific type of genre?

Like First Person Point of View is for mystery and thriller stories. (It was something I read, but I can’t remember where) I’m just wondering, since I’ve been working on an Adventure/Fantasy story in First Person Point of View, when I read that it’s supposed to be in Third Person Point of View. I like what I came up with in First Person Point of View and it feels like I’m immersing myself in the adventure instead of just reading about it.

I’d like your opinions and comments!




13 thoughts on “Wondering…

  1. Elven Sribe says:

    I had never heard that a particular type of story had to be told in a certain POV. I myself love writing in first person. It creates an intimate bond with the main character that you do not have with the other point of views. One of my favorite writers Rex Stout (yes mystery) writes from Archie narrating. I think with the first person the writer can focus the easiest on plot and characterization.

    There is a few sticky points with first person though. One is keeping the right tense through the work. while in first person…you are normally at present tense…but as your character moves through his world and describes it then there is the ability or should I say possibility of slipping into past. Also pacing becomes difficult. It is very easy to micro minute the characters interaction with the rest of the story. While the surrounding or background stories can move very slowly.

  2. Elven Sribe says:

    Yes, I would think so as long as you kept the same tense throughout.

    • I did and I’ve been rechecking my manuscript over and over to make sure of it. A friend told me that I should use present tense, when describing something that’s supposedly permanent, like structures or appearances. Is that something I should be doing? I’m sorry if I’m asking so many questions. Thanks for your help. 🙂

  3. Elven Sribe says:

    Don’t worry about asking questions its a good thing. As far as writing in present tense for permant objects, I hadn’t heard that either so I do not know the answer to that. But I think it would still have some berring on how and what your character was doing to or with the object that would decide the tense. For example… The building was rough to the touch as I pulled my hand away from the stucko affraid of getting cut.

    or I stand here looking up into the nostril of Teddy Rosevelt and think it is a masterpiece. The lines are gracefull and I can see no seam where the nose meets the rest of the face. As I look at Mount Rushmoore I think one more time maybe I should take stone carving class.

  4. amymarie says:

    Ninety percent of fiction is written in third person, however, a lot of young adult fiction is written in first person. I’d say just write in the viewpoint you feel most comfortable writing. Your work will be stronger because of it.

  5. First person is the easiest vessel for letting the reader feel like they are hearing a specific characters thoughts as they are – I think that is why the mystery and detective genre are so full of it – it allows the writer to control the viewpoint and lines of logical reasoning very tightly – through the eyes of a single character. It is also a great vehicle for tone/voice – for a lot of writers, first person is a more natural fit for something heavy in tone or accent, such as noir. Again, that is a reason for the detective story to pick it and for some realistic stories where location and accent is a big deal to use it. Tone really puts the reader into the mind of the story, like you said.

    All that said, you can still go very far into voice and thought process in the third person. I find the third person more comfortable to write in, because I personally find the first person too confessional for some of the characters (as in they would never really say these things, so it feels weird to write them – it’s a personal thing) – I think the first person is the hardest to do really well.

    Third is not a monolithic category either. The kind of third person that focuses in on one character’s thoughts, either enough to become drenched with that characters tone or just occasionally popping into that character’s head, is third limited. If you say anything that this character would not know, you are venturing into the omnipotent. If you know everyone’s thought, past and future, that is your classic omnipotent narrator. If you travel heads, you are using a traveling limited third. If you go into no ones head at all, you might be writing in the objective third.

    Third limit is the most popular current style. It’s kind of a best of both worlds, especially for speculative fiction – the biggest problem with first and fantasy is asking why a first person narrator would ever tell you about the world they are in – you don’t narrate by saying “I picked up the phone, an electronic communication device we use to talk across distances.” That is just weird. But it third, it works.

    /long comment. Hope there is something useful in there.

    • Thank you for the very long and informative comment. I actually don’t know how to reply to that, but I guess I found comfort in writing in first person for my current project (fantasy/adventure novel) because it’s what I feel is best for the plot I made. I assure you I don’t use sentences like, “I picked up the phone, an electronic communication device we use to talk across distances.” (It over explains simple things) It just feels like the narrator is telling a story in his own voice and from his experiences in the past.

      I guess there are some standards to writing, but I’ve always felt like there’s always a chance to break barriers and be different.

      I appreciate your comment. There’s a lot of useful information I can and will use in my future projects.

  6. Haha, glad you found it helpful. Obviously we don’t do it for the telephone. It is the idea that if you are presenting the reader with magical or science technology that only exists in the universe of the book, first person is a hard vehicle to use. It can be done, but you have to be careful – the first person has to be truest to what the voice telling the story would actually say.

    Obviously, if the story is told in hindsight, especially to an outsider, it may work very well in explaining things.

    Best of luck with your story!

  7. TheOthers1 says:

    I didn’t think there were hard and fast rules on this. If you write the point of view well enough, it’ll be enjoyable to the reader regardless. That’s just what I think though.

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