Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday Talks | First or Third Person Narrative?


Welcome to another Tuesday Talks, a GoodReads group started by Janie and Janelle where we discuss book-related topics every Tuesday. Today we're going to discuss the pros and cons of first and third person perspectives in books. I honestly think that both of them have advantages and disadvantages and different books and authors work differently with each perspective.

First person narrative is really good for coming of age and contemporary novels. Through first person we get to see directly into a person's brain. We get to see their course of action and why they do what they do (a skill I wish I had in real life), which is really helpful especially when the protagonist makes a grand revelation. However first person is restrictive, we only get to see from one person or a small number of people.

Third person is a bit more interesting because we can get so many different perspectives but still get some amount of internal thought from the characters. It's not as deep as a first person narrative but still gets the job done. I think third person is really good for action and adventure books, where most of the plot and conflict is external. Third person allows us to see different sides of the same external event which is an interesting way to build the storyline.

I don't think that I can objectively say whether one type of narrative is better than the other. Both have some pros and cons and I really think that these different types are better applicable in different genres. What do you guys think? Do you like one type of perspective more than the other? Let me know in the comments below!