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View Poll Results: Narrative Voice in Erotica; which is your preference?
1st Person Narrative 10 71.43%
3rd Person Narrative 4 28.57%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-20-2017, 11:56 AM   #1
Gotham_Central
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Narrative Perspective in Erotica

What is your personal preference in narrative voice when reading erotica?

1st Person, with the narrator literally describing the events, the people and being limited to what he could know, sort of like the "Dear Penthouse" letters of the Good Ol' Days.

Or 3rd Person Narrative, reading more like a traditional short story and being able to express information from a variety of perspectives and characters?
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:41 PM   #2
sr71plt
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Either is fine with me. Usually the content determines which is best for that particular story.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Either is fine with me. Usually the content determines which is best for that particular story.
I'm inclined to agree, but there seems to be some serious lines of demarcation re: preference in some corners.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:12 PM   #4
sr71plt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotham_Central View Post
I'm inclined to agree, but there seems to be some serious lines of demarcation re: preference in some corners.
But there are so many diverse "corners" of interest here that it doesn't matter. If you've launched this poll to achieve the golden chalice of "what readers want," you're wasting your time and effort.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
But there are so many diverse "corners" of interest here that it doesn't matter. If you've launched this poll to achieve the golden chalice of "what readers want," you're wasting your time and effort.
Nope, just engaging in a little research. I don't post stories here, or have not to date. But the demographic does reflect the market, to so degree.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:30 PM   #6
electricblue66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotham_Central View Post
Nope, just engaging in a little research. I don't post stories here, or have not to date. But the demographic does reflect the market, to so degree.
But those voting here won't reflect a reader demographic, because most who will see this poll in this forum are writers seeking and giving feedback, not readers.

I didn't vote, because you didn't offer a third option "either/both".

I've used both voices, and as Pilot says, it depends on the content. Talking to other writers here I have noted over time that some who prefer third person (and more so those who write exclusively third) do so because they are nervous with or step back from very close intimacy themselves. It's by no means a definitive 'rule', merely an observation - but I find it curious that folk who write erotica/porn have trouble with intimacy. To me, intimacy is the point of it all.

But then, I also sense that some readers want zero intimacy in their stroke, so the answer really is, "It depends."
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Old 10-21-2017, 02:09 AM   #7
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I second what electricblue said: you need a third option so people can indicate that they have no preference. That will give you a more accurate view of what people's real preferences are. I don't think one point of view is better than the other; it depends on the needs of the story. Generally, I like to read third person stories, but in some cases the first person perspective is better. I can't imagine Huckleberry Finn in the third person or War and Peace in the first person.
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Old 10-21-2017, 04:14 AM   #8
nadinejulie
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotham_Central View Post
What is your personal preference in narrative voice when reading erotica?

1st Person, with the narrator literally describing the events, the people and being limited to what he could know, sort of like the "Dear Penthouse" letters of the Good Ol' Days.

Or 3rd Person Narrative, reading more like a traditional short story and being able to express information from a variety of perspectives and characters?
The problem here is also that third person narrative comes in two forms. Third-person omniscient is used a lot on literotica. But in inexperienced hands (most hands, which is why most writers with any experience/wisdom don't bother with it), it's massively confusing, lacks cohesion and is pointlessly meandering.

Third-person limited is superior. You get around the problem of needing to convey multiple perspectives by writing one limited third-person limited narration per chapter. The choppy, sentence-for-sentence (or paragraph for paragraph) swapping used by some omniscient authors isn't just confusing: it bloody sucks. For the love of god, keep your perspectives straight for at least one scene!

I was reading a story last night that was third person and swapped perspectives MID-SENTENCE. It's not technique if no-one can tell whose head we're in: it's bad writing.

One reason first person developed a bad reputation over the years is that most publishers/editors/readers came to believe that authors writing in first person are writing about themselves. And we don't want that. It's insulting to be accused of autobiography every time a protagonist writes, "I". So many buckled and moved away from it.

It became associated with narcissism, and the idea that the author couldn't conceive of the world beyond the character's direct inner monologue. Narcissism! Autobiography! Lack of imagination! Can't imagine why it'd be less popular.

Some think they obey show and don't tell if a third-person character is saying it rather than the first-person narrator directly says it to the audience. This is flawed thinking, obviously.

Some genres are expected to be third-person limited (crime fiction); others are almost always first person (romance proper).

I write in first person when I'm writing erotic romance or romance proper. If I'm writing historical or literature, then third-person limited. If I feel like fucking with readers' heads with some very insidious accusations (as a way of making them internalize the narrator, for example), I'll write in second-person present tense till they want to blow my head off.

Third person is less engaging in erotica. I just ... don't care. It fails the wet test. Pass.

...I also kind of like to hear it from the character that they're a pervert, a very bad man, or whatever, rather than have a dry narrative tell it to me. It's got the spirit of confession to it, and that adds a little dramatic flair and dirt to it. It's fun.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:34 AM   #9
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I didn't vote because no 'both' choice. POV and tense (related) depend on the story's needs. Some tales demand to be told from specific vantages, from the inside or outside, from any points in time and space. Your story will tell you how it wants to be written.
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