Originally Posted by Gotham_Central
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.