Go Back   Literotica Discussion Board > Main Literotica Forums > Authors' Hangout

Reply
 
Thread Tools

Old 10-18-2017, 06:44 PM   #1
Uggg
Literotica Guru
 
Uggg's Avatar
 
Uggg is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 900
Good vs Bad first person writing

Often first person writing is terrible. It can be really hard to read and I think it's difficult for authors to make a story flow in that format.

However there have been occasional F.P. stories that really hooked me.
I've been trying to identify what it is that makes some F.P. really work.

I generally write in third person but would be interested in trying a collection of short stories based on role play I've participated in. Role play is often F.P. I would keep that element for my project.

I haven't posted any stories on Lit yet but I plan to and this project could be my first.

I have my own ideas about what makes bad F.P. I'm interested in other's opinions on what makes good first person.

Suggestions?

XXOOXX

Uggg
__________________
My bio(As the forum profiles seem to be broken atm please feel free to find out about me here)
SRP:
My SRP profile
The space between (With The_gladiator)
Teachers Special project (With latenightlover)
Old Friends (With BernadetteRochelle)
My stories:
Reflections on a painful past Ch.01 Ch.02 Ch. 03 (final)
PMs welcomed.
Group Uggg A place for my friends to visit me (Oh and there's poems)
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 07:04 PM   #2
electricblue66
Literotica Guru
 
electricblue66 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Oz
Posts: 1,770
Quote:
what makes good first person?

Good writing.


Neither first nor third persson are necessarily "good" nor "bad". There is exceptional writing to be found in both, and diabolically bad in both.

But the "goodness" or "badness" is a quality of the writing, not the person, not the tense.

This comes up a lot around here, and nearly always the threads boil down to a personal preference - which is what you've expressed here - at least you've tempered it with an "I think" rather than stated it as an absolute truth (which some poor fools have done, and wondered why their heads got bitten off).

There is in fact a very strong view here, often expressed, that first person can indeed be "better" for erotica, simply because it can be very much more intimate and personal. The opposite view also applies.

Welcome to the snake pit, by the way.
__________________
electricblue

My stories: https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 07:08 PM   #3
sr71plt
Literotica Guru
 
sr71plt's Avatar
 
sr71plt is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 51,576
It's not the perspective of the story that makes the writing good or bad--it's the relative skill of the writer. I edited a second-person story a few weeks ago that even was very good--because of the skill of the writer.
__________________
______________________
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 07:11 PM   #4
oggbashan
Ancient writer
 
oggbashan's Avatar
 
oggbashan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Facing the sea.
Posts: 38,382
The perceived advantage of first person over variants of third person is that it can be more immediate and seem faster paced.

But as electricblue66 and sr71plt have said - the quality of the writing matters more than the point of view.
__________________


My Valentine's Day entry:

https://www.literotica.com/s/broke-3

Oggbashan's long list of stories
Jeanne D'Artois' few


electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 07:12 PM   #5
sr71plt
Literotica Guru
 
sr71plt's Avatar
 
sr71plt is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
Posts: 51,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
The perceived advantage of first person over variants of third person is that it can be more immediate and seem faster paced.
And, significant for erotica, more internalized.
__________________
______________________
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 07:26 PM   #6
Bramblethorn
Mallory Heart Surgeon.
 
Bramblethorn's Avatar
 
Bramblethorn is online now
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uggg View Post
I have my own ideas about what makes bad F.P. I'm interested in other's opinions on what makes good first person.

Suggestions?
One that people often overlook: stay with your narrator's viewpoint. Keep the story in terms of what they can actually observe. For instance, instead of writing "Bob was angry with me" (which is reaching into Bob's mind), I'd describe the tangible signs of that anger: "Bob's face was turning red and he was spraying spittle as he swore at me".

Doesn't mean you can't switch between first-person and third-person modes if that works for the story, but those should be intentional shifts, not just accidentally dropping third-person info into a first-person passage.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 07:34 PM   #7
Uggg
Literotica Guru
 
Uggg's Avatar
 
Uggg is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 900
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Good writing.


Neither first nor third persson are necessarily "good" nor "bad". There is exceptional writing to be found in both, and diabolically bad in both.

But the "goodness" or "badness" is a quality of the writing, not the person, not the tense.

This comes up a lot around here, and nearly always the threads boil down to a personal preference - which is what you've expressed here - at least you've tempered it with an "I think" rather than stated it as an absolute truth (which some poor fools have done, and wondered why their heads got bitten off).

There is in fact a very strong view here, often expressed, that first person can indeed be "better" for erotica, simply because it can be very much more intimate and personal. The opposite view also applies.

Welcome to the snake pit, by the way.
Hi,

Thanks for your reply and for your welcome ('Snake pit' sounds fun).

I certainly wasn't trying to ruffle any feathers with those that love to read or write first person. As mentioned in my post above I have really enjoyed some first person writing and participate in it in role plays.

I quite agree with most of what you said, in particular:

"...the "goodness" or "badness" is a quality of the writing..." and;
"...first person can indeed be "better" for erotica, simply because it can be very much more intimate and personal."

I guess I didn't really make it clear enough in my first post but what I am looking for is peoples pointers on what makes for good writing in first person.

XXOOXX

Uggg
__________________
My bio(As the forum profiles seem to be broken atm please feel free to find out about me here)
SRP:
My SRP profile
The space between (With The_gladiator)
Teachers Special project (With latenightlover)
Old Friends (With BernadetteRochelle)
My stories:
Reflections on a painful past Ch.01 Ch.02 Ch. 03 (final)
PMs welcomed.
Group Uggg A place for my friends to visit me (Oh and there's poems)
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 07:39 PM   #8
Uggg
Literotica Guru
 
Uggg's Avatar
 
Uggg is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 900
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
One that people often overlook: stay with your narrator's viewpoint. Keep the story in terms of what they can actually observe. For instance, instead of writing "Bob was angry with me" (which is reaching into Bob's mind), I'd describe the tangible signs of that anger: "Bob's face was turning red and he was spraying spittle as he swore at me".

Doesn't mean you can't switch between first-person and third-person modes if that works for the story, but those should be intentional shifts, not just accidentally dropping third-person info into a first-person passage.
Thanks Bramblethorn,

These are exactly the types of insights/ opinions I'm looking for.

XXOOXX

Uggg
__________________
My bio(As the forum profiles seem to be broken atm please feel free to find out about me here)
SRP:
My SRP profile
The space between (With The_gladiator)
Teachers Special project (With latenightlover)
Old Friends (With BernadetteRochelle)
My stories:
Reflections on a painful past Ch.01 Ch.02 Ch. 03 (final)
PMs welcomed.
Group Uggg A place for my friends to visit me (Oh and there's poems)
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 08:32 PM   #9
ChloeTzang
Literotica Guru
 
ChloeTzang's Avatar
 
ChloeTzang is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nope, ain't telling..., USA
Posts: 3,183
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
And, significant for erotica, more internalized.
Oh yes. That First Person lets you take your reader right into the protagonists mind. Every breath she takes, every move she makes, every bond she breaks, every step she takes.... the reader is right there, in her head, experiencing the sounds, the sights, the touch and feel, the emotions, the thoughts, the whisper of her breath over her lips as she breathes, the brush of fingertips across her skin... etc etc etc

Good First Person? A believable character that your readers can empathize with and want to empathize with. Someone that draws the reader into their head and has the reader wanting to stay there and believing and feeling and experiencing with the protagonist.

Love First Person. Second Person is a bit of a challenge to do. Third Person is fun. Really depends on what you want to do with your story. With First Person you're limited to the range and viewpoint of that single character so your story tends to be a bit more personal. Third Person lets you go epic if you want. Hard to go epic in First Person
__________________
Chloe Tzang
Coming soon for the 2018 Literotica Valentine's Day competition,
- "Screw Your Roses, Asshole" (a girl, a band and a boyfriend ... what can possibly be screwed), and ...
- "Fields of Gold" (a romantic tearjerking tale of a guy, a girl and an AH64 Apache...)

Winner - 2017 Literotica April Fools Competition: "Fingerprints on my Heart"

All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology

Last edited by ChloeTzang : 10-18-2017 at 08:43 PM.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 08:35 PM   #10
KindofHere
Literotica Guru
 
KindofHere is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Wherever Mistakes Are Made
Posts: 515
............

Last edited by KindofHere : 01-21-2018 at 07:17 AM.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 08:44 PM   #11
Uggg
Literotica Guru
 
Uggg's Avatar
 
Uggg is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 900
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
Oh yes. That First Person lets you take your reader right into the protagonists mind. Every breath she takes, every move she makes, every bond she breaks, every step she takes.... the reader is right there, in her head, experiencing the sounds, the sights, the touch and feel, the emotions, the thoughts, the whisper of her breath over her lips as he breathes, the brush of fingertips across her skin... etc etc etc

Good First Person? A believable character that your readers can empathize with and want to empathize with. Someone that draws the reader into their head and has the reader wanting to stay there and believing and feeling and experiencing with the protagonist.

Love First Person. Second Person is a bit of a challenge to do. Third Person is fun. Really depends on what you want to do with your story. With First Person you're limited to the range and viewpoint of that single character so your story tends to be a bit more personal. Third Person lets you go epic if you want. Hard to go epic in First Person
Thanks ChloeTzang,

I particularly appreciate what you said in the second paragraph. In my mind good characters are the foundation of all good fiction writing but when you said, "Someone that draws the reader into their head and has the reader wanting to stay there and believing and feeling and experiencing with the protagonist." I had a little inspiration for a great first person character. I will give my idea a go in a role play and if it pans out it could make for a good short story idea.

Thanks for being my muse.

XXOOXX

Uggg
__________________
My bio(As the forum profiles seem to be broken atm please feel free to find out about me here)
SRP:
My SRP profile
The space between (With The_gladiator)
Teachers Special project (With latenightlover)
Old Friends (With BernadetteRochelle)
My stories:
Reflections on a painful past Ch.01 Ch.02 Ch. 03 (final)
PMs welcomed.
Group Uggg A place for my friends to visit me (Oh and there's poems)
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 08:55 PM   #12
Voboy
Really Experienced
 
Voboy is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Is everything.
Posts: 242
In my stories, the characters come before the plot. Since I can always find something interesting about each character, first person is the only way to go.

If I wrote less complicated characters, it would be a chore. A LOT of stories on Lit feature one-dimensional characters whose only features are massive tits or cocks; that doesn’t make them bad stories per se, but I’m not sure they’re good candidates for first-person excellence.

It’s also easier to be funny in first person.

Regardless, the use of first person needs to be organic; if it comes off as gimmicky, forget it.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 10:24 PM   #13
Uggg
Literotica Guru
 
Uggg's Avatar
 
Uggg is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 900
Thanks for the feed back everyone.

I'm not going to respond to every post but I'll stay subscribed so if anyone has anything else to add please go ahead.

XXOOXX

Uggg
__________________
My bio(As the forum profiles seem to be broken atm please feel free to find out about me here)
SRP:
My SRP profile
The space between (With The_gladiator)
Teachers Special project (With latenightlover)
Old Friends (With BernadetteRochelle)
My stories:
Reflections on a painful past Ch.01 Ch.02 Ch. 03 (final)
PMs welcomed.
Group Uggg A place for my friends to visit me (Oh and there's poems)
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 10:51 PM   #14
electricblue66
Literotica Guru
 
electricblue66 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Oz
Posts: 1,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChloeTzang View Post
Good First Person? A believable character that your readers can empathize with and want to empathize with. Someone that draws the reader into their head and has the reader wanting to stay there and believing and feeling and experiencing with the protagonist.

Love First Person. Second Person is a bit of a challenge to do. Third Person is fun. Really depends on what you want to do with your story. With First Person you're limited to the range and viewpoint of that single character so your story tends to be a bit more personal. Third Person lets you go epic if you want. Hard to go epic in First Person
Totally agree - believable characters in any person are an absolute must. If I don't believe the characters, I don't give a toss what they do or how it's narrated. And for me, characters before plot, too.

Partly agree "...hard to go epic in First Person..." hard, but not impossible. You just gotta have the right character in the right epic!

The trick is to try both, I think, and not be prejudiced against the other.

I started writing mostly first person ("My God, Blue, your writing is so intimate, I just want to leave them in the bedroom and close the door..."), but more recently have worked in third - in what I call "close omniscient"** in which the narrator gets in nearly as close as first person but steps back with commentary from time to time. This also works well in collaborations, with another writer in the same story with their own take on the characters and their motives.

** is this even a legit concept? Dunno, but it's what I call it - where the narrator can also become a character - generally an unreliable one.
__________________
electricblue

My stories: https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-18-2017, 11:56 PM   #15
Weird Harold
Opinionated Old Fart
 
Weird Harold's Avatar
 
Weird Harold is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: "Lost Wages", NV USA
Posts: 23,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uggg View Post
Thanks for the feed back everyone.

I'm not going to respond to every post but I'll stay subscribed so if anyone has anything else to add please go ahead.

XXOOXX

Uggg
Tense will have a bearing on how First Person is perceived.

First Person Past Tense is fairly simple. Stay inside the POV character's head and tell the story as if you were sitting at a bar regaling your friends.

First Person Present Tense is much harder to write well. You not only have to stay in the POV character's head, you can't slip in the occasional "I later found out..." clarification. The "rules" are much tighter in present tense.
__________________
Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just figure out which questions they go to. )
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 01:15 AM   #16
SamScribble
Yeah, still just a guru
 
SamScribble's Avatar
 
SamScribble is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Out there
Posts: 25,835
I think that first person and third person can both be successful. Or unsuccessful. But first person perhaps requires a little more skill.

In first person narratives, the narrator is another of the characters. I think a lot of less skillful, less experienced writers forget this. They put effort into creating the leading lady and the leading man, but neglect the leading narrator.
__________________
‘Writing is the ultimate decision-making experience. Every paragraph, every sentence, every word, is a decision.’ – Michael Bremer
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 02:08 AM   #17
NOIRTRASH
Loves Spam
 
NOIRTRASH is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 10,579
Isnt the sum of all writing like 99% first person?
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 03:04 AM   #18
electricblue66
Literotica Guru
 
electricblue66 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Oz
Posts: 1,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOIRTRASH View Post
Isnt the sum of all writing like 99% first person?
Someone could survey the Lit ratio and provide some empirical evidence, but won't be me.

I'm probably 50/50 at the moment - tending more towards third for more complex pieces, then back to first for more intimate pieces. Depends who she is, I guess!
__________________
electricblue

My stories: https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 03:11 AM   #19
NOIRTRASH
Loves Spam
 
NOIRTRASH is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 10,579
Quote:
Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
Someone could survey the Lit ratio and provide some empirical evidence, but won't be me.

I'm probably 50/50 at the moment - tending more towards third for more complex pieces, then back to first for more intimate pieces. Depends who she is, I guess!
Don't ignore the millions of posts.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 05:12 AM   #20
ChloeTzang
Literotica Guru
 
ChloeTzang's Avatar
 
ChloeTzang is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nope, ain't telling..., USA
Posts: 3,183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
Tense will have a bearing on how First Person is perceived.

First Person Past Tense is fairly simple. Stay inside the POV character's head and tell the story as if you were sitting at a bar regaling your friends.

First Person Present Tense is much harder to write well. You not only have to stay in the POV character's head, you can't slip in the occasional "I later found out..." clarification. The "rules" are much tighter in present tense.
Oh yes, tense is definitely a complicating factor there. I'm gravitating towards First Person Present Tense more and more because of the immediacy it gives you. When you're writing erotic sex that immediacy I think let's you step up the pace and the heat even more but you have to be so careful not to slip backwards and forwards and get your tenses mixed. One of my basic edit checks there, "which tense am I writing in"
__________________
Chloe Tzang
Coming soon for the 2018 Literotica Valentine's Day competition,
- "Screw Your Roses, Asshole" (a girl, a band and a boyfriend ... what can possibly be screwed), and ...
- "Fields of Gold" (a romantic tearjerking tale of a guy, a girl and an AH64 Apache...)

Winner - 2017 Literotica April Fools Competition: "Fingerprints on my Heart"

All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 10:38 AM   #21
SimonDoom
Literotica Guru
 
SimonDoom is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 999
I don't quite agree with the OP's initial statement. A story in the first person can be bad, but I don't think it's more likely to be bad than a story in the third person. The key, for it to be successful, is to remain in the perspective. What drives me crazy is when authors forget the perspective and wander back forth between first and third person or different types of first person or third person, sometimes omniscient sometimes not.

First person often works quite well for erotica, and for horror, because of the intimacy and because the limits on the perspective allow for surprise.
__________________
My stories are at https://www.literotica.com/stories/m...ge=submissions.
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 04:56 PM   #22
Uggg
Literotica Guru
 
Uggg's Avatar
 
Uggg is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 900
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by KindofHere View Post
Good vs Bad First Person on Lit?

Hmm.

Good First Person: Easy to jerk off to.

Bad First Person: Hard to jerk off to, but not impossible.

First Person not worth reading: Impossible to jerk off to.


Edit: Same answer for any narrative point of view on Lit.
Very funny. Thank you.
__________________
My bio(As the forum profiles seem to be broken atm please feel free to find out about me here)
SRP:
My SRP profile
The space between (With The_gladiator)
Teachers Special project (With latenightlover)
Old Friends (With BernadetteRochelle)
My stories:
Reflections on a painful past Ch.01 Ch.02 Ch. 03 (final)
PMs welcomed.
Group Uggg A place for my friends to visit me (Oh and there's poems)
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 05:05 PM   #23
Uggg
Literotica Guru
 
Uggg's Avatar
 
Uggg is online now
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 900
Heya,

I would just like to thank everyone for such constructive feedback.
I was a bit worried after the first few posts that I might have put my foot in a wasp nest (or maybe just in my mouth. - I so wish I was that flexible!) but the responses have been great. Exactly what I was hoping for.


XXOOXX


Uggg
__________________
My bio(As the forum profiles seem to be broken atm please feel free to find out about me here)
SRP:
My SRP profile
The space between (With The_gladiator)
Teachers Special project (With latenightlover)
Old Friends (With BernadetteRochelle)
My stories:
Reflections on a painful past Ch.01 Ch.02 Ch. 03 (final)
PMs welcomed.
Group Uggg A place for my friends to visit me (Oh and there's poems)
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-19-2017, 05:38 PM   #24
ChloeTzang
Literotica Guru
 
ChloeTzang's Avatar
 
ChloeTzang is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nope, ain't telling..., USA
Posts: 3,183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uggg View Post
Heya,

I would just like to thank everyone for such constructive feedback.
I was a bit worried after the first few posts that I might have put my foot in a wasp nest (or maybe just in my mouth. - I so wish I was that flexible!) but the responses have been great. Exactly what I was hoping for.

XXOOXX

Uggg
Ohhhh don't worry, read some of the other threads. It gets waspy now and then. Just wear your insect repellent and don't take any notice. Lol. It's fun most of the time and when it's not, well, just pick up a mug of coffee and sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
__________________
Chloe Tzang
Coming soon for the 2018 Literotica Valentine's Day competition,
- "Screw Your Roses, Asshole" (a girl, a band and a boyfriend ... what can possibly be screwed), and ...
- "Fields of Gold" (a romantic tearjerking tale of a guy, a girl and an AH64 Apache...)

Winner - 2017 Literotica April Fools Competition: "Fingerprints on my Heart"

All of Chloe Tzang's stories can be found here
Chloe supports our Veterans by drinking Black Rifle Coffee
Aaaaand... Chloe's first actual published short story ("Blood Sacrifice") now available on Amazon as part of the Sex and Sorcery 4 anthology
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-20-2017, 06:24 PM   #25
Elloelle
Really Experienced
 
Elloelle's Avatar
 
Elloelle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 144
I'm pretty sure I'm the first person to write about me and stuff but if I'm not how do I find out who else wrote about me cause I want my royal tees and stuff.

Debbie
__________________
.
,


Anal Sex is for Buttholes


Now New and Improved! With 75% more!

The Boss's stuff.
(Not Bruce Springfield and stuff)
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:57 PM.

Copyright 1998-2013 Literotica Online. Literotica is a registered trademark.