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Old 08-18-2014, 09:46 AM   #1
TheSoulfulBard
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Question 1st person or 3rd person?

I initially started with 1st person but got a little bit unsure as I reached the end.

I'm writing a story where the protagonist metamorphs in to a beast.

Now, they are different personalities but when the demon takes over, our hero's consciousness takes a back seat. He can see but can't control his own actions.

How do I write those scenes?

One solution that I've come up with is to switch to Plural, i.e., 'WE'...but I don't know if its looking funny or not.

Anyone come up with any solution?
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:29 AM   #2
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"We" would work, I should think. Or keep going with I, and the narrator will just be describing what's going on. Based on what you said, "I" sounds better to me, since if the narrator is observing and not consciously participating, then it's really someone else who's doing things.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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Use both... Seriously. Who set the rule that you can only tell a story from one POV anyway?

Whenever the protagonist has an internal thought, use first person. Otherwise use third person. That way when the protagonist is trying to control the beast from within, you have a way to differentiate between the beasts actions and the protagonist's thoughts of trying to control it.

May be a little harder to write, but could be well worth the effort.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
"We" would work, I should think. Or keep going with I, and the narrator will just be describing what's going on. Based on what you said, "I" sounds better to me, since if the narrator is observing and not consciously participating, then it's really someone else who's doing things.
How do I describe the action?

Suppose, he's killing someone he really doesn't want to kill.

"I stabbed him."

OR

"We stabbed him."

In the first case, it feels like a conscious decision. Second case feels more apt. to me.

Or should I change the POV in its entirity?
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FantasyXY View Post
Use both... Seriously. Who set the rule that you can only tell a story from one POV anyway?

Whenever the protagonist has an internal thought, use first person. Otherwise use third person. That way when the protagonist is trying to control the beast from within, you have a way to differentiate between the beasts actions and the protagonist's thoughts of trying to control it.

May be a little harder to write, but could be well worth the effort.
It's the readability, in my opinion. I love 1st person and I feel comfortable with it.

Maybe that's why I haven't written anything in 3rd person till date.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSoulfulBard View Post
"I stabbed him."

OR

"We stabbed him."
Why not, "The Beast stabbed him," from the human personality's perspective.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:18 PM   #7
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Second person. Future tense. It's the only way to roll.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
Why not, "The Beast stabbed him," from the human personality's perspective.
That would be my suggestion. For pronouns, when the narrator says or thinks or does something, it's "I", and when The Beast acts / thinks / talks, it's "he" or "He", as seen by the narrator. I would NOT change the POV every couple paragraphs -- WAY confusing. You might get away with clearly-delineated POV changes every 600-900 words or so, with labeled sections of the narrator (1st person) and the beast (3rd person limited). Try it and see how it flows.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:29 PM   #9
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Sounds to me like a move from first person to third person upon making the move clear to the reader (or something they can rather quickly catch on to for themselves. I think it gives the readers a thrill when they think they've discovered something like this on their own rather than having to be directly told).
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:09 PM   #10
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I'll have to write and see which looks better. I'll put up a sample for you guys to see.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:34 PM   #11
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This presents a wonderful opportunity of angst as the guy comes to grips with his possession-- can you imagine how that would fee? Utterly unreal. Can't possibly be happening.

So for the first chapter, along with the action, you can portray his inner turmoil, the disassociation, the sense that he's going mad.

"I watched my hand stab him. I-- what was left of me-- had no desire to, but the demon tha twas now the greater part of my consciousness felt no remorse, only a moment's irritation towards the object that had gotten in its way..." (or it raged in triumph, or whatever)

That would be a sort of third person. Then you can start slipping "we" into the narrative as your protag gets used to his new roommate.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:50 PM   #12
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Or fourth person?

"I watched Bob watching Carol bang Fred..."
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella_Omega View Post
This presents a wonderful opportunity of angst as the guy comes to grips with his possession-- can you imagine how that would fee? Utterly unreal. Can't possibly be happening.
That's the charm of such types of story.

Quote:
So for the first chapter, along with the action, you can portray his inner turmoil, the disassociation, the sense that he's going mad.

"I watched my hand stab him. I-- what was left of me-- had no desire to, but the demon tha twas now the greater part of my consciousness felt no remorse, only a moment's irritation towards the object that had gotten in its way..." (or it raged in triumph, or whatever)

That would be a sort of third person. Then you can start slipping "we" into the narrative as your protag gets used to his new roommate.
Well, it's mostly revenge. He's killing off powerful people who he wouldn't consider killing in the first place.

His emotions become more apathetical to the sufferings around him as the story progress. The demon helps him achieve it, because his goal is destruction.

He resists at first because he knows the massacre that is bound to follow. The demon takes advantage of his weakness, manipulates him and takes over.

'I' wouldn't fit well, as it would sound like a conscious decision on the hero's part.

3rd person is out too, because I want the story from his POV. It's his memory that's being shared after all.

'we' and 'the beast' option remains. I think it might be a toss b/w the two.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeLife View Post
Or fourth person?

"I watched Bob watching Carol bang Fred..."
I know you haven't read my story but I was like this -

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Old Yesterday, 05:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeLife View Post
Or fourth person?

"I watched Bob watching Carol bang Fred..."
This aroused my curiosity about the possibilities of 4th-person narratives and what they would entail. I googled, and found I've been writing 4P for a long time. Consider: 1st-person uses "I", 2nd-person (common in songs) uses "you", and 3rd-person (either omniscient or limited) uses "he, she, they, etc". 4th-person DOES NOT USE PRONOUNS! All persons are referred to by name only, preferably just the last name; any unnamed person is referred to as "one".

Once can easily see that 4P is the technical Anglish of emotionless reports and abstract voices. One may read Hypoxia Smurf's tech writing as fine examples of 4P narrative. The more one delves into 4P, the drier the neurons. One defines vanilla sex as inserting tab A into slot B, with variations (distend A and B with digits C-D-E-F-G and moisten the tab and slot as needed). Smith and Burnaby conjugated madly within the confines of explicit parameters. One was amused. Et fucking cetera.
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A Fall of Stardust (Nude Day) - "Hagh. cha' qab entries vaj contest. 'ej batlh cha' tlhIH suck, ghewmey, jaj Qu'lIj'e' bup chaH." -Anon
Jenny Be Fair 02 (incest-humor) - "Total shit - smug, shit-eating, stupid and up-your-own ass... No stars." -Anon
What Is Cheating? (essay) - "Rumblin', stumblin', bumblin' BARF! I don't think an editor would help this mess. Was there a point? There certainly didn't seem to be a storyline." -Anon
Under His Eyes (satire) - "YOU ARE A SICK FUCK. WHY WOULD YOU WRITE THIS HORRIBLY VILE STORY. THIS IS HUMANITY AT ITS WORST. I ONLY SKIMMED TO SEE WHAT CRAP IT WAS. YOU NEED TO BE LOCKED AWAY FROM ANYONE YOU COULD HURT FOR REAL. MINUS 1 BILLION ISN'T ENOUGH. DON'T WRITE ANYMORE." -Anon
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
Why not, "The Beast stabbed him," from the human personality's perspective.
Yep, my first inclination would be to use alternating 1st and 3rd-limited. If there even is a meaningful distinction between "third-person limited" and "first-person where the narrator isn't doing anything".
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Old Yesterday, 09:51 AM   #17
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I would stick with 1st person and explain the transformation so the reader still knows it's him, but in another state of being.

"....I was still me, the human I knew myself to be, but now I was transformed, turned into something else, something far removed from the mortal coil I started life with..." "...Now as the beast I had become, I was aware of my actions, but unable to control what I was. I watched my clawed hands take hold of him, raising him high above my head. I roared in a feral growl as I tore him in half, tossing the body parts to the side...."

This allows you to transform your character, but still maintain a 1st POV throughout.
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Old Yesterday, 11:15 AM   #18
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I dunno but judging by the theme of your story, 'We' might sound good and a little bit creepy.

Since their consciousness have merged together, it should be better to include the demon as well.

His rage fueling the demon's power over him and so on.

I can't wait to read your story.
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Old Yesterday, 12:53 PM   #19
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From 1rst to 3rd with "the beast" as the protagonist. I think that would be cool.
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