View Full Version : 1st person

10-25-2004, 09:29 PM
For genre and literary zines what do you think the advisability of using first person perspective is? I find it easist to write but wonder if it ends up sounding like one of those 'true' story things... I know 3rd is conventional for most fiction but 1st does give a certain intimacy and immediacy.

10-25-2004, 10:34 PM
It's not a big stretch to turn a 1st person into 3rd person, or vise versa. I've done it, with minimal editing. I'd say, write in 1st person if you prefer, then switch to 3rd limited if you think it would work better.

10-25-2004, 10:57 PM
I've always thought that first person was just as acceptable in fiction as third person. I would never write academic or professional work in the first, but for stories, I think it is fine. I use it more often than 3rd and have never had anyone complain about it.

lena matthews
10-26-2004, 02:48 AM
I find 1st person a lot harder to get into when i'm reading, and when its erotica for me it always comes off like a penthouse letter.

10-26-2004, 02:08 PM
That was my fear exactly ;)

10-27-2004, 01:12 AM
Well, eh, yes, I do find reading 1st person erotica a little odd, especially if my sexuality is different from the protagonist's. It's harder for me to identify. 3rd person would give me that distance to enjoy a good erotica without feeling somewhat "violated." :lol

10-27-2004, 09:11 AM
I think that whether or not one confuses a story with a "Forum" style letter depends entirely on how well it is written, not simply point of view. Letters leave out a lot of elements, like character development and good plot structure. 1st POV in well-written erotica lends a certain intimacy to the work.

10-27-2004, 02:39 PM
I guess the proof is in the editor then. I have sold a few 1st person stories but I was wondering whether using 3rd more would sell more.... Int erms of being intrusive, I guess I can see that but I find 1st more like reading someone's diary and only 2nd as a bit too much like making the experience the reader's.

10-29-2004, 06:57 PM
In my opinion Nola hit the nail on the head:

[1st POV in well-written erotica lends a certain intimacy to the work.]

10-30-2004, 08:31 PM
This is something I hadn't thought about until a friend mentioned it after a class/session at a conference.

I could/do write in first person some, and had thought about it for a piece that I'm getting ready to start. But first person would come across awkward -- IMO -- when/if it came time to write sex scenes (if the work calls for any).

11-01-2004, 08:50 AM
I don't have any problem either writing or reading 1st or 3rd person stories, as long as that's the way they're right. Some stories seem to just automatically fall into 1st person, though I've never quite worked out what it is about them that causes that.

11-16-2004, 05:21 PM
I never thought I'd really care for 1st person. But, I've found that more and more often, my short stories (mostly dark fantasy, with the smattering of fantasy), that they more often than not wind up in 1st person. I'm actually tinkering with a fantasy novel written entirely in 1st person, but from multiple narrator's POV (all are easily identified as being a seperate narrator). Some will even tell hearsay stories in first person, using 3rd person narrative (that is, relaying to someone else, the reader, what Fiticus told them about another event).

I haven't written much seriously in the way of erotica, but the two short stories I just wrote both take place in 1st person.

I think 1st person gives more a sense of intimacy to a story, which is really what you're aiming for in this genre, IMHO. Sort of like someone's best friend telling them all the naughty details of an experience they had first-hand.

11-29-2004, 04:02 AM
I think 1st person would work nicely in gay erotica because the gender and sexuality of the target audience is known. You wouldn't necessarily alienate a straight guy because he just so happened to "stumble" across the material. Staight or bi material would probably better off with 3rd person narratives.

11-29-2004, 08:23 PM
Although most of my readers are actually women :)

11-29-2004, 09:43 PM
Why do women love gay stuff? IMWTK.

Seriously, one of my ex loves gay porn. She even wanted me to watch it with her. I just found that very odd.

11-29-2004, 10:04 PM
I think most of my gay porn goes to mostly female audiences. It's a real 'thing'. hey, if they pay, more power to 'em.

11-29-2004, 10:14 PM

Funny this should come up, I just read your article at Forbidden Fruit on this very subject (women who read and write gay porn). Very enlightening article and I agree with your take on the subject.

11-29-2004, 11:13 PM
I angsted about the issue for a while before I came up with that perspective on it.