Thursday, March 3, 2011

Do you have a preference?

When I write I'm more comfortable to write in 1st person present tense, so with my new YA horror I'm trying something different and trying to write in 1st person past. What I'm finding is that it's difficult to break the habit of using present, but it's also sounding a bit forced (which I'll work at once I finish the first draft). No matter how I write, I would always use first person because I find it easier to connect with the character.

So, this got me thinking. Even when I read I'm more drawn to 1st person, whether past or present tense (even though I've read several that I didn't even pay attention to the tense because the writing comes naturally). I do read 3rd person, but I find it harder to get to know and relate to the character because the writing seems so distant.

The question for today is, do you have a preference when it comes to reading?


Katie said...

I enjoy first person the best, as well, though I don't have a preference for present or past tense. In my historical novel, I definitely couldn't have written it in present tense, however. That would have been weird. lol But I've read books from third person that I connected with the characters just as much as I have in a first person. It just depends on the writing for me, I guess.

Annette Mills said...

One of the first questions my husband asks about books is "is it written in the first person?" I could really care less. I enjoy all "tenses" as long as they are well done. My husband doesn't think it's fair (or realistic) to know what's going on in everyone's head. To each, his own, I guess.

Mandy Lum said...

I absolutely agree with you here. I can relate to the protagonist on a much deeper level if the book is written in first person. I also agree that writing in the past tense is a bit challenging. I haven't read many books written in past tense, but The Lovely Bones is one of my favorites and it's written in past tense. It gave the book this eerie feeling, having the narrator tell her story after she was already dead.

For now, I'll stick to first person present tense, lol.

Since you are a writer, you might like my Writing on Wednesday post.

Mandy @ Embrace Your Oddities

J E Fritz said...

When it comes to reading, I like anything. But when it comes to writing, I'm always third person past. You make a good point about it being more distant. First person is definitely better for connecting.

Jenn said...

I much prefer first person not only for the reasons you mentioned, but also because you can insert more voice into it.

Ironically, my current WIP is in 3rd. I tried it in 1st, but I have two protagonists and a villain and so I had to rewrite it in 3rd to make it flow while revealing all their perspectives.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I always write in 3rd. I don't think I have the talent to write in first and admire those who can. I usually read 3rd also but I enjoy first when it's well done.
Happy to meet another A to Z'er.

Jemi Fraser said...

I prefer to read and write in 3rd. When I write first it comes across as fake and over the top in emotions. I sometimes get frustrated with reading 1st because the characters just become annoying at times. Depends on the author though. I do adore some authors who write in first.

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