Friday, January 28, 2011

Nina vs. ARGH: First-Person Narration vs. Third Person Narration

We love to read.  We read young adult fiction, thrillers, murder mysteries, love stories, etc. etc., but apart from the genre do you still have any factor that influences your book preference?  Like the point of view, perhaps?  I have always preferred reading books written through the character's point of view.  Some examples are Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, Boy Meets Boy, and The Catcher In the Rye.  I have always liked that feeling that I am getting inside a character's head and understanding the story through his/her eyes.  

ARGH, on the other hand, favors third-person narratives.  According to him, he appreciates the objectivity of such narratives because he is able to understand by himself what happens in stories.  Some books he likes are The Pelican Brief, Hannibal, and Pride and Prejudice (of course!  He's named after the author). 

So we'd like to ask you, do you prefer a story written in the first person or third person?
                                                   First Person          vs.        Third person

I like first-person narratives because:
  1. I see a more genuine account of a character's personality, feelings, and perspective,
  2. Hence, I can easily connect with a character.
  3. I am more of an 'introspective person' which makes me prefer subjective points of view in stories.
  4. I appreciate a story that 'shows' more than 'tells' you what is happening.  If you are reading a third-person account, the storytelling would more likely eclipse the visual that the story would like you to see.
  5. Characters are more well-developed and defined in order to provide an authentic perspective.  

On the other hand, ARGH likes third-person narratives because:
  1. First-person accounts are very egocentric - what do they know about what the other person is thinking/feeling/talking about?
  2. Third-person narratives can provide better perspective on the story because it gives an omniscient view of everything that happens.  
  3. Helps understand more people involved in the story, not just the main characters whom a first-person narration would tend to focus on.
  4. Narrators in the third person have a more flexible way of storytelling.  They can show you events from the past and the future, and other things that involved characters may not be aware of.
  5. It is more objective, therefore the reader can actually think for themselves and form their own opinions and use their own imagination.

How about you?  Which do you prefer? 


  1. I agree with ARGH. I prefer third-person. It's more interesting, more reliable, less prone to Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu, and well, basically what ARGH said :D

  2. I always always ALWAYS go for the first-person narratives. They're so much more compelling and personal than the sometimes stiff and detached third-person. But maybe that's just me.

    I like to be in the characters' heads.

    Sorry, ARGH!

  3. I love third-person semi-omniscient narrations.
    What I mean by that is something like Harry Potter. You can get into Harry's head like you can in first-person narrations. But, you also get a little bit more of what's going on because it's not told from Harry's perspective.

  4. I used to love third-person but after getting into ya books and reading amazing books with first-person narratives, I like them both now. :D It really depends on the book for me, some books just work well in one perspective and not the other. I love the personal feel of first-person but third-person is pretty awesome too. At the moment I'm loving first-person narratives!

  5. I think ARGH is gonna get my vote, lately I've dislike so many first person characters it's crazy! There is such thing as too much information authors!

  6. Wellllll I think I like 3rd person better :-/

    It really depends on the story!

  7. Come to think of it, I think it does depend on the story. Some stories are very character-driven that a third-person narration just won't do; and there are some that are very plot-driven that a first-person point of view would be inappropriate.

  8. Not all authors can do third person well but the ones that can are still able to give the reader a good look into what the character is feeling, I find!

  9. I prefer first-person narratives, as I feel more connected to the story that way. However, I agree, it does depend on the story. I also think that it depends on the author's writing style, and which works best for the author.

  10. I love this feature!

    I think I tend to prefer first person narrative, but I do like them both. I think certain books just lend themselves to a particular narration style. It's very awkward to read a book in one narration style when I really should have been in the other.


I just have to tell you, ARGH feeds on awesomeness, so if you can, drop him some awesome here, and I promise to give some awesome back :D

Right now, because of my really busy schedule, I'm cutting back on receiving awards. So until further notice, me and ARGH would not be accepting awards. But thank you for thinking of us, we really appreciate it!