Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#3

I Wrote: 2nd person usually isn't used very much...

Anyway, I think that kind of tag would be hugely unnecessary. If you start reading a story, within a few paragraphs of the first chapter you'd probably figure out what the POV is. And I've seen some people switch between first and third in their stories too...

that's why it would be good. For example, if I want to find 2nd person story, I'd just  have to click on tag filter and there I go, instead of making a thread in recommendations and asking, hoping someone who read at least one would see my thread.

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#5
Honestly, this would help. A wide range of users have their preferences, and can get frustrated if one thing is off. Adding in these simple tags can prevent the wrong types of people in potentially bombing a story. So, it is beneficial on both the reader and author side of it. I know I would be using those tags for sure. As well as, the tags are self explanatory. No need for additional insight, since at the basic level. Everyone will know what first person, second person, third person, past/present is.

Then they can add in tags like third person omniscient/limited.

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#8
I don't think tags for POV would be all that helpful. While there are some people that do like to know, I don't think it is that important to most people as I rarely ever see anyone mention it. Also, on RR the tags allowed to each novel are already limited. I doubt most authors would use a POV tag even if they had the opportunity. I'm not knocking you for wanting it. I just don't see it as very practical.

I can't even think of one 2nd person perspective novel on RR either. While not exclusively the domain of choose your own adventure novels I've still rarely seen it used for any other type of novel.

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#9

Edge Wrote: Honestly, this would help. A wide range of users have their preferences, and can get frustrated if one thing is off. Adding in these simple tags can prevent the wrong types of people in potentially bombing a story. So, it is beneficial on both the reader and author side of it. I know I would be using those tags for sure. As well as, the tags are self explanatory. No need for additional insight, since at the basic level. Everyone will know what first person, second person, third person, past/present is.

Then they can add in tags like third person omniscient/limited.
You're going to use up 2 of your tags to tell us the POV and tense of your novels?

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#12

NovelNinja Wrote: And this is why I favor a new tag category.
Yeah, like I prefer your amendment to the suggestion for the same reason that Ralen criticizes. It'd definitely be weird having 3rd person or past tense or whatever floating around in there with the genre or additional tags. It'd definitely need its own little category if it were to be implemented.


As a small counterpoint to what Ralen said, I see a number of first person POV novels have a reviewer who'll remark on it. (It always stands out to me in reviews, because that's useful information to me at any rate.) Heck, I've even seen authors of first person POV state they don't like it, they just wanted to see if they *could* and I'm like... but why? (to myself)

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#13

kieranpierce Wrote:
NovelNinja Wrote: And this is why I favor a new tag category.
Yeah, like I prefer your amendment to the suggestion for the same reason that Ralen criticizes. It'd definitely be weird having 3rd person or past tense or whatever floating around in there with the genre or additional tags. It'd definitely need its own little category if it were to be implemented.


As a small counterpoint to what Ralen said, I see a number of first person POV novels have a reviewer who'll remark on it. (It always stands out to me in reviews, because that's useful information to me at any rate.) Heck, I've even seen authors of first person POV state they don't like it, they just wanted to see if they *could* and I'm like... but why? (to myself)

I did that with the trash novel, and also, I'm currently writing four different stories in 1st person past tense.

The purpose of doing so is to grow as a writer and experiment with various different styles. Just as Picasso could draw in realistic style if he wanted, but chose not to, a good writer should be able to write well in any style, and switch to any style if he wills it.

And in the end, over the course of this experimentation, I discovered that I enjoy writing in the first person much more than I enjoy reading it.

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#14

Sake Wrote: I did that with the trash novel, and also, I'm currently writing four different stories in 1st person past tense.

The purpose of doing so is to grow as a writer and experiment with various different styles. Just as Picasso could draw in realistic style if he wanted, but chose not to, a good writer should be able to write well in any style, and switch to any style if he wills it.

And in the end, over the course of this experimentation, I discovered that I enjoy writing in the first person much more than I enjoy reading it.
Oops sorry, I didn't mean that as a serious "but why?" It was more of a rhetorical question but oh well here goes.


I've yet to see a writer say, "I wrote this in [third limited, omniscient, or second person] just to see if I could" nor the same for any other stylistic approaches. Heck, I've been told my advice is "bad" or "dangerous" on the forums to tell people to try out new stylistic things like it could ~irreparably ruin~ a writing style.... I pushed my writing style to weird places and dialed back again. It made me a better writer, so I totally agree that trying new things is important ESPECIALLY for developing a writing style.

With that said, it seems unique to writers who *don't like first person* who decide to write first person anyway, and I don't see that same mindset for other things. (Again, I mentioned the weird amount of resistance to style exploration that I've seen.) Perhaps this is because a disproportionate number of beginner writers start off in first person and make a switch to third, maybe they're trying to go back to see how much they've grown? I mean, I started in first person (present tense whee) when I was a literal child just I don't see the value in returning to either of those.

Personally, I aim to be really good at my style (now that I've more-or-less found it), and that's it.
Now, you already mentioned Picasso to counter this point.... Sorry to Mr. Picasso, but a lot of writers (myself included) don't want to be the Picasso-equivalent of writing. Usually it's more along the lines of hobby, just-for-fun or product, want-money sort of thing. And in both cases, it triggers the confused, "but why?" because it advances neither of these goals.

It doesn't make sense leisurely or commercially to me (I could elaborate if anyone wants this thread derailed even more lmao) but yeah.

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#15

kieranpierce Wrote: It doesn't make sense leisurely or commercially to me (I could elaborate if anyone wants this thread derailed even more lmao) but yeah.
I get where both of you were coming from and I agree with what you both said. If you're comfortable, happy and successful where you're at it doesn't really make a lot of sense to change things up. On the flip side, even if you want to experiment and do exciting and unique things it also doesn't make a lot of sense to try and write a full blown novel that way from the start. That's like trying to run a 25k marathon when you've never run a day in your life. You're going to end up passed out with liquids running out both ends of your body. Write a short story first then expand from there.

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#16

kieranpierce Wrote: Also, just first person in general annoys me
 

So, no one has to explain preferences, but if you would be willing to say more about this, I would love to read your thoughts.

Got to admit, and maybe this just shows I haven't read enough reviews on this site, or maybe it is a generational thing, but I hadn't run into references to a large scale aversion to first person before, while I was aware that present tense is viewed as jarring and unenjoyable by many readers.

Obviously, there have been great novels written in first person. And, outside of literature, it's how we get to know people.

"I saw..."
"I heard..."
"I thought..."
"I felt.. "

These let us into another's life, whether just as statements, or strung together as a story. Of course, we have to assess both integrity and self-awareness (the "unreliable narrator" aspect of literature), but, absent psychic abilities, we have no other pathways into another's experience of the world.

IRL, even third person is first person. "Johnny ran away," is really either, "I saw Johnny run away," or "I heard that Johnny ran away." And both are subject to question as to the integrity and awareness of the person telling the story, plus the second version is hearsay and subject to challenge both for the original speaker and the one repeating the claim.

Maybe first person stories are just more likely to be badly written? I just don't know. As I said, just starting to think about this and would appreciate more thoughts!

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#17


InterestingLad Wrote: So, no one has to explain preferences, but if you would be willing to say more about this, I would love to read your thoughts.


Hey yeah, I'm happy to explain my preferences. (Again, it's just my preferences as one reader. Also, most people who fall into the "ugh, I don't like first person camp" will usually read first person anyway and like a story despite it. "despite it" is the key words there, but yeah.)

Third person does give a stronger sense of objectivity in the story world (even if not necessarily there) as you brought up. In third person, "Johnny ran away" can literally be "Johnny ran away" if omniscient. Assessing awareness and integrity is still something that can also be done in 3rd person limited, but it usually comes across as less delusional to me. Whether it's real or not, I just like following the story as it's being told as clearly and simply as possible.

For the most part, I don't like unreliable narrators--a big reason people write in first person. I read for escape, and if I need to think hard about a story, I'm going to be reading some classics and award-winning literary fiction. It hurts my head trying to think about what's this person's stance on everything, how does that effect the information they're giving the reader... like uggh. Can the author stop gaslighting the reader in their own story? (That's how I feel anyway. If there is a lot of confusion in the story, I like it as orderly as possible--clear moments to delineate when the trust in the narrator was compromised, or when we have been given new information and learned a previous belief was upturned.)


InterestingLad Wrote: Maybe first person stories are just more likely to be badly written?
Let's touch on this point.... As I mentioned earlier, I've observed a tendency for newer writers to gravitate towards first person. Like you said, it's the closest storytelling mechanism; our worlds are naturally situated in the first person tense. It feels natural for lots of people when they first start writing a story to use it!


Hey, I even started in the first person (with four shifting first person POVs omg it was really ugly hahaha. Plus, present tense. In my own self defense, I was a literal child then.)

When newer writers do something more, we also have a tendency to observe more just flat-out bad writing. Old me was like, the poster child for that ^
New writers also need to learn so many foundational things, again, nothing wrong with that per se.

It's especially tricky though, because (in my opinion) first person is the HARDEST POV to do well (aside from maybe second person). Even the paragraph and sentence construction, you need to learn how to bury the "I" so that not every sentence starts with "I did this, I did that." It could get monotonous fast.

The result with all of these things is that I just have tended not to enjoy stories written in the first person tense as much as a story written in third person. That sums up my personal preference, and again just me as a reader. First person is a totally valid POV to use creatively of course, and there's people do enjoy it more than third person as well. 

Re: tags for 1st/2d/3rd person and past/present tense

#18

kieranpierce Wrote: It's especially tricky though, because (in my opinion) first person is the HARDEST POV to do well (aside from maybe second person). Even the paragraph and sentence construction, you need to learn how to bury the "I" so that not every sentence starts with "I did this, I did that." It could get monotonous fast.

Recently I found even harder thing.

Diary.

The main challenge in writing fiction as a diary, if you want to stay authentic, lies in not writing or explaining things that protagonist already knows...such as vital mechanics and elements of worldbuilding that the owner of the diary would never ever explain to themselves in a work written by themselves and for themselves.

Another challenge is actually telling a story. Most diaries focus on people's emotions and are full of random thoughts, making references that only the author can understand and refusing to elaborate. Actually telling a cohesive story in that format is extremely hard.

Tried reading "Dracula" for inspiration, but that work had the advantage of actually being set in our own world. Trying to write diary style fantasy or sci-fi book proves to be...extremely challenging.