First versus third

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First versus third

Sorry – know this should be in Writing Tips, but…

I’m looking for some insight into the pros and cons of first person versus third person? A friend has just been asked to change her MS from third to first. I seem to remember Lisa being asked to do the same thing once too.

Does anyone have any opinions either way?

What about if the narrative had two POVs?

Any information gratefully received.

Ta, Lou

Hi Lou! I was told to change it because it's hard to build up tension in a thriller (threat of eminent death) when writing in first. Must admit, I stay well away from first now. Plus, when I try, and I see is I-I-I-I-I all over the place. Lisa
Lisah's tip is right, if you do go for first person POV, 'ware the I. However, it is the biz if you opt for an unreliable narrator. Zoe Heller's Booker short-listed novel, Notes on a Scandal, is an exemplar of how to do it.

Gibbous House:  Ewan's First Novel
No Good Deed :  Ewan's Second Novel "the same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse"

Thanks you two (how did that go in the end, Lisa? Must've taken ages!) Must admit, I tend to plump for third person. But then as you say, Ewan, there's that 'unreliable narrator' aspect, I hadn't considered that, tbh. It could be really handy... Hmmm. The thing I'm doing will probably have two POVs... that might complicate matters. I'll have a think. Cheers, peeps. ~ www.fabulousmother.co.uk
The book I'm doing for nanowrimo just about has a different character's view point per chapter. It's certainly an education in getting the voice right. And will only be okay once I've gone through it a few times. Thought I might go over it once I'm done only reading the chapters Mark has the POV, then the ones Evie has the POV, etc. But I've done all mine in third person. Some of Michael Marshall's books (formally know as Michael Marshall Smith) have first for the detective - there's a series of books he stars in - and guest POV's in third so he can kill 'em off if necessary.
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