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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Most Immersive voice?

    I would like to ask the dedicated bookworms a question.

    When reading, which voice is the most immersive to you?

    I did a thing, She did a thing, or You did a thing? Which one pulls you in behind the characters eyes and makes you dive deep?

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Most Immersive voice?

    Completely in general, in a random book or something on any random subject? Third person, so he/she/they etc.

    "You" suggests I'm making choices, which I'm not. Don't tell me what to do!

    "I" suggests I'm reading a diary or something, so now you have me wondering how I got my hands on that and why there's so much foreshadowing while the main character seems completely unaware.

    Third person is the most neutral storytelling form, in my experience.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Most Immersive voice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    Third person is the most neutral storytelling form, in my experience.
    Its a choose your own adventure.
    The ones I've read in the past were in 2nd, but it just feels clunky to write in that voice.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Red Fel's Avatar

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    Default Re: Most Immersive voice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkarts View Post
    I would like to ask the dedicated bookworms a question.

    When reading, which voice is the most immersive to you?

    I did a thing, She did a thing, or You did a thing? Which one pulls you in behind the characters eyes and makes you dive deep?
    I have never liked second-person narration. Never liked it. I know who I am, and I know I'm not the protagonist of this story. So when someone tells me what I did, or what I know ("You went to the laundromat") I'm immediately put off. It feels forced.

    As to the other two, it depends. It's very stylistic, and I can find either one engrossing.

    With regard to first-person narration, it's great if I like the character's voice. The big advantage of first-person narration is that you're sitting there, talking to this character, really getting a feel for them. It allows the storyteller to apply this character's unique voice to the story, instead of rattling off a series of events like a grocery list. However, the catch is that you have to have a compelling narrator - if the speaker is dull, or unrelatable, it kills the story early and that story stays dead.

    With regard to third-person narration, there are a lot of caveats. Personally, I dislike third-person omniscient, because part of the fun of a story for me is not knowing what goes on inside of everyone's head. Focusing on one character's thoughts per scene works fine for me, but when I have to deal with narration, dialogue, and thoughts for all characters, the mystery is gone. And if one character's thoughts would give the plot away and we don't hear them, that's authorial fiat and violates the established narrative convention to service the plot. And that bothers me.

    Another thing that bothers me is when a third-person narrative is little more than laundry lists with dialogue. This happened, then this, then this. They went there, did that. Now have seventeen pages of these characters talking at one another, punctuated by a yawn or a cigarette or a bite of an apple. That's part of the problem of third-person narrative; unless you have some kind of narrator, at least in concept, it's a pretty dry series of events.

    With a narrator - admittedly, not one part of the story, necessarily - it has some great potential. Again, what I love most in a story is the voice of the storyteller. How jaded and tired Harry Dresden sounds. How apologetic Lemony Snicket is when describing yet another unfortunate event. The narrative voice, whether first- or third-person, is everything. That's the part that keeps me engaged and excited, immerses me and allows me to enjoy the story.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Most Immersive voice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel View Post
    I have never liked second-person narration. Never liked it. I know who I am, and I know I'm not the protagonist of this story. So when someone tells me what I did, or what I know ("You went to the laundromat") I'm immediately put off. It feels forced.
    I feel the same way.
    I'm writing a Choose Your Own Adventure story. The ones I've read in the past were in 2nd person but, as you said, it just feels forced.
    I'm waffling between 3rd and 1st. It's all going to be from the perspective of the main character. There wont be any jumps to other perspectives or cutaways to other things happening elsewhere. This if fully in the experiences of the main character. I just don't know if I want to narrate the story from within or without.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Most Immersive voice?

    I prefer reading in mostly 3rd Person, but 1st Person can be used for internal thoughts or monologuing. This works better when there is only one main focus character at a time (different scenes or chapters can have a different character take focus), but it's not strictly necessary.
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    Aedilred's Avatar

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    Default Re: Most Immersive voice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkarts View Post
    I would like to ask the dedicated bookworms a question.

    When reading, which voice is the most immersive to you?

    I did a thing, She did a thing, or You did a thing? Which one pulls you in behind the characters eyes and makes you dive deep?
    I have no real preference between first and third-person narration, provided it's done well. Either will suck me in.

    First person, I think, tends to work better in stories that are narrative-heavy, with smaller amounts of dialogue. Third-person works better where there's a lot of dialogue and/or a lot of descriptive text about the setting. If you want to get clever with metaphors and wordplay, and your narrator is not a poet or the like, third-person is probably the way to go. If you want to drill down into what a character is really thinking and feeling and how they perceive the world and others, first-person is generally better.

    But there are no hard-and-fast rules.

    Except for second person. Second-person as a narrative voice sucks. I can't think of a book that's done it well. Even the Broken Earth series didn't pull it off.

    I will make one exception for second-person and that's epistolary novels. But those are diegetic elements rather than narration per se.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Most Immersive voice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    I have no real preference between first and third-person narration, provided it's done well. Either will suck me in.

    First person, I think, tends to work better in stories that are narrative-heavy, with smaller amounts of dialogue. Third-person works better where there's a lot of dialogue and/or a lot of descriptive text about the setting. If you want to get clever with metaphors and wordplay, and your narrator is not a poet or the like, third-person is probably the way to go. If you want to drill down into what a character is really thinking and feeling and how they perceive the world and others, first-person is generally better.

    I will make one exception for second-person and that's epistolary novels. But those are diegetic elements rather than narration per se.
    "Epistolary" I had to google it, but I love new words so thanks. I've read a few of those. I like that style.

    I'm enjoying writing in 3rd but It's not Omniscient. I'm completely focused on the main character, the reader will be watching how she lives in the world around her, rather than dealing with all the characters. If Klix doesn't know something then neither does the reader.

    My biggest worry is really in breaking a well known convention.
    Every Choose Your Own Adventure I've ever read was written in second. I'm hoping that deviating from that won't be too odd for the reader.

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