HELP ME!!

It may look like simple questions to many,but as a writer I am finding it hard to choose so I will ask you as a reader AND a writer what’s your preference and WHY?

  1. first person pov V/S third person pov

  2. Passive voice / active voice

  3. stories written in -

Past tense or present tense

  1. too less description Vs too much description

  2. show v/s tell

I mean,maybe it’s gonna take a while for you to write it,but answer it as honestly as you can,so you can know about your writing and reading preference,as well as help me in the process too! Thank you for reading this.

As a writer, I write in both the first person and the third person POV, depending on the characters story.

My first book, is from the first POV, and I got to chapter 4 when somebody DMed asking what would it be like if you did it from the LI’s POV, so I started his version from the first POV, and now I’m doing both MCs on two book series, based on the same journey, after talking to other authors who did the same thing.

One from the female MC and one for the male MC

My second book series (not part of them) is two POV in one book series from the first POV, two MC, each telling you how they met and fell in love in the one book. As I wanted to see how a 2 POV book would look over a series

I use past and present tense on them all

1 Like

So, I would tell you to do whatever you want, but I know that isn’t helpful so here goes nothing…

First Person Third Person
More familiar feel More distant feel
Better for younger audiences Better for older audiences
Easier to write Harder to write
YA, Romance, NA etc. Adult, Fantasy, Memoirs etc.

Passive Voice Active Voice
Laggy Fast
Subtle, weak Strong, clear
Might shift the focus Stagnant focus, sounds like a cookbook
Descriptive writing Action scenes

Past Tense Present Tense
Might feel distant Hooking
Better for older audiences Better for younger audiences
Slightly hard to follow Easy to follow
Sounds better (due to widespread use) Might sound awkward, diary-like

Too Little Description Too Much Description
Both are bad, find a balance!

Showing Telling
Descriptive Direct
Difficult to write Easy to write
Sounds fluid Sounds lazy
Better for narration Better for flashbacks/summaries

These are just my opinions, by the way. I know I missed a lot but these are the basic characteristics! I hope know you can tell which style suits your story best.

1 Like

It all comes down to what feels right to you when you write your story. I write in both POVs and both tenses, but always show, or at least strive to reach it. Try writing the same chapter from both POVs and both tenses to see which feels right.

1 Like

Caveat: these are my own opinions and I’m not suggesting any alternative is wrong.

  • I write in both 1st and 3rd limited (in different books - I find it strange when people mix within the same story - though I have done it for what I thought were stylistic reasons - turns out I was just being greedy and I changed it in my final edit). I find 3rd omniscient hard to write and hard to read - I like a little something left to the imagination/interpretation.
  • I prefer active, but some scenes can call for passive. That’s a judgement call and neither will be the only way, I would suspect.
  • Similarly, I write both past and present (same thing about not mixing them up - except by accident!) For that one, literally depends what mood I’m in when I start writing (and I’ve never had a satisfactory confirmation of what people prefer - very much an individual thing). When I’m reading, I only really even notice after the first chapter or so if someone mixes their tenses.
  • Definitely a mix for description. Some scenes need more, some are more about immediacy and can get bogged down with flowery language.
  • Again, a mix for show or tell. Depends on how much interpretation you want your reader to do.
1 Like

As a reader? Third person. As a writer? Also third person. I get to see the story from many lenses. I know first-person POV-switching can also achieve this, but I don’t really like it.

Active voice. It usually gets the point across in fewer words than passive voice.

Past tense all the way, as a reader and writer. It just feels nicer to me because my mind goes “the fact that I’m reading it now means it happened in the past” whenever I read a story. I wrote in present tense only once and that was only at the end of the story (the first three-quarters consisted of the narrator recounting memories in past tense).

Oof, hard one. I’d say too much description. At least your readers will still be able to visualize the story, whereas if it were the other way around, it would be very hard to imagine the scenes (if it all).

Another hard one. I’d say show because it’s more detailed.

1 Like

So you are writing dual pov,in first person I guess?

Yes

The first book of the series is a two POV in the first person.

As the series goes on, I may change as their children get older and voice their own POVs

1 Like

Ah Haa,that’s a good expect too see.
As I am writing fantasy and was actually dabbling on using first person pov,but then I was still confused due too using just one person to tell a whole different world might not even be best idea,but your differences are so easy to read.

What do you personally like,as a writer and a reader to write and read resp?

Sold.

Seems like a journey to me😂honestly when I used to write in my diary I never gave a f about descriptions or lack of it,but I guess when I will keep writing here,I will know it then…

You definitely tried your best with those differences,thank you for that.

Okay,what do you think about passive and active voice?

That’s actually a good choice

Loved your answer,cut to chase💜

I do get it,maybe bcoz first person pov is limited to that one person or your protagonist lenses,and in third person we can see and observe the bigger picture well.

Cut to chase,love it.

But isn’t past tense already ruining that it might have happy ending If they or MC is telling the story,rather than experiencing it we are just listening to it? Does it make sense?

What about voice? Which voice do you use?

For me, if it’s my current MCs she is based on my own experinces, she has my disability, my love for writing, so… I use that, my voice her story

1 Like

what is the code used for this?

Oh, the MC telling the story in past tense doesn’t mean that it’ll be a happy ending. It can end tragically as well.

Also most stories I’ve read use past tense, and in school the examples they used were in past tense, so I’m pretty much used to it.

1 Like

I found the OP rather misguided.
The issue lies within your goal - in every language there are extremely useful tools that magnificently fail under certain conditions. If there was one universal way how to face a problem, there would be no need to have other possibilities at our disposal.

For example, saying something in the present tense is slightly better for tension - as the reader cannot fall into a false pretext that everything happened in the past and now it is all OK, (that we are just reviewing some minor details that in the end does not matter much…)
3rd person view is much better for reader’s general awareness of the world and circumstances, 1st person view is unbeatable if you need to picture a biased opinion/personal experience.
Passive voice slows the experience, forces you to split your attention to other details - active voice is a straightforward march for the plot.
Descriptions… can be even the major aspect of your story. The question is - what do you want to tell?
Show/tell - this one is funny though… at least I found it strange. As much as any book is just a bunch of sentences telling you something, it works best if the reader does not notice he is reading, instead just immerses himself into the story. However, simple “telling” can bypass a bunch of unnecessary, not fitting, and generally awkward pages.

Anyway, from the readers perspective it is the same - the question is: What do I want to read? The book is just required to use proper tools for the purposes, but that does not mean that one universal approach will completely satisfy any and all of my demands.

2 Likes