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Forums » RP Discussion » What Point of View do you Write in for RP and Why?

The title of it says it all.

1st person (the I/We perspective), 2nd Person (The You Perspective normally told by narrator or dm/gm) or 3rd person (the he/she/it/they perspective).



For me it's 3rd person. Mainly because I like writing a view that gives me more options and I can delve into the actions/thoughts of other characters and I can have a broader overall view in general.

Thoughts? Opinions?
I write roleplay in 3rd person but sometimes have 1st person internal 'head-discussion' bit in posts. I write some of my character journals as 1st person. Why? It seems right to me and most comfortable for interaction with others.
Usually I write in 3rd person. I think part of it is that I tend to write multiple characters in any given story and it would just be weird to write in 1st unless I could pick one to act as the main narrator of the entire story. (But I like to keep my RP flexible and my focus often shifts to making a different character have the spotlight for awhile.)

Once in awhile I will write an IC letter. Those are surprisingly difficult for me, but a great writing exercise.
Third-person only. I may write a character's thoughts in first-person, but I also write those more like dialogue (just specifying that they thought something, not said it, of course, and with single quotes instead of double.)
First-person makes me uncomfortable to RP in, it just feels icky to me. It also seems to be where a lot of people (not all of course, but a lot), forget the barrier between IC/OOC.
And I agree with what Juls said, about writing multiple characters at once.
When it comes to my own story-writing I tend to have no idea which POV to use. I asked some people to vote on which POV they prefer to read stories in, and most had no preference between the two, so. (To be fair it was not that many people, so it's not like that was a conclusive study or anything, but still.)
Very much third person.

I write my replies for my partner to read. That partner is neither inside my character's head nor is my character the narrative point of view to the shared experience. Whilst there is a time and a place for first-person prose, it is not a shared writing experience like an RP. At least in my opinion. I won't begrudge others of their first-person preference, but I won't write RP in first person either.
Team Third all the way, specifically third person limited with the occasional slip into stylistic omiscence (usually so I can make a few sassy transtextual remarks). Lotsa people claim that first person allows the writer to creep into their OCs head a lil' more, but I don't agree. First person in (specifically autobiographical and YA) writings =/= actually diving into an OCs psyche & train of thought, as first person writing often registers a bunch of things that you normally would never even notice yourself doing, like 'releasing a breath they didn't know they were holding' and shit like that. Third person makes me feel more at home in both my character's head and the world that the RP is taking place in, as I can realistically juggle things that my character can see, hear, feel, subconsciously or not, without being limited to their train of thoughts alone.

No shade to first person players, f'course, y'all are a rare breed & even if I don't feel the same as you do about your preferred style of writing doesn't really mean that ye folks should get any hate for it. Second person roleplayers though, hell no, you better take that creepy-on-main bullshit out of my inbox because if there's anything that kills my appetite aside from the ol' godmodding, powerplaying & other degenerade bizz, it's being smacked in the face by sentences like 'I look at you with my glowing eyes and pout and blow a raspberry at you'. Just, hell no, comrade.
For RP, pretty exclusively 3rd person, with 1st person only coming up in dialog and less-vague character thoughts. Third person is generally what I'm used to reading and writing overall. I consider first and second person to have specific uses, but don't see those as applicable to this format of RP. I also get a little concerned when I see first-person RP posts, since it makes me wonder a little more how well the player is keeping separated from their character.

Extended answer
In more general story writing, I still mostly stick to third person, but will occasionally use first-person to try to pull the reader into things more. It can be more effective at making a reader feel like it's something they're experiencing since reading it is all "I did this" and "this happened to me" (and that's also a huge part of what makes it so weird in this RP format, that reading and processing what someone else wrote as if I am their character doing those things). I personally see it as best for creating the sense of someone directly telling the reader an experience they (the narrator) had, or of reading someone's journal, even if it's otherwise still written in a more narrative style, rather than conversational or record-keeping. An example of this is the most recent form of Kyra's backstory (which actually led to Sarí's creation as a character in the first place); in that case, I opted for first-person partly for the sense of "this is someone's memory," partly because it felt right to try to make things feel more visceral, and partly to make use of an aspect of first-person POV that would usually be a huge weakness: its extremely limited scope of awareness. While it can certainly be achieved with the others, first-person is often best at creating confusion about what actually happened (a lot like those "found footage" films). In first-person, it doesn't make sense to have the whole, unbiased picture; one individual's experience is all there is to work with. I have also, rarely, tried to go for a more conversational tone; it's hard, and best kept to really short things.

I've also written in second-person before, but very few times. It rarely works well for written pieces. It's sort of bossy and controlling; can actually disconnect the reader from what's happen as much as, if not more than, third-person; and it tends to be overall awkward and unfamiliar. It can be pretty useful in certain other RP formats, though; it blends well into conversation and GM narration in tabletop games, often drawing players in personally better than auditory third-person might, and it's a reasonably familiar experience in games with computer-run narration (especially a lot of older, more text-heavy or outright text-based RPGs. Second-person can be particularly helpful in English-language computer-run games because first-person would usually be incredibly awkward there (exceptions certainly exist), and third-person can take a lot more work to program properly (for an example, check out the Pronoun Dressing Room; even with all the variations they address, seeing how they get inserted into the example texts still results in weirdness in some places), while second-person in English is pretty straightforward and narrow enough that it can be written in directly without concern about variables; even specifying one or multiple individuals is optional in second-person, but it's pretty much required in first- and third-person.

If I'm writing poetry, I may play around with the perspectives more. The nature and typical shortness of poetry and verse makes all of them a bit more digestible.
TiredWriter

Mostly 3rd person for RP because I feel comfortable using it. I only do 1st person in like if my character is writing a note or journal.
MangoNekros

Traditionally, I would do third person rping. ("He opened the door, unaware of who lies beyond the safety of the door") because this rp isn't about ME, it's about this guy i'm rping as, say his name is... Steve! So the responses might be "Steve walks into a diner, the familiar scent of fresh-baked pie and meat on the grill provided a welcoming sensation after a hard day" rather then "I walk into a diner, the familiar scent of fresh-baked pie and meat on the grill provided a welcoming sensation after a hard day" because well, i'm not in the rp. I play tons of canon characters and I only describe them in 3rd person. 1st person just seems to be a less conventional rp method, something that would be done in a Roblox/Minecraft rp.
NiftySpiffy

I mostly do 3rd person, because it allows me to be specific about the character's actions (Basil planted the flower) (Sunny picked up the knife) (Clay poofed his fur) (Iris ran in circles). it's also fun to do
3rd person for roleplay because 1 person to me is too intimate for roleplay and I have had roleplays over the years that people had have issues with boundaries and blurring lines between me as a person and my charater. I will use first person if I journal in the characters voice but that is pretty rare.
J_Flowers

Thirsty Third Baby!!

Really though, third person limited because it seems to be the standard and it's mostly all I've ever read. Perhaps I've read 3rd omniscient but I don't remember. And I don't like reading in first person at all although I wouldn't mind writing it with the right partner. Lord knows I've done it enough outside of the rp world, just haven't applied it to a story yet
I write in third person because then you can easily remember the name and pronouns of the character and it is easier to not bleed my personality into the character, which would make them out of character. I also prefer reading 3rd person books because then it is easier to visualise the character when I can easily know their name and pronouns. The cool thing about 3rd person is that you can smoothly transition between describing what the character looks like on the outside and how they feel on the inside, making is easier to both write a rich internal dialogue, while also giving the other roleplayer plenty to react to! Sometimes I use first person in italics as a thought.
I only use 2nd person when roleplaying with someone who is roleplaying as themself, or if I don’t know who they are roleplaying as (this was mainly just on Quotev on interactive activities, where I would post my character doing something or reacting to something, and people could comment as themselves or a character.)
These days, I typically write in third person unless a specific scene or moment calls for a first person perspective. I used to write almost exclusively in first person but I like the more narrative feel of third.

I'll sometimes add a first person thought sequence as a way to narrate a character and keep my partner in the loop with something they're thinking.
Quote:
Edgar gave a smug smile as he shuffled through the cards in his hand, idly looking at them like he was bored with the game already.

Of course, they're too dull to realize I have a few extras up my sleeve... he thought to himself ... but when all that gold's mine, I'll blow this town anyway.

He gave the person opposite him at the table a wink.

"Call."

Basic example but I'm letting my partner know that Edgar is cheating without detailing it in action. On their post, they can decide if they want their character to fall for it or catch him. It's tossing the ball to them, letting them catch it, and toss the ball back. And so the story continues to build. Not every action will have a first person segue to it but I've found they can be useful ways to keep your audience (ie. your writing partner) engaged by giving them an insight into the character.
GarnaalProductions wrote:
Team Third all the way, specifically third person limited with the occasional slip into stylistic omiscence (usually so I can make a few sassy transtextual remarks). Lotsa people claim that first person allows the writer to creep into their OCs head a lil' more, but I don't agree. First person in (specifically autobiographical and YA) writings =/= actually diving into an OCs psyche & train of thought, as first person writing often registers a bunch of things that you normally would never even notice yourself doing, like 'releasing a breath they didn't know they were holding' and shit like that. Third person makes me feel more at home in both my character's head and the world that the RP is taking place in, as I can realistically juggle things that my character can see, hear, feel, subconsciously or not, without being limited to their train of thoughts alone.

No shade to first person players, f'course, y'all are a rare breed & even if I don't feel the same as you do about your preferred style of writing doesn't really mean that ye folks should get any hate for it. Second person roleplayers though, hell no, you better take that creepy-on-main bullshit out of my inbox because if there's anything that kills my appetite aside from the ol' godmodding, powerplaying & other degenerade bizz, it's being smacked in the face by sentences like 'I look at you with my glowing eyes and pout and blow a raspberry at you'. Just, hell no, comrade.

Amazing.

I'd say I am also transtextual*

I write in the 3rd person for most of what my character does that other characters and the audience can "physically witness".
But, I love a third wall aside/ flavor/ sassy remark that might add to the vibe or tone the other characters can use to proceed. I consider it knowledge not known by the other characters, but think it can be beneficial to the person playing with my character. Provided they also think I am funny. :-p
I prefer 3rd person. I've thought about going for a first-person narration on a noir-detective style character, but I never nail the style and I'm afraid it could seem clunky.

I'm often a bit flaky creative with my narrator. Usually it is a limited narrator with a bit of a voice on their own, especially since I like my flowery language and my characters who wouldn't necessarily think exactly like the narrator would. Still, it usually reflects their point of view, with some side-notes.
A running gag in some of my games was "Charles' coffee", a coffee shop which is run by a guy named Bob . My characters usually called the poor guy Charles, my narrator usually didn't :)

Sometimes, I try to avoid using names that aren't know to characters yet, even in descriptive text.

I had one very fun game, where we would often cut away to side events, introducing villains, or spending a post or two with the detective that had to clean up the characters crime sprees. It somehow developed into a very cinematic style, with mentioning of advertisement and "In this episode"-starts with possible plot points for the next few posts. It usually only happened at selected points, but it was certainly an interesting experience.
Third-person is the way to go, baby! It's what I prefer, it's what most people prefer, and I find it easier to come up with more descriptive paragraphs. It can be done with other perspectives, sure, but I feel like third person just comes naturally.

That isn't to say I'm not open to other perspectives. Not long ago I was in a RP with a close friend where we have both first and second person views, and it was a heckin' great time! I much prefer second person, however- it's fun to play as a narrator and often leaves plenty of room for snarky or witty descriptions that you can't really get from third person.

First person isn't bad either- again, it can lead to some funnier dialogue/character thoughts, but given the choice between the 3 POVs, first-person is my last pick. Just by virtue of the other ones being more enjoyable to write. XD

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