Why are subjective accounts (first-person) frowned upon in the writing world? Ho

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  1. naturesencore profile image60
    naturesencoreposted 14 years ago

    Why are subjective accounts (first-person) frowned upon in the writing world? How does one articulate a personal event in the (preferable) third-person context, without losing its intrinsic qualities?

  2. alekhouse profile image76
    alekhouseposted 13 years ago

    Although editors like it, not all writers prefer using the third person. Many writers, myself included, are actually very comfortable using the first person. The choice of which person is more appropriate is dependent on what type of writing you're... read more

  3. Barbara Yurkoski profile image60
    Barbara Yurkoskiposted 13 years ago

    Do you mean fiction or non-fiction?

    If non-fiction, the third person is more objective, which is what is normally desired - except for memoir.

    If fiction, I think it's just an issue of fads.  First person will become popular, then readers (or editors) will tire of it and third person becomes the trend.  But outside of trends, there are reasons for choosing one or the other.  First person can give the reader a more intimate connection to the story, but generally limits the writer to one point of view.

  4. cindyleedavis profile image61
    cindyleedavisposted 13 years ago

    you can write in the third person by writing in the first person.
    then change the tense of the words. the ideas won't change,
    but when it is happening will. by setting yourself outside of what is happening, you can still see, hear, touch, taste, etc.

    I have probably not answered your question specially enough,
    it is a hard question to answer but I did my best. i have written in both and find it difficult sometimes to make it from one to the other,
    but it does and it can.   Good question

  5. profile image0
    CiscoPixieposted 13 years ago

    The reason "the world" frowns down on first person is because they claim it is biased and just how you feel. Personally, i love writing in both first person and third person. So to articulate it into the third person, observe the scene/act/paragraph whatever as an outsider (hence the term third person). Write down how you would see it happen but without the emotional attachments.
    Hope this helps.

  6. profile image57
    Rosa Bergerposted 13 years ago

    Whether to choose the first or third person really depends on the editor of the journal or book.publisher. In academic/professional writing, the author is supposed to have an unbiased position. In order to make that clear to the reader, no first person is allowed.

    For a long time, authors used "we" instead of "I." The "We" is also called the royal "we" and I personally find it quite derogatory, especially when I disagree with the author.

    These days, people understand that academics have their own sets of biases and preconceptions due to personal and other experiences. And these experiences shape the topic, the way the informatio is arranged, etc. However, personal experiences should not shape the outcome or bias the argument in any way.

    Some publisher now permit the use of "I" in limited circumstances to lay open personal experiences, biases, and preconceptions in order to enable the reader to assess the article or book.

    Writing without "I" is not particularly difficult, once one gets used to reading scholarly material, writing without "I" becomes second nature.

  7. cteshome profile image58
    cteshomeposted 13 years ago

    I think you should consider what you want your reader to know and what you don't. Consider what you want to reveal to the reader, when, how and where. First person narratives are one point of view, though they can, depending on the story, be reliable or unreliable accounts. In terms of conveying emotion and its "intrinsic qualities" consider using an omniscient point of view if it will fit into your story.

    I think you should consider the character of the character telling the story. Is this person honest or a liar? Are they under some sort of influence or not? Are they mentally sound? In psychological thrillers (The Machinist, The Secret Window, A Beautiful Mind, etc.) we see the story from a first person perspective. Though this perspective is skewed and unreal. The viewer does not realize the unreliable character of the story teller until the end. This is a valuable and effective tactic in expressing and taking the viewer/reader through the psychosis an individual endures.

    I have been "experimenting" with a limited omniscient point of view story teller who is a major character. As the narrator, he can only tell the thoughts of one or more major or minor characters in addition to things the characters do not know. As a result of my plot, this works best for moving the story forward.

    So, if you want to know which person to use, discover your story first, it's characters, the plot and what you would like to reveal.

  8. rosariomontenegro profile image68
    rosariomontenegroposted 13 years ago

    If you mean fiction, then you have another solution: write chapters with "I" being the point of view of different characters. Like the lover speaking in first person, the beloved in first person, the jealous secret enemy in first person, the best friend of the beloved in first person and so on and so forth.

    You do that for alternating chapters and you have an interesting but rather classic novel. You do that for every paragraph without saying who is "I" and you get a hell of a  novel that maybe some survivor critic from the XXth century will applaud.

    If you are a writer, please forget about what others say and just write. Write!

    Sorry, I just reminded myself of the second person. Of course, if you are writing dogmatic or moral essays, then second person is quite appropriate. If you are a writer, my daughter, follow the advice of the sages, and conform yoursef to usage and the manners of the litterary world.

    Good writing naturesencore!

  9. wsp2469 profile image60
    wsp2469posted 13 years ago

    You're confused or have not asked your question properly.
    When it comes to old school, hardcore journalism, news stories do not generally include a lot of first person references because they are supposed to be OBJECTIVE and factual.
    When reporters are determined to voice an opinion they use the phrase, "in this reporter's opinion" or something along those lines.
    Anywhere other than a hardcore straight news story you are permitted to insert your opinion.
    Mind you, when i write paid website reviews we are allowed to use first person--not that I do much--and yet when we write articles on subjects for other websites for the same company they reject anything that uses the word "I" because they do not want it to be too opinionated.
    So to sum up:  Objective news stories: FACTS
    Anything else: you have more freedom

  10. profile image50
    Pastbardposted 13 years ago

    When you step back from a picture that you have created and take an objective view- you have the opportunity to see more than just a paint brush perspective. Using " I " when describing an personal incident can limit your perspective. Try to see your own story through a stranger's observations. This is the view point of a reader which lends its' wisdom to the fact that writing a story about yourself as yourself is more like a journal which can take away from your interpretive capabilities. Do it both ways and see if you can tell the difference. Write a paragraph using bot tenses, then read them as objectively as you can. You will see more corrections and be a better critic in the third person.

  11. SandyJ profile image58
    SandyJposted 12 years ago

    It would not be possible to tell a personal story in third person without losing the personality of it. If you have a personal story that is entertaining, or informational, and is not derogatory toward another, I think it's fine to write in first person, if it's in situations such as this. On the other hand, personal stories don't belong in academic writing, but that does not mean you can't produce a professionally, entertaining or informational, grammatically correct, blog or hub.


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