First or Second Person?


#1

Does an interactive novel have to be second person? Or can you write it in first person? I’ve only ever seen them in second person.


What "person" works best?
#2

The standard for choice of games is second person for main text, first person for the choice text.

BUT you can write it in whatever perspective you feel like.


#3

Samurai of Hyuga is writen is first person, so yes, you can do that.


#4

There are no hard and fast rules, AFAIK. A good enough writer could probably even pull off third person past tense. It all depends on your vision.

I think there is something to be said for the first person in games like these.
I really liked Samurai of Hyuga, the MC has a very pronounced personality with an internal monologue which adds to the story and immersion. Second person MCs tend to feel a little like blank shells sometimes and I end up caring much more for the NPCs than the MC.


#5

I’ve seen games that have used both POV’s and they still came out good.
Personally, I just feel that second person takes away the the emotion from the MC. First person makes it feel like I’m really the one doing this as I internalise what is being said in the text very verbatim and thus, think in that sort of way.
And God, it feels awkward when I try to write in second person. It just feels unnatural to me, but you can do whichever you feel like


#6

Both are accepted, but I personally prefer second person. This way it feels more of interactive as the situation is thrown to us. First person feels like a narrative- I can’t seem to live in it. It always feels like you’re narrating your story to someone.


#7

I think first person feels like it’s for a more defined protagonist and your less able to shape and create your own protagonist. If you say something about yourself, it must be true unless you have multiple personalities or something. If someone else says something about you, it is not necessarily true.

With second person, I feel like someone is watching the protagonist do things and describing what the protagonist does. This makes it a little more bearable if the protagonist is described doing something I wouldn’t do.

I prefer second person because I love the blank slate protagonist that I can mold to fit me. This is what makes COG unique. I’ve played some (mostly otome) games where the MC is just so stupid and bad that I couldn’t finish the game. I’ve played choice games with defined protagonists and I feel like there’s little choice and replayability because I choose what is in character for the protagonist and can’t just make a new one. Like Clementine from the Walking Dead was great, but I thought what would a child do/ think instead of what I would do.


#8

I mostly prefer second person because it speaks more to me as a player, but I adore first person done well. An example that kind of did both was Choice of a Wizard, which is one of my favorite CoGs to this day. It was mostly second person, but the first person parts really sold it as a proper biography for me.


#9

Both choices are viable, which one is preferred depends on the reader.
You could also try to mix-match, using second person to relate events, your surrounding, etc, and first person to describe what your character is thinking, their opinions and conversations.


#10

or maybe you could use the second person for the MC, since the MC is you and you defined your own characters and actions.

meanwhile… when the scene switch to other characters POV ( like HR : Redemption season, though the author used second person there) , you can change it into first person. Everything that the character said or do will according to their own personality.

Though Samurai of hyuga 2 used third person in one of its scene… So everything is fine actually.


#11

So far I think I’ve only seen game second person. I wouldn’t mind one written in first person, but I’ve been told it’s a style that’s a lot harder to pull off in any type of writing (other than autobiography of course) so a lot of people are a bit put off by it