Christmas Advent #6–First Person Plural which I happen to love if it’s done well

Try your hand at first person plural by doing the following things:

1. Read this story. 

2. Reread the story thinking about point of view and why Mr. Faulkner chose this point of view. What if he’d done regular old first person? Or third person limited? Or third person omniscient? How would that have changed the story? 

3. Think about dead people.

4. Rewrite your first chapter in first person plural.

5. Write a NEW first chapter for a NEW book in first person plural. Post your feelings and results if you feel up to it. 

6. Think of any other example of novels, short stories, etc. that are written in first person plural. Post the titles on here in case anyone wants to peruse. The Virgin Suicides is one that comes to mind. 

Merry Christmas! 


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3 responses to “Christmas Advent #6–First Person Plural which I happen to love if it’s done well

  1. Feeling not very smart. I’ve read it twice now and I’m still trying to get a better handle on 1st person plural before I attempt to write in it. So far I’ve been able to do this writing advent. It’s making me grow and *hopefully* improving my WIP. Thank you!
    (also, I had to read this story in HS and I remember it creeping me out then. It still creeps me out, even when I know what’s coming. Faulkner is a master. I just hope I don’t have to become a drunk to write well, but then since I’m not trying for Faulkner quality, perhaps my overdosing on chocolate will suffice;-) )

  2. First person plural is hard. It’s almost always used when your narrators are observers of the action–outside looking in. It allows the author to say a lot about the observers and how they perceive the subject. It’s tricky that’s why there are so few books/stories/essays written with this POV. I still think it’s kind of fun.

  3. Lucinda A Felix

    Ann Dee,

    I don’t understand how it’s possible to write 1st person plural. I skimmed through it, because I’m impatient, but it bothered me a bit when the narrator said, “We.” It felt like the Children of the Corn were writing it or something.(Saw the movie as a kid, don’t remember much but reference it a lot with my own children.) (Like, “Hey Children of the Corn, get in the car.”) And stuff like that.

    As writers we ask ourselves how do our characters know this, how did they see it? And this writing seems to skip around those rules. Which, I’m all for rule breaking, but it seems odd. Who are the “We” in this story? Where can I read another sample of this writing. It intrigues me.


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