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I want to write a story mainly in third person, occasionally switching to first person. How would I do that most effectively?

  • I've often seen prologues written in the first-person voice of the main character, while the rest of the story continued in third-person. I haven't yet seen an active switching between the two. I imagine that as an author you'd have to have a good reason to do that. – B.fox Nov 2 '18 at 23:36
  • I have seen switching back and forth between first and third person. It seemed a little off-putting like the author wasn't sure what to do. But it didn't ruin the story for me. – Den Warren Nov 3 '18 at 9:12
  • I think you mean when in the story it would work best to switch between third and first person. only you you can decide that, based on the needs of the story. try it out and see how it works. whatever happens, you'll gain experience as a writer. – Ria Byss Nov 3 '18 at 20:41
  • @RiaByss I think OP is asking how to make the transition, not when or where. Either way, the first part should be a comment, since it's asking for clarification (I know you can't post comments yet, though), and the second part isn't really an answer. I recommend taking the tour and visiting the help center to learn more about this site, and how to answer questions effectively. – F1Krazy Nov 3 '18 at 20:51
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Make sure you start a new chapter or section when you make a switch in either direction, unless it is short. Make it obvious to the reader. In some cases you might want to set aside the page with the first person and use a different font or a box or a background shade. You can also set text in a box for short ones. Or indent it like you might a song or poem you were including.

What's important is that your reader is not confused by it.

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