When you are reading a story, do you ever notice (on a conscious level) who is talking? If the story is written well, most readers don't even notice who is doing the narrating or telling of the story. If you do notice these things, who do you prefer tells the story.
I know that most of the time, the story is told through the main character--either through the eyes of that character or a narrator that pulls you into the head of the main character. I've noticed that many stories nowadays are told in first-person with the use the "I" with all events filtered through that person. I've also noticed a trend toward telling the story this way and moving from one character's viewpoint to another at some point in the book. Use of the first-person seems very common in erotica.
Funny thing, very few of my stories are written in the first-person. If I recall, my Wendy Parker, Sex in Pubic series is the only thing written this way. Of course, for whatever reason, this series remains most popular among my readers.
I've written another story, Lexi's Run using multiple viewpoints and it seems (through sales, anyway) this the least favorite among my readers. Although this is one of the stories I personally enjoy the most. Of course, this stories lack of popularity could be because this story is not erotic, and it considered romantic suspense with the main character a virgin throughout. But hey, it is paranormal and the main character does end up with a mate of her choosing for life.
I personally think the reason for the popularity in the use of first-person in erotica is two-fold.
First, I believe it brings the reader into the main character's head--the reader sees what the character sees and feels what the character feels. Essentially, the reader becomes the main character through intimate identification.
Second, the nature of much of the erotic story is confessional. Confessional is best read through the person doing the confessing. Think about the popularity of the Shades of Grey series.
I've come to believe that the popularity of this series is due partly because of the confessional nature of the story. I mean, let's be honest, how many readers actually believe that this virginal college student just happens to meet a billionaire in a hardware store and then almost immediately agrees (by contract, no less) to his odd terms. I know it is a very romantic notion but I suppose, for me, anyway, I cannot be made to believe that this virgin's first time is the best she ever had (well, duh) and that her lover's appendage is now the biggest she's ever seen. Really? How many has she seen at this point? and how does she suddenly come into all this sexual knowledge to become such a sex kitten?
But I digress.
How do you prefer a story be told. Are your preferences different between say erotica and fantasy? Paranormal or suspense?
Or, does it depend entirely on the story being told? What say you?