Wednesday, 19 January 2011


For January 2011, my posts are about the basics. Today I'm thinking about points of view. 

I have written in first person - limited to two protagonists - but I love the freedom and flexibility of third.  I'M A FLEA WRITER - bad habit, I know - but if there's a spare head nearby, in my narrative, I'm likely to be turning up in it. It is one of my writing targets - I'm on-it like Lyclear ;)


First person point of view is told through a single character. The reader is immersed in the character's thoughts, feelings: it is intense. The reader is limited to experiencing life as this character sees it. They are plunged into the character’s life with the intensity of the body-swap movie. If this is the POV you are writing in you’ll be using “I” a lot!

Second person is active and direct. This POV is used least often. It may be worth experimenting with, but it lacks the immediacy of first person and the versatility of third. If you were to try writing in this POV, and it is being seen more often at the moment, the writer, you, get to inform the reader what they need to know or understand at any given point:
You hear the swing on the porch creek rhythmically but the greyed leaves are breath-held still in the twilight and you can’t quite make your hand grip the door handle.
Second person can be effective, but I don’t think I could write a whole one.;)

Third person is awfully-versatile but prone to abuse. Writers get to soak the pages with 
otherwise unseen research and planning. Just because any character can be used to relay information, fleabouncing the reader into more than three heads is not wise. Wash that need right out of your head! ;)

What is your Point of View?


  1. My current wip actually started out in 3rd pov but about 17k in I switched to 1st. I'll fix the first part in revision. I don't have enough experience right now to say which one I like better but I think it might have something to do with the character and how you want your story to feel. 1st just feels more intimate to me. I like to read both 1st and 3rd person but haven't run across much 2nd. Great post.

  2. I love experimenting with POV; I like to start in first person because that helps me set the character's voice, but sometimes I find I have to switch everything over to third for the sake of story and style.
    Thanks for providing a few more things to think about in my decision-making. :)

  3. Hi, Elaine! *waves*

    for me, POV depends on the story. The MS I'm querying is in first, but i also have one in 3rd that has...5 POVs at the moment. hopefully i can cap it at that. ;)

    i'm a bigger fan of first because i like the intimacy, but sometimes 3rd is just way more convenient.

  4. I've always clung to a 3rd person POV, but I tend to keep the narrative following my MC. I have a couple "cut-away" scenes, but I try to use those sparingly. I just started dabbling with a 1st person POV, and its different, but I like the inherent suspense that comes with it.
    By the way, I have an award for you over at my blog. Thanks for offering such awesome insight.

  5. Hi Lisa
    I like first and third - in the early stages I experiment. I've never switched mid-ms before; go you! *grins

    Hi Faith
    It takes a deep understanding of the character to get into writing the story - beginning in first person would really help with that.

    Hi Lex ;)
    If it weren't for frustration of tunnel vision I think I'd always write first person,: it's more like real-life, only better because the author can't keep secrets as well as real people do ;)

    Hi Lindz
    Award?! Thank you *grins
    First person is a great way to make you suffer along with the MC. Third person makes you see the world from both sides - I like that.

  6. I enjoy them both. Just depends on what the story and character call for, for me. The last book I wrote, I changed to first person after a few drafts and I've loved it.

    Happy Writing & Eat Well.

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  8. Hi Ivy
    Have fun with the wip. Enjoy your cooking - I know I would ;)
    I write MG and third person with the POV following one or two MC seems to be the most natural. I'm trying to keep to one head for the next MG.

  9. Interesting post. My current WIP is 1st person male POV. . . a first for me and I'm enjoying it a ton:)

  10. Hi Lindsay
    I've noticed the first person POV is proving to be popular with the small sample represented here ;)

  11. Hi, Elaine
    My MG is written in third person limited which is similar to 1st in that I'm connected to one character only. There is a scene where my protag is not there and I go into another character though. My current YA WIP is 1st person. I really am enjoying it as I find it a more personal connection and makes it easier to find voice, I find. Both are good. Great blog!

  12. Hi Morgan
    Third person limited is good - I always try to limit to two ;) I experimented with omniscient for my lost protag.