Why I love point of view


Mae Clair of Story Empire wrote an excellent post on her blog. In fact it was so good I decided to steal her idea.

Okay, not really steal. Let’s just say I borrowed it for a few days, tossed it around and carefully handed it back all shiny and new.

Mae brought up an interesting subject of reading books in the first person. She wrote how, at first, she avoided this type of writing but in time she realized that she was missing out.

I can’t remember the first time I read a book in first person but I do remember that I never pushed it away.  

I was curious of the inner workings of the characters mind. I was drawn to their mistakes and their success. I never grew tired watching them learn and grow.


My First Mistake

The first time I attempted to write I wrote in third person. I figured it was natural and a good way to start. Looking back it was a good way to practice but when the real story came along it had to be in first person.

For the longest time I wondered why I wrote my book in first person. The story could have easily been told in third. It would have given the reader a broader scope into the lives of the characters instead of the unreliable narrator.

It wasn’t until I finished writing the novel that I realized the answer. If I were the reader this is the kind of book I’d want to read. The idea of getting inside the protagonists head and watching him stumble with his thoughts was too good to pass up.


Looking in the mirror

pov 1

I think I am drawn to first person because it reminds me of myself. Sometimes the characters are a tad clumsy, a bit unreliable and way to stubborn for their own good.

On the positive side they are honest, a little too naive but most of all they mean well.

One of the earliest realizations I felt when reading a book in first person was the understanding that I was not alone with my fears and self-doubt.

There is nothing better than reading a book in the eyes of a character who understands you.


Connecting with the reader

pov 2

When you think about it, making a connection is the goal of every writer. If we can touch one person and show them they are not alone we’ve created something special.

Not every novel in first person makes that connection. Let’s face it, that’s a hard thing to do. But if you possess that magic, that ability to show someone there are others just like them that is a powerful tool and one not to be wasted.

Writing in first person is not for everyone and that’s okay. We all have our own style. But if it is your thing and you have the ability to connect, you are on your way to something special.

40 thoughts on “Why I love point of view

  1. Interesting post Bryan. For my freelance travel articles I alternate between writing in either third and first person, depending on the publication and their target audience. But personally I prefer writing in first person. It feels more real. And reading a book in first person,well it always makes me feel as though I’ve made a real connection.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post Bryan. I love writing and reading in first person, although my current WIP is in third. Third worked best for this story, but I do find it quite unnatural, and more difficult to get right. I already know my next project will be back to first. Thanks for sharing xx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I understand what you mean. Sometimes that’s what the story dictates even though we’re dying to write it in our favorite way. I’m doing the same as you at this moment and trust me, I’ve considered going first several times but I know that’s not possible.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for the shout-out to my post, Bryan! I’m glad it inspired you to spin one of your own.

    I am now a fan of books written in first, but I still tend to stick with them mostly in specific genres (like psychological thrillers). Third person POV is still my favorite for reading (and writing) though I now read both and no longer consider myself a POV “snob” LOL.

    I wish you happy writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve written in 1st and 3rd and don’t really have a preference. It depends on the story and the characters. What I don’t like so much is constant switching between the two. Great post, Bryan 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. It needs to be one. I’m sure in some cases there are exceptions. Off hand I can’t think of any but I am sure they are out there. I’m happy you enjoyed the post.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, Bryan. Great post.

    A writing mentor of mine used to teach that it was best to start writing in first person because that was the way we thought (unless you refer to yourself in third person, which I don’t happen to). I never got the hang of it, but I was already writing in third person. Probably because that was how the books I always read were written.

    At the end of the day, I think you need to let your story and your preference dictate what you write. As long as you’re comfortable and you’re passionate, you’ll be on the right track.

    As for reading? Well, I used to be a POV snob. Now I’ll read anything. I guess we change with age. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Staci!!!

    Thank you. Through trial and error I have finally realized it’s best to listen to the story. What does it want? How does it want to be told and does one character want to take the lead and tell it?

    My problem in the past was not listening because I thought I was in charge. I was wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bryan, Thank you for this!!!! It is so incredibly helpful. I have been thinking a lot about this and it has had me a bit puzzled and frozen for a while. You are, as ever, my Guru!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think first person is overdone. Most stories in first person don’t need to be, and thus shouldn’t be written in that perspective. But when it fits, it’s the best thing, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You nailed it, JM. I have read stories that were written in first person and they completely missed the mark. The author has to be honest with the story and see how it wants to be told. In my view the ones that missed the mark were being forced fed and that never works.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My third novel is written in first person, it was quite a shift from third person. I didn’t think it made much difference until I started revising my old work again. It certainly has more intimacy.


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