My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

I don’t really have much to post about today; I think my mind has gone into hibernation mode or something recently.

Anyway, I was wondering: which POV do you prefer to write in? First person or third person? I like third person myself. For some reason that’s what comes easiest to me. That’s probably why I’m really struggling with writing my current WiP since I’ve switched over to first person for it. I’ve tried it in third and it does work in some ways…but I think it’ll be stronger in first. That is, if I can learn how to write in first person.

I’m sure over time I’ll get the hang of it. For now, it’s a painful process trying to find that voice that doesn’t sound forced.

How do you learn to write in different viewpoints? Is it just practice, talent or a little bit of both? 🙂

Comments on: "First Person vs Third Person" (16)

  1. Since I’ve always written in third person, I think it’s a matter of learning how to write first person, get some practise and then keep at it if it’s what I want to do for a particular book. I much prefer third person though. Depending on how it’s written through the character’s eyes, it can come pretty close to feeling like first person.

  2. Chris Hicks said:

    I’ve bounced between both. I actually prefer writing in first person, it seems to some easier for me. I think it might be that writing in third person I get hung up on the personal / partially omniscient / omniscient thing. Makes me think too much then it slows down and next thing you know I’m playing WoW instead of writing.

    It may also have a lot to do with the huge exposure to RPGs throughout my life. I have been conditioned to think “in character” so it is easier for me to step into their shoes.

  3. I think I actually prefer first person now that I’ve written in it a few times. Especially for horror stories. Somehow, first person just makes those *extra* creepy…mwahaha. Then again, as much as I enjoy using it for short stories, I can’t imagine what writing an entire novel in first person would be like.

    • Yeah…it’s just that the story seemed to lack something in third. Maybe I was doing it wrong 😛 It’s definitely lacking it in first person currently. If it ultimately goes back to third, the book is still only going to be told through her eyes–I don’t feel this story needs other POVs.

  4. For me, it depends on the story. My WiP is third person because I could depict the emotions and goings-on of multiple characters, but my last book was first person because it was more about one character’s journey.

  5. definitely depends on the story for me. I mostly write 3rd person, but the things I’ve written in 1st have been loads of fun. I find that for short stories/novella length pieces it seems to work better, where as my novels are wider ranging and generally use a couple of povs.

  6. I think 1st person comes more naturally to me. I recently tried writing in 3rd, and I struggled with it. I’m determined to finish that project, though, and when I return to it, I will keep in 3rd. I figure if nothing else, it will be great practice. Good luck.

  7. We’re first person all the way. I think our voice works best that way. I enjoy reading both though.

  8. I’m a big third-person type. Part of that is because I write romance–it’s important to show both the hero and heroine’s perspective, so third person is generally used. The other reason is that I love exploring other characters, the way they interact with each other, and the way they interpret each other (often completely off of what was intended).

    In fact, most first-person narrative annoys me, and the trend in that direction is frustrating to me and my YA lovies. I know it can be done well (ahem, Graceling, the Hunger Games) but all too often it’s just… not.

    So good luck!


  9. I prefer third, but recently finished one that switched between first and third every other chapter. That was interesting!

  10. I’ve dabbled with both. It’s hard to write in first for me because you have to say “I” but not mean yourself. It’s rough when the character has a totally different voice from you.

    Good luck with it. Hopefully things will smooth out.

  11. I have dabbled in both and decided that I like third much better. My mind thinks in third (except right after reading dozens YA novels written in first). I have a more difficult time making my MC’s voice unique and tend to ramble in first.

    However, I should try to learn how to write in first.

    Good luck!

  12. Thanks everyone 🙂 I’ll keep trying first person–it probably won’t be a final decision until, well, the final 😛

  13. I know of someone who writes automatically in first and does it well. I think it’s something you mostly do naturally. I’m not saying you can’t learn – else why bother writing since we have to learn everything about the process anyway – but I think we all have methods that are native to us. My native pov is third. I suck at first and have no real desire to go there, either. I can put myself into someone else’s body and BE them, but if I try to say “My” in a story, it immediately becomes too personal and I back off of the emotional values the story requires.

  14. I am first person all the way. I wrote my first novel in third for the first draft and it felt distant so I changed to first person and now I can’t/don’t want to write in anything else!

  15. I write in third, but want to try first. I wrote 500 words in first but when I re-read it, I had moments of third. I guess it will take some practice.

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