First Person or Third Person?

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This is one of those questions that I see bouncing around WordPress just about everyday. Deciding whether to write in first person or third person.

I’m not going to write this post giving the benefits of either, because I think that’s up to you. But I can tell you what I prefer to read and write. First, reading. I would say that I prefer reading first person, but I think I have more books written in third person. So that preference is irrelevant.

Second, the writing. This is an easy one. Definitely prefer writing in first person. Why? Because I feel as though I’m able to step inside the shoes of my MC and tell the story more accurately. Does that even make sense? I don’t know. When I think of reading or writing in third person I think of a little ghost flying alongside the MC throughout the book (assuming that POV is constant) and that just makes me laugh. I think this paragraph just makes me sound like a crazy person.

But who cares about me? What about you? Do you have a preference for first person or third person when it comes to your reading and writing?

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14 thoughts on “First Person or Third Person?

  1. First person. More alive, active and easier for the character to lead.

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  2. I write so much better in first person. I am more comfortable with what I am writing when I can express without seeming influenced.
    When it comes to reading, I think both work for me. First person is nice because you have a voice and someone to connect to, but third person gives a more story-telling style.

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  3. I’ve written in both, and from my experience, neither is any better than the other, it just depends on the story and how best to effectively tell it. Third person is good when you have a large world that you need to explore, because it gives you more options to use for the overall narrative (such as different POV’s, being able to follow more than one character throughout the story, and different techniques in describing the world the reader is entering). First person on the other hand, as you pointed out, is much more personal β€” more intimate β€” as it does allow both the write and the reader to essentially become the main character and really explore the inner workings of that character β€” who they are and what they believe, and how their own biases and ideals influence the narrative.

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  4. I definitely read more first person, but I feel more confident when I write in third. I think part of that is because of my writing background, and I feel like sometimes I can “tell” the reader too much with first person instead of letting them figure it out for themselves. A lot of people can do first person really well, I’m just not one of them.

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  5. I prefer third person in both reading and writing, but it depends on the story. My current WIP has to be in first person. Similarly, I feel like Twilight should have been written in third. Whatever works best for the story is what I prefer.

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  6. I typically write in third person. My latest project (and NaNo novel) is a first-person affair and I sometimes find myself slipping out. It’s tricky, but fun.

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  7. I used to think writing First person was best, then I started experimenting in Third, and I haven’t gone back. I love it. I love the ability to hint at and foreshadow directly, even if characters don’t know about certain events. And I love the challenge of writing in third person, but through the lens of the character. It’s more fun.

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  8. I’ve always favoured third person limited for both reading and writing. It allows for foreshadowing while still offering some insight into the main character’s head. Given some of the psychological issues some of my characters have I don’t want to go too far into their brains but I do dabble with first person from time to time.

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  9. I like writing in third person. It allows me to explore any avenue that interests me along the way.
    Writing in first person is wonderfully challenging, but also limiting.
    I don’t mind reading any style, provided the story is good.

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  10. I wrote my very first story in first person last year. I think it’s my best story to date. It was a challenge, and I enjoyed it. My current project has too many points of view to come across well in first person.

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  11. While my first few books were in the first person narrative – because it’s from that character’s perspective – my current project isn’t following that. I think the choice comes down to how you want the story told, and if having multiple POVs would work as well.

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  12. My first series (which has yet to see the light of day) was written in alternating first person. Stuff happened that the narrator could not see, so I was forced to switch between perspectives. I kept at that for seven books.

    I have since moved on to third person. I’m always following more than one character, and I can still tell the reader what they’re thinking. It’s way easier, and I’ll likely continue to write like that. However, I don’t see myself changing my perspective on my original set of books.

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  13. I have written in first and third person and prefer writing in third person for the fact that it is easier for me to add different POVs and illustrate the story more. As far as reading, I prefer both–I really do not have a preference. I guess in the end writing in first or third person depends on what kind or style of story one wants to write–does one want to take on the perspective of a specific characters or characters or a larger world perspective–specifically one where the reader can have more flexibility on how to view the story.

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