First Person POV vs. Third Person POV

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Point of view is important in a story and can’t necessarily be avoided. The point of view can be told in a bunch of different ways, more than just first, second, and third person. Point of view can be told through an object or an idea. Something tangible or intangible, just like how “death” helped to narrate The Book Thief, a Holocaust story and astonishing movie.

Each point of view contributes something to a story and the view in which you select can tremendously impact the writing process and outcome. Picking the point of view should take some length of consideration. It is not a “snap of the fingers” decision.

Second person POV is the least common and to be honest, it isn’t a point of view I am looking to use. However, since day one of my life-long writing journey, first person was my default. Using the word “I” in regard to my characters and being fully inside their mind felt natural. When I took a step outside of my writing comfort zone into third person point of view, it became a little scary and rocky the first few attempts. It felt odd and strange all at the same time. In that moment, writing felt somewhat foreign.

Months later, to my surprise, third person felt as natural as ever. I might even consider it my new default.

What does third person attribute that first person doesn’t?

For one, you are able to juggle multiple plot lines and character crises better. The main character doesn’t have to always be around those who are experiencing something, accelerating the story. Instead, there is much more freedom in having characters do what they want and be where they want. It allows the characters to tell the story rather than you.

Also, the reader and writer is able to explore and dive into multiple minds. It sort of makes the story more diverse. We can listen in on conversations through the mind of every character we come across. We are able to know, understand, and relate to the emotions and feelings inside all characters. This is what makes books so relatable.

All in all, the creative freedom multiples from first to third perspective.

Switching the point of view was one of the most significant changes I made after writing the same book eight times. On the ninth time around, I swapped to third person, finding it to be one of the best choices I made. Stay tuned for Thursday’s blog post in which I share about my book writing process.

Basically, out of all the writing tips and advice I have self-taught myself over the years, mindfully selecting the point of view is massively important and dictates the entire story.

Also, just because you have written one or a consecutive amount of books or stories in a particular perspective, does not mean you have to be consistent. It’s okay to write five stories in first person and have the next three in third, before switching back to first and then trying for second. Taking on a new style is important and beneficial for writers. It can also make your audience excited and eager for what’s about to come next.


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