by Luana
(Zabbar, Malta)

Question: Is it better to write in the character's 1st POV or 3rd POV?

Answer: There's no "better" or"worse." Each mode has its own benefits and limitations. You may have need to experiment with both modes in order to find out what feels right for your story, what creates the most fitting effect, what relationship you want to have with your reader.

First person is more personal, more intimate. Use it when you want the main character to be telling the story directly to the reader, as if the reader were the character's best friend or confidant. It lets the main character communicate his/her philosophy or unique outlook to the reader. It's also a more subjective perspective, because the main character may not perceive things accurately all the time.

Third person is a little more objective. It is a story told by a narrator who is not a character in the story world (i.e. you, the author). Third person lets the narrator see the character in ways that the character cannot see themselves. (For instance, it's a lot easier to describe the main character's appearance in third person.) It makes for a more reliable narrator.

Third person can also make more sense if you want the main character to die by the end of the story, since a dead character has a hard time narrating the ending.

Check out this article for a bigger discussion of this issue...


Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero