Should I write in 1st person POV or 3rd?

Question: I do not have much experience in 3rd person POV, but it seems a bit harder because you have the limited and omniscient types. The majority of novels nowadays are being written in 1st person POV (e.g. The Hunger Games, Lorien Legacies...).

But the thing is, that I'm writing a fantasy novel, and I realised that all famous fantasy novels are written in 3rd person POV (e.g. Harry Potter, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings..).

Which one shall I choose?

By choosing the 1st person POV I have the choice of changing narrators, and even write in present tense.


Answer First, the reason so many fantasy novels are in third person is because most novels of all genres throughout history have been written in third person. First person has become more popular in recent years in young adult books, but third person is still quite acceptable.

Third person, omniscient narration has fallen out of popularity, in place of third person, limited, which is now the gold standard of narrative modes.

I believe the shift away from omniscient shows that readers have become more interested in subjective rather than objective accounts, which also explains why first person narration has become more popular, and why use of present tense is also on the rise (in present tense, the narrative voice has no objective understanding of the history of the events).

I should point out that it is perfectly possible to use present tense when writing in third person, limited, and to use multiple point-of-view characters.

However, you are also free to use first person narration in fantasy, if that creates a more interesting voice.

You should never feel that you have to slavishly follow the example of books that have come before. Readers and fans of a genre do carry certain expectations, but they also have a desire to see fresh, new approaches as well. It's how you balance the two that matters.

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