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...


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