FIRST PERSON OR THIRD PERSON
A question asked often and answered just as many times…
Why do we face such a dilemma every time we sit down to write? Because, it all depends on whose point of view you want. Each will create a slightly different story, both good— but different. How do we decide whether to write in the First Person or the Third Person? They both work. Is it better for the author to look through the eyes of the character? Or should the author tell it through observers, narrators, or something else? Let’s start with the difference between the two.
With FIRST PERSON, you are looking through the eyes of your character, and have access to that character’s thoughts and feelings. Writing in the First Person is more intimate, and you can dig deeper into the character’s personality. Usually this is the main man or woman (the Protagonist). There are times when the person telling the story is an observer; as in the Sherlock Homes novels, that are narrated by Doctor Watson. Sometimes, the character whose eyes we are looking through is not human…like a Dog.
With THIRD PERSON, you, as author, are the viewpoint of the character, speaking through the eyes of the Protagonist. In Third person, you create the events your character must deal with, and how to solve the problems as they occur. You are the Supreme Being; the Creator, the Omniscient, and the one and only decision maker. If there are other characters in your story; once again, you, are speaking and creating the viewpoint, with your words, and actions. Some think it easier to always write in the Third Person.
My Fifth Novella is almost complete, and for the first time I am writing using the FIRST PERSON’s Point of View. I did that because I wanted to allow my readers the opportunity to know my Protagonist, her feelings, desires, goals, and most inner thoughts. When she thinks silently, I use ITALICS so the reader can listen to her private thoughts and reactions, as events unfold. This is done only when the Character is the viewpoint character.
Note: I have not mentioned Second Person writing which uses the Words YOU & YOUR. This is limited in its use. One way is by speaking directly to the audience (an Example, you will find in the FIRST PERSON and THIRD PERSON paragraphs). Other uses are: In Video Games, Self-Help Books and Magazines, Travel articles and Informational Guides.
FIRST PERSON: l/me/my/we/us/0ur
SECOND PERSON: Y0u/Y0ur
THIRD PERSON: He/him/his/She/her/It/its/They/them/their
Happy Writing, Paula