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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

What Is Your Favourite Point Of View?

I am almost 6,000 words into my third book and I am finding it easier than ever to write. I don't know if this is because it's my third piece of work and I am better because of the practice I've had writing my previous two books, or because it's a complete work of fiction. But I have noticed all three books have one thing in common - they all have the same point of view (POV).

I have noticed during the time I've been writing seriously that most books are narrated from a third person POV. Of course, POV depends a lot on the genre of the book as some POV's are better suited to books like crime and chick lit.

I've always preferred the first person POV because I feel more connected to the book. You feel as if you have been let into someone's life as the style of narration is so personal. I've always said for my first two books I wanted the reader to feel as if they've met a close friend who they haven't seen for a while and they spend that time having a good catch up. I wanted my readers to feel like they're in their friend's house, having coffee with them while they have their feet up.

But first person POV isn't suited to everyone and every book. A lot of writers say that this style of narration is very limiting because the reader only gets to see what's inside one character's head. First person is written from the protagonist's POV, so it's always their take on the story. You don't get to see other people's opinions.

I think the majority of writers like their readers to really know all of their characters so they use third person POV. I think this POV is maybe best suited in giving an all round balanced view of the story.

So what is your favorite POV? Do you use different POV depending on the type of book you are writing? Do you find some POV's easier to write than others?


  1. It depends what I'm writing - some pieces need the first person, others need me to stand back a bit. All are tough in their own way!

  2. Hmmm...I'm writing a book now that I'm using first person in and find it very easy to write. I usually use third person, however, there is going to be some third person in this book, for the rest of the characters involved. I wonder how do-able this will be? It sounds fine to me when I read it, but maybe that's just me. What do you think?


  3. Hi Jo,
    Good point you make there. It does depend on what genre you're writing. Obviously you can't write a memoir in third person.

    Hi Sunni,
    I've heard of quite a few people who are doing that - I believe it's common in the indie world. However, I must say I have never read a traditionally published book like that. Maybe I'm showing my ignorance as I'm sure there will be a few about but I have yet to read one.

  4. Hi all,
    Good topic. I sometimes get so involved in my characters as my writing goes on I forget what the first chapter was. 1st vs 3rd. I have gone back and used both first person POV and then find I am writing third person POV. When that happens I have to sit back and take a good look at what it is I am trying to deliver. I get confused and need to look at it from all angles. Am I alone in this trait?

  5. Try writing in second person. It tests you and make you think differently. I write flash fiction pieces in second person and it makes them stand out. I don't think I could do a novel this way.

  6. Co-sign! Great topic!
    Most of the time, I write in the 3rd person because it's the easiest. And sometimes I get a little self-conscious when I write in first... either because I'm not sure if the character is worthy of telling the story or I'm self-conscious about whether it'll sound too self-centered, too ego-centric with all the "I's" and "my's" and such.

    I think the best way to go about it is figure if your narrator is worthy of illustrating first person, if they have something legit to say or the story can only really be heard from their POV.
    And if there are a few prospectives you want to get in, it might be better to do 3rd person so you don't have to eliminate all but one perspective. One could remedy this by having multiple narrators, but so far, I have no luck with that :-P one day I'd like to try, though

  7. Hi Jackie,

    Thanks for your comment. I think it's interesting how every writer has their favourite POV. I find first person the easiest and that's probably because I enjoy reading first person POV books. If you have a favourite style of reading I think that's always going to be your favourite writing POV too.