Point of view - fiction writing?

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  1. Three-Legged Dog profile image62
    Three-Legged Dogposted 15 years ago

    Hi everybody.  Been hubbing for a couple weeks now, but I'm pretty new to the forums.

    I'm attempting NaNoWriMo again this year (uh.... late start!) and have my ideas lined up, my characters all sketched out, and pretty much the whole plot mapped out in my head.... It's an idea I've had for years and years.

    But where I'm getting stuck is the point of view.  I can't decide if I should write in first person or third person... I've started with both and I can't seem to get off the ground with either.  I even considered doing a multi-person pov and switching between characters to include the other characters who are integral to the story, but not necessarily the "main" characters... but that seemed too messy. 

    I've tried looking through my favorite books to read to see if I have a stronger preference, but honestly, the books I read are probably split equally between first and third person.  So, I guess I want to hear from some other people... When reading fiction, what point of view do you prefer?

  2. Marisa Wright profile image85
    Marisa Wrightposted 15 years ago

    I prefer third person, because in first person I find myself too restricted.   

    When you write in first person, you can only write about what you know as that character - you can only guess at what other characters are thinking and feeling, just as you would in real life. 

    When you write in third person, you're free to move from head to head (so long as you do it with discipline).  That makes it much easier to let the reader know the motivations of each character.  Here are a couple of articles I wrote on Helium about point of view:

    http://www.helium.com/items/450672-poin … characters

    http://www.helium.com/items/440701-tips … ird-person

    1. Three-Legged Dog profile image62
      Three-Legged Dogposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I think that's why I wasn't sure about writing in first person... I felt like I was being too personal, writing only from that character's perspective.  Almost as if I was writing about myself, and the character isn't ME!  I will probably stick with third-person.  Thanks for the article suggestions! I'll be sure to check them out ASAP!

  3. miniplenty profile image58
    miniplentyposted 15 years ago

    Because most of the books I read are third person, I tend to write fiction in third person, but sometimes it's easier to flow when they are in first person, because I'm a very character-oriented writer and like to see those characters tell their own stories, if that makes any sense.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image85
      Marisa Wrightposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Yes that makes a lot of sense - in fact, that's how you should be writing, even if you're writing in third person. 

      If you are writing from a character's point of view you should be completely and utterly inside their head.  You should using their language and seeing the scene from their perspective, just as much as if you were writing "I". 

      A good exercise is to write every scene in first person (acting as that character), to make sure you are really putting yourself in their shoes - then change it to third person later.


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