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Choose which point of view to write your fiction or novel

Updated on June 9, 2010

Deciding which point of view to write your novel can be very confusing. It depends on which you prefer and what type of writing you are doing.

There are three points of view. First, second and third person.

First Person is written: I did something, I said something, I went to the shops. I played football etc

Second Person is written: This is not used very often because the writer speaks directly to the reader. Which would be confusing for a novel.

Third Person writing

Third Person point of view: This allows you to understand the feelings and thoughts of all the events and characters in your fiction novel, as you see inside both the characters heads.  Third viewpoint uses the pronouns: his, hers, she, them and they.

You see what is happening all the time; as the writer describes the reactions of the person as the other character moves about in a room. To do this you can use the words he and she:

Example: he went to the pictures; she slumped into her chair, shocked by the news that Harry had told her; she wasn't impressed that he went without her; he knew that she had lied to her lover; he couldn't take her lies anymore.

Third person writing is particularly great for short stories, or most types of fiction. Because you now have a choice of how or whom, says, sees, hears, senses and feels what or where everything is or will happen.


Omniscient Third Person writing

Omniscient Third Person point of view

When writing in the third person omniscient, you tell the story by a narrator that allows us to see what happens through the eyes of all characters.  You can show how everyone feels, touches and sees the other characters.

To improve your writing in the third person, try this: Try reading something written in the first person. Then try to re-write part of that story in the third person, adding all the things we have already spoken of using the same storyline.  Then write it in the Omniscient Third Person point of view.

You will soon learn how it all works and decide which style you enjoy writing in the best. You can then make up stories of your own using all of the above by using the same formulas.


Changing point of view: Beware of making the mistake of changing your point of view during your writing. We can probably all do this without realising it. I know for a fact that I have and don’t even know, until a helpful person draws my attention to it.

Don't give up, keep trying, and write in whichever viewpoint you enjoy the best, no matter how disappointed or how many rejections you receive.

To improve your writing in the third person, try this: Try to read something written in the first person. Then have a go at writing it in the third person, adding all the things we have already spoken of more or less using the same storyline. Then write another in the Omniscient Third Person.

Above all, keep writing whichever one you enjoy best and have fun at the same time.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      bonny yes I know what u mean, I am still finding articles much easier to write these days.

    • bonny2010 profile image

      bonetta hartig 7 years ago from outback queensland

      good clear advice - i like to write in the first person,but find the third person good for kids stories thanks again for good sound advice

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      dragonbear, thanks for stopping by and reading this. I would read something written by someone else and do the same change which person they wrote it in.

      I gave up on fiction because I could not get my head around all the clauses, conjunctions and correct of doing this and dont do that. I kept stuffing up. So now I just write articles so much easier. I have written a couple of short stories that are up on hubpages.

    • dragonbear profile image

      dragonbear 7 years ago from Essex UK

      Eileen - simply great hub! I've been looking at all the best hubs I can find and yours are certainly up there!

      I've bookmarked this one and will try the methods you suggest. I must say I'm driven towards the third person or the Omniscient Third Person style; I like your idea about trying a piece in each style to see it change. Thanks - a great find!

    • tdarby profile image

      tdarby 8 years ago

      Eileen Hughes--thanks for a great, concise Hub on point of view. Always a tricky subject for me, I appreciate the review and learned a couple of new things. I especially like your advice to not "give up".

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      peggy thank for stopping by and leaving a comment

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Definitely good advice whether writing a book or even shorter articles. Thanks

    • Dame Scribe profile image

      Dame Scribe 8 years ago from Canada

      I have debated on writing a book but least I have a better idea of choosing a style. Thanks Eileen :) Great Hub!