Writing In The First Person vs. Writing In The Third Person

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Of any point of view, I like first person the best overall. With that being said, many of my favourite books are from the third person point of view. I’ve written both in first person and also in third person. I don’t think one is any better than the other, though they each offer their own unique viewpoint into the story. The first person allows you to be right next to the protagonist and see everything from their own unique perspective. In a way, you become them as you read the story. The third person point of view allows you more of a bird’s eye view, or distant view, where you’re watching the protagonist interact with the other characters.

Once someone told me that his definition of a good writer is someone who can write a story from multiple perspectives – and do it well. I can see where he’s coming from and each person’s idea of a great book will be different. For stories that have multiple protagonists, such as Game Of Thrones, the third person perspective usually makes the most sense. I will say the stories which gripped me the most were in first person point of view, and maybe for me that’s what the best writing is – the ability to hook someone and make them care about a fictional character within a couple of pages.

I’ve sat back and thought about why I’ve written all the different perspectives in my books rather than sticking with one trend. It’s been very random. Each story is different and is meant to be this way. I think it depends on my mood at the time that I write the story. I don’t really think too much about how I’ll write it and instead, I just start writing and see how it goes.

I’ve tallied up all my stories just for fun to see which tense I seem to write the most often:

The Peasant Woman – Third person past tense

Shepherd Girl – Third person past tense

A Seahag’s Song – First person present tense

Marie – First person present tense

The Suicides – First person present tense

The Pup & The Pianist – First person past tense

Voice Of A Story Teller – First person present tense

The Broken & The Foolish – First person past tense

Write To Survive – First person present tense (Poem form)

Sally – Third person past tense (Multiple character perspectives)

She & The Wolf – Third, second, and third (Flash fiction compilation)

Eve & Adam – Third person past tense (Multiple character perspectives)

The Red Coat & The Redhead – First person past tense

A Season To Fight – Third person past tense (Multiple perspectives)

I’ve definitely written more stories in the first person point of view though the third person point of view is up there, too. I’m actually shocked with myself that Shepherd Girl wasn’t in first person, but I think I originally intended to have multiple perspectives then realized I wanted it from her own point of view. It’s cool how it all worked out. It’s nice to have a mix of perspectives and tenses. It adds some diversity to your writing and it can attract different readers, as well.

I hope you enjoyed my post! What perspectives do you prefer to write in?


  1. I generally go with third person, but my latest project is first person, present tense. Not something I’m used to, but as you say, it gets you closer to that person. When I sent my second chapter to my writing group someone said that I shouldn’t be writing about a blind character if I’m not blind, but I disagree. I think as long as I research properly, there is no reason I can’t do that. I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, especially where my writing is concerned.

    • That’s very true! I like that you stick with what you want to do with your writing. It’s definitely more authentic that way. It’s super cool you’re writing about a blind character. I’ll definitely want to read that one. 🙂

  2. I guess it definitely depends on what you’re writing like you said. Sometimes the third works well, but for ‘deep’ topics, the first works like a charm.

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