5 Reasons to Choose First Person Narrative

Stories are usually narrated either in the first person (I, me, we) or the third person (he, she, it, they). Neither is right or wrong; they are just different. The choice is yours!

Girl walking across a bridge

In this creative writing tip, we’re going to take a look at five reasons you might choose to write your story in the first person.

Reason 1: Your protagonist may have a particularly interesting voice. For example, Harper Lee wrote to Kill a Mockingbird from the viewpoint of a child. Scout has a fascinating viewpoint to share with readers, which has a big impact on the way the story comes over.

Reason 2: If you are writing a diary-style story, writing in the first person is the obvious choice. Louise Rennison wrote the extremely successful Confessions of Georgia Nicolson in the first person – Georgia is a strong character with plenty of opinions and shocking revelations, which she freely shares with readers. Readers can feel as if they are privileged confidants, which is great!

Reason 3: Writing in the first person can bring us much closer to the thoughts and feelings of your main character. If your readers are likely to strongly identify with your protagonist (age, sex, interests, background and so on), you might choose to write from the first person. This will bring your readers so close, they could almost be that person.

Reason 4: If your story has one main character who dominates your story (an action hero who saves the world single-handedly, for example), you might like to write the novel from their point of view in the first person. This can be good fun, especially if readers can ‘see’ beyond what the protagonist actually says!

Reason 5: We are used to telling stories from our own point of view, so writing in the first person can be a good choice for beginners. If you have never written a novel before, but keep a diary, or enjoy writing letters, writing in the first person might be an excellent starting point.

Trust that helps! See you next week, when we’ll take a look at some reasons you might wish to write your novel in the third person. 🙂

Janet Wilson from Write for a Reason and Dernier Publishing


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