Points of View Perspectives

Narration is the use of a written commentary to convey a story to an audience. Narration encompasses a set of techniques through which the creator of the story presents their story. This is through a point of view perspective. It is a way that shows us the opinion or feelings of the individuals involved in a situation.

There are three types:

The first person:

It is when “I” am telling the story. The character in the story is telling the reader what happened through his/her/their experiences directly.

Books that are written in this perspective:

  • To Kill A Mockingbird (told by the six-year-old Jean Louise Finch)
  • The Lightning Thief (told by Percy Jackson)
  • Moby Dick (told by Ishmael)

The second person:

The story is told to “you.” This POV is not common in fiction, but it’s still good to know (it is common in nonfiction).

Books that are written in this perspective:

  • ‘Bright Lights, Big City
  • Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
  • Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy D&D adventure books

The Third person:

There are two way to write this…

  • The limited approach: The story is about “he,” “she,” or “They.” This is the most common point of view in commercial fiction. The narrator is outside of the story and relating the experiences of a character.
  • *The omniscient approach: The story is still about “he,” “she,” or “They,” but the narrator has full access to the thoughts and experiences of all characters in the story.

Books that are written in this perspective:

  • Harry Potter (written in limited)
  • Lord of the Flies (written in omniscient)
  • Little Women (written in omniscient)

Which do you think is better?

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Which do you use in your writing?

  • First
  • Second
  • Third (limited)
  • Third (omniscient)

0 voters

Which do you want to try out in your writing?

  • First
  • Second
  • Third (limited)
  • Third (omniscient)

0 voters

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I tend to go for omniscient but use it in limited ways, making sure to always focus back on my main character after a chapter or so of exploration. I feel it works nicely for setting nd worldbuilding without needing to halt the story for exposition!

But I love reading stories in first person too :eyes: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series is awesome

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My problem is that I’m quite terrible. Seriously though. I feel like I always try to aim for limited but veer off and end up doing omniscient. SIGH!

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I usually use first person in my stories, but I have used third omniscient before. I’d like to try third limited, and maybe second.

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Personally for me, first person had always been the easiest. I like putting myself into my character’s shoes and it’s easy saying “I”. Surprising not a lot of people feel the same! Sometimes though if I want the viewpoint of someone else, I’ll just let the reader know by at the beginning of the chapter by saying

“Jeremiah”

As a header. Rarely I use this though.

But writing in second person seems interesting :thinking:

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I normally use the first person perspective for longer stories and also reading books with that perspective

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Bump!

All the perspectives are really interesting. I feel like 2nd would be the hardest to write in, since it’s most uncommon and it’s weird to dictate other people’s actions.

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I never liked using first person because I start to think that I am the main character :joy: It’s fun tell stories within the story in first perspective though. Maybe a reason as to why I don’t like to write in first perspective that much is that the main character has to be pretty observant and to get more detailed descriptions of places and other characters. I mean, I took the same way to school for three five years and still don’t know the names on the shops I pass lol. Maybe unnecessary info, I don’t know.

I like stories with limited approach but changes between characters. Maybe that counts as omniscient then :nerd_face:

Btw. most of what I wrote are just assumptions, I have to write a lot more to test my theories.

I mean, when reading I like any perspective as long as the story is good. I just never chose to write in first person in school when we got to choose. :woman_shrugging:t2:

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When I was younger, I used to write in first person all the time. These days, I think it’s weird and just write in a third person perspective.

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Interesting! Do you know why you think it’s weird?

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It’s because I prefer to be outside of the story instead of immersing myself into it. All the stories I’ve written in the first person never went further than one or two chapters.

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Oh I see, yeah I feel the same about the immersing thing

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I agree, I find it weird too. I feel like I’m writing it about myself and then I find it difficult to write for the story.

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I find third (Omniscient) the easiest because sometimes I just get lost in what I’m writing. This way I still have control over my work and editing the work won’t be too hard.

I’d like to try second person because I’m not familiar with it and it’s an interesting POV.

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Love your reasoning for using it.

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I believe they’re all tools. None is inherently ‘better’ - they’re just better at different things. More specifically, third person perspectives are superior ‘universal’ tools. They work well with many kinds of writing and allow you to do a lot of things. Which is why so many people swear by it, I believe :slight_smile:

By contrast, first person is a specialised tool. It allows you to build a sense of intimacy between your narrator and the audience. Third person feels like someone is telling you someone else’s story; first person feels like someone is telling you their story. You’re there with them, they’re talking to you about themselves.

First person isn’t really good at anything else, and it imposes a lot of limitations on you. I know readers and writers who dislike it because it imposes more emotional investment, too. That’s why I think third is more viable in many cases - if you don’t need that sense of character intimacy, it’s better to use a toolset that gives you more options :sweat_smile:

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WOW! I love this answer, thank you!

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I should connect this to that anonymous writing post that was asking about making a story from certain perspectives.

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Yes, that’s a good idea.

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