1st Person POV


I don’t typically write in this point of view, but some friends have tried it. I typically stick to the third person, but I’ve seen some very good stuff written through the eyes of the main character. That said, most of what I’ve read outside of commercial (highly produced and high quality) works have been done very poorly. It’s not been the quality of the story or even necessarily the writing; I thought about this last week when I came across a great article on the subject (http://www.cayceberryman.com/point-of-view-writing-in-first-person). I think Cayce Berryman really puts a finger on it under the part Your Thoughts vs Their Thoughts.

“If you explain everything to your readers, you’ll likely lose their interest, if not insult them. So what’s the solution? Let the main character be the eyes and ears, and let the reader be the brain… I stared him down, hoping to make my point. “If you ever come near my kids again, I’ll make sure you never see the light of day.” His eyes widened and he backed away in fear. I explained why I stared into his eyes as well as why he backed off. As the reader, you can figure out, for yourself, that I wanted to make a point when I said what I did.”

That seems like a helpful bit of advice if I were to ever explore that POV. It seems natural for us to insert those motivations to 1. make sure our point got across to the reader or 2. because we are used to explaining all sides of the narrative and the lines of this POV get blended when that happens. I think this is what drags down the quality of those stories I mentioned above: we try to engage our readers in that POV, but then begin to silently narrate and push the reader out as we do.

3 thoughts on “1st Person POV

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