The debate of whether to use a first-person or third-person viewpoint in fiction has been around for years. Each point of view has its own advantages and disadvantages.
First-person fiction is told from the point of view of the protagonist, using first-person pronouns like “I” and “me.” The reader experiences the story through the protagonist’s eyes, thoughts, and feelings.
Third-person fiction is told from the point of view of a narrator who is not a character in the story. The narrator can be omniscient, meaning they know everything about all of the characters, or limited, meaning they focus on just one character’s thoughts and feelings.
Both first-person and third-person fiction have their own strengths and weaknesses. First-person point of view can make readers feel more connected to the protagonist, but it can also be limiting because we only know what the protagonist knows. Third-person point of view gives us a broader perspective, but we may not feel as connected to any one character.
The Benefits of Writing in First-person
In first-person fiction, the narrator is a character in the story, and we experience events from this character’s perspective. This can create a strong sense of connection between reader and narrator, as we feel like we are right there alongside the protagonist, experiencing everything firsthand.
This close connection can be beneficial in a number of ways. First, it allows readers to more easily understand and empathize with the narrator’s feelings and motivations. We can see things from their unique perspective, understanding why they act and react the way they do. Additionally, first-person narration can make for a more immersive reading experience overall. When done well, it can make us feel like active participants in the story rather than passive observers.
Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks to writing in first person.
The Benefits of Writing in Third-person
Third-person narration is one of the most commonly used techniques in fiction writing. There are several benefits to using this point of view, including that it allows the author to show rather than tell the story, and it creates a more objective narrator.
Showing rather than telling is done by providing readers with access to the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story, not just those of the protagonist. In first-person point of view, on the other hand, readers are limited to learning about events only as they are experienced by the narrator.
Another advantage of third-person narration is that it creates a more objective narrator. This is because the narrator is not personally involved in events and can therefore report them without bias.
Why Some Writers Prefer First Over Third
There are a few reasons why some writers prefer first-person fiction over third-person.
First, first-person allows for a more personal connection with the reader, as mentioned before. The narrator is telling their own story, so the reader feels closer to the character and can empathize with them more easily.
Second, first-person point of view can be more intimate than third person. It allows the writer to really delve into the thoughts and feelings of the main character.
Lastly, it can be easier to maintain suspense in a first-person story because the reader only knows what the narrator knows. This creates a sense of unease and anticipation in the reader as they wait to find out what happens next.
The Drawbacks of Each Perspective
There are a few drawbacks to writing in the first person. One is that it can be difficult to maintain objectivity. When the narrator is also a character in the story, their personal biases and feelings can distort the events that they are recounting. This can make it hard for readers to trust the narrator and to understand what really happened.
Another issue with first-person point of view is that it can be limiting. The narrator can only know what they themselves saw, heard, and experienced. This means that readers won’t get any information that the narrator wasn’t privy to. In contrast, a third-person narrator can give a more complete picture of events by including details and thoughts from all of the characters involved.
Finally, first-person narratives can sometimes feel overly confessional or intimate.
There are also a few potential drawbacks to writing in the third-person perspective. For one, it can be more difficult to establish intimacy with the reader if the story is told from a distance. It can also be harder to create sympathy for the protagonist if we’re not seeing things from their perspective. Additionally, it can be tricky to maintain consistent points of view within a single story if multiple characters are being followed.
In conclusion, it’s up to the writer to decide whether to write in first-person or third-person point of view. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. First-person point of view can give the reader a more intimate look at the characters’ thoughts and feelings, but it can be difficult to maintain objectivity. Third-person point of view can be more objective, but it can also make it harder for readers to connect with the characters. Ultimately, it will depend on the story that the writer wants to tell which point of view will work best.