Limbless K9's picture
Limbless K9 from Oregon is reading Wraeththu November 2, 2011 - 1:14am

Once again the title says it all folks. What is your favorite point of view to write in? Feel free to list authors who use certain points of view well or horribly if you want to. 


For me I find it easier to write in the first person. I feel more attached to my characters that way. I find it easier to use a character's voice when I write instead of my own. 

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. November 2, 2011 - 3:36am

First person for the most part.

I've had a few goes at writing short stories in second person though, and have enjoyed it. Couple of novels that do it well are Bright Lights, Big City by McInerny (sp?) and NOIR by Coover. It's pretty daunting for novels though, probably suits short stories better.

Third person I have a hard time with. Never manage to find a 'voice' when I'm writing that way.


Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound November 2, 2011 - 3:36am

I nearly always write in first person. It's easier. Lots of my stories, especially my characters are exagerations of myself so first person just comes naturally.

I use third pretty much only for stories that involve a lot of action, because I find it easier to describe.

TwistedPaper's picture
TwistedPaper from Poland is reading "The Book of the New Sun" by Gene Wolfe & "Seven Wonders" by Adam Christopher November 2, 2011 - 3:36am

For me it was always a matter of story. Mostly, my theme is transgressive or similar kind so I'm going with first person point of view - as You say, it gaves a lot better feelings / inner states description. Also, I have strong tendency to mix it with second person point, mostly in some dramatical scenes.

When it's a horror or sci-fi story, I like to use third person because it opens a few more narrative possibilities and works for me in better scenery-building. 

writingasgjjensen's picture
writingasgjjensen from Don't Ask is reading A lot. I try to read as much as I can. November 2, 2011 - 4:09am

I like reading in first person, but the book I'm working on now calls for third person limited omniscient.  I like the limitation of watching the person I'm writing about at that time as they react to the other characters and actions. I feel like I've gotten to know them so much better than way.  But I still like to keep it organized as one POV per chapter. I've read the omniscient, where we head jump, and it worked.  But not very often.

I think I would like to write wholly in first person on a different project, but I would have to determine if I want to spend that whole book in that one person's head. Most books make it work.  But more and more, after a few books in the series, it seems a lot are changing to multiple POV's to show us what needs to be told.

The one thing I HATE is changing POV when you've already established one.  It's like someone keeps moving your trampoline.  I have to ask that a character failing, or a plot failing?  Or just a mistake on POV from the writer? 

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian November 2, 2011 - 6:18am

First usually, but I like slipping into third or second sometimes to create a sense of distance if the character is detatched for some reason. Also, mixing up tense is good if you can find a reason and way for it to make sense.

Marius Hjelseth's picture
Marius Hjelseth from the frozen Norwegian tundra is reading Gomorrah November 2, 2011 - 8:57am

I prefer writing in third person, omniscient. I like to keep the door wide open. 

Bob Pastorella's picture
Bob Pastorella from Groves, Texas is reading murder books trying to stay hip, I'm thinking of you, and you're out there so Say your prayers, Say your prayers, Say your prayers November 2, 2011 - 9:01am

For me, it's whatever POV works best for the story, and there's some trial and error involved in that, so it can be a little time consuming.

As for 3rd person POV not being very intimate, or not having a 'voice',  I call bullshit. There are degrees of closeness you can achieve with 3rd person that can be as close as 1st person, PLUS you can switch narrators. The way you write this way is fairly easy, as a matter of fact, the way to do it is mentioned in the sentence right before this one, you just have to think outside the box. Try it and you will see exactly what I'm talking about. Think James Ellroy, like his recent stuff, and you're on the right track.


Mike Mckay's picture
Mike Mckay is reading God's Ashtray November 2, 2011 - 10:16am

Always 1st person. Its easier and better in my opinion. My 3rd person narration is so vague and dull it makes me stop completely.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 2, 2011 - 10:47am

1st person is easier, and cheaper and irritating, to me. I hate reading 1st person most of the time. I've been writing in 1st person a lot lately. 3rd limited is where it's at though.

ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig November 2, 2011 - 11:04am

3rd, limited here, as well. I am almost always telling the story from one person's perspective, but 3rd makes it feel more genuine to me, and helps keep the other characters engaging and makes developing them a lot easier. Like Renfield, I find first person to be cheap and easy, although sometimes it works.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break November 2, 2011 - 11:58am

5th person is my favorite, but I have to be in the mood for it.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 2, 2011 - 12:51pm

Third person limited, hands down. Some people hate writing in 3rd person because it's difficult to capture the feeling of the character, but I don't think that's true. I feel like I have more options in 3rd person than in 1st.

I prefer reading 3rd person limited, too, but that's because characters written in 1st person in YA all sound the same: bitter and beautiful and very eloquent for their age and that's all I've been reading lately.

BUT... for NaNoWriMo I'm writing in 1st person, with a somewhat unreliable narrator, and I'm enjoying it. I also have a plan for the series I want to write after my current WIP, and that'll be in 1st person.

So I suppose it really depends on how you feel the character and story ought to be, but I prefer 3rd person limited. 

simon morris's picture
simon morris from Originally, Philadelphia, PA; presently Miami Beach, FL is reading This Body of Death, by Elizabeth George November 3, 2011 - 6:20pm

It isn't about favorite. It is what does the story need to make it work best. Too many writers try to fit the story to the POV when the editors look for whether the writer picked the correct perspective for that story. Some stories demand first person. The foremost of them is a story written in the present tense in which all the action happens to one person. Some, especially those with multiple focuses and characters that must be followed, scream for third person, limited. The Bible is third person omnicient. And Jay McInerney wrote his only successfuil novel in second person POV. It was probably the only 2-POV novel that ever was a hit and as it turned out, it was because it was one of the few which made sense to put the reader into the shoes of the protagonmist because there was a story, not a character who had to overcome a problem. He drank, he took drugs, he passed out. No Problem. It was the club scene in NYC in the 80s. It was almost like a travelogue for those who wanted to feel what it was like to be in that scene. I was.

Imagine, you walk into a party and you see on the table a dish the size of a salad bowl and it is filled with cocaine. You find $100 bill straws and solid gold razor blades on the table top. You see all the models and daytime drama girls teetering around on five inch heels. If Quasimodo was hosting the party, you would be there. The drugs and booze flow freely and never run out. You can get drunk, high. laid and paid, all in two hours. Is it fun yet?

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter November 3, 2011 - 7:07pm

When I come up with story ideas, I usually end up writing them in first person.  It's just the POV that feels right.  On rare occasions I'll be writing in first person and the story just doesn't seem to want to flow, so I'll usually switch to third person limited and the story fleshes itself out. 

In my university creative writing class I had to keep a journal about the goings on in my life, and at that time I was fucking sick of writing about myself, so I started journalling in second person, which was a really neat experience. 

Cody's picture
Cody from Idaho is reading Sherlock Holmes November 7, 2011 - 2:33am

It's more fun to write in second person simply because it's a rarity and it offers a break between stereotypical first and third person writing; however, habitualy I write in first person because it's easier for me to create truth with what I'm saying.  When I write, "I look across the vast, hopeless desert in vain," I feel much more connected to that sentiment than if I were to write, "Joe looked across the vast, hopeless desert in vain," allowing me to craft a better, more truthful story.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 7, 2011 - 1:14pm

For me, it's all about limiting the perspective of the narrator enough to get the important "events" while forcing the reader to connect and interpret the "story" on their own. Third limited is good, but I have this habit of shifting all the way to first, so that even the "big voice" statements are clearly nothing more than the delusions or opinions of an individual.