First Person Narratives

I’m not going to use the word hate, because that’s a bit strong, but I don’t really like first person P.O.V. works.

My main problem with them is that you’re stuck in the head of one character, forced to see things through their eyes, with their biases, accompanied by their thoughts and feelings and emotions–and there’s no break from it all.  If you don’t like the P.O.V. character in first person, that dislike can start to color your opinion of the story as a whole because your relationship to the story is through the narrating character.  You can’t get away from them.

In fact, I find that even if I start out liking a first person narrator, by the end I’ve grown sick of them just because I’ve been stuck with them the whole book.

There are some exceptions, of course; there always are, right?  For me, reading diary-type stories (like the Dear America series when I was a preteen) helps a lot, and I actually tend to like those kinds of first person P.O.V. works.  Also, short stories, because then I’m not stuck with a narrator for as long, so I don’t tend to grow sick of those that I like.

But because I know how I feel about first person, I tend to smack myself in the face when I find myself writing it and then going back and finding ways to make the story flow in third person narration.

 

No offense intended to those who read, write, and/or like first person; it’s just not usually my cup of tea.  Anyone who’s got some suggestions of first person works they think I should read to try and change my mind, feel free to give me a holler.

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3 thoughts on “First Person Narratives

  1. Sam says:

    You could try ‘The Help.’ It’s first person point of view, but it changes between chapters so you don’t get sick of any one character. 🙂

  2. […] shape) for drama, main girl as the only P.O.V. character (often first person, which I’ve already expressed views on), and predictable plot lines, often but not always along the world-saving and culture-changing […]

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