Tag: Point of view

Bookish Question #121 | What’s your favourite point of view?

What’s your favourite point of view? First person, third person, or doesn’t point of view matter to you?

Let’s start with a couple of definitions:

First person point of view is when the story is narrated by the viewpoint character, and uses the “I” personal pronoun. For example, here’s the opening of Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass by Heather Day Gilbert:

"The first time I saw Stone Carrington the fifth, I had a snake wrapped around my neck."

We soon find out (if we hadn’t worked it out from the title) that our narrator (“I”) is pet sitter Belinda Blake.

Third person uses “she” and “he” (although there will be the occasional “I” in the dialogue). It’s much more common. Here’s an example from An Agent for Kitty by Nerys Leigh:

First Line from An Agent for Kitty: She'd lost her mind. That was the only explanation.

We soon find out that the narrator is Kitty Denton, who wants to become an agent with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

I know some publishers—and some readers—don’t like first person.

Personally, I love it. I love the sense of immediacy first person gives, the way it takes me straight into the mind of the main character.

Having said that, third person can do the same—if it’s done well.

Third person can range from a distant point of view to a very close (aka deep perspective) point of view. I’m a definite fan of close third person. It allows me to get inside the heads of the main characters (as in An Agent for Kitty), to see what they’re seeing and feel what they’re feeling.

What's your favourite point of view? First person, third person, or doesn't point of view matter to you? #ChristianFiction #BookishQuestion Click To Tweet

What I don’t like is badly written omniscient point of view. Done well (e.g. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), it’s fun. But for every Douglas Adams, there are dozens or hundreds of writers who are writing bad omniscient which reads more like third person with headhopping in every other paragraph.

So while I like third person, I love first person. What about you? What’s your favourite point of view? And why?