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    So, for my WIP, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between 1st person and 3rd person. I’m gonna choose one to stick with when I go back and edit, but I’d really like to choose one to write the rest of it in and I’m having trouble deciding which one. I think I write easier/better in 1st, but I’d really like to write in 3rd (for a variety of reasons). However, I feel disconnected from my main/POV character when I write in 3rd. Do you all have advice on what POV to do, or is this more a character development problem? Thanks all 🙂

    Feel free to disregard any and all writing advice given. It's mostly just my opinion anyways.


    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
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    @waterlily Hmmm… Good question. Is this for the sci-fi NaNo you were talking about? 🙂

    If you do first person, then you can basically get a full-on view of what the character is thinking. So you’re more inside his/her head, seeing what (s)he is seeing, feeling what (s)he is feeling. But that also means that the movement of the reader is restrained. It would be illogical to jump from character to character if you’re doing a first person POV.

    Whereas in 3rd person, while you could understand what (s)he is thinking as the author writes about it, it also has more of an observant feel than a personal feel. Like you’re watching him/her doing things, say, from the other side of a TV, while still being able to read her mind. But it also loses some of the personal feel, and potentially makes the main character very subtly more mysterious.

    Of course, the “observant” and “personal” feel are in both points of view (first and third person), but the personal feel is stronger in first person, and the observant feel is stronger in the third person.

    So do you want the reader’s perspective to be more observant (watching his/her every move from a way off) or personal (directly seeing and experiencing everything (s)he sees)?

    I don’t know if that helps. And possibly it makes no sense. I guess it’s just the way I see it. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

    Did I miss anything?

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    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Dekreel.

    Pronounced DEE-kreel. ENFJ -T (with a hint of ENFP)
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    Sam Kowal
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    @waterlily @dekreel


    I struggle with the same thing sometimes. I can’t decide whether to write in 1st or 3rd limited.

    Before today’s books, most stories were in  3rd person omniscient, so you could kind of see the story from every character’s point of view. And now, especially for popular YA, 1st person is king.

    Of course, the only thing that really matters for you is what you like better and how you want your story.

    If you’re really focused on making the story and what’s happening in it good, you might want to go with first if that’s most familiar to you so you can write in familiar style and focus on other things besides the writing. On the other hand, the more you practice writing in 3rd it’ll get more familiar.

    If you’re gonna be switching character’s point of view, I would definitely go with 3rd, it seems far easier to seamless switch between characters in third. (I have read books that switch characters and a 1st person POV, though. It helps if you have a marker at the beginning of each chapter that says whose POV it is)

    But, if you’re disconnected from your character in 3rd, I would either try to fix that, or switch to first. You don’t want to be disconnected from you character in the story.

    You should be able to put a character in 3rd and not feel disconnected, though, so maybe you just need to get more used to it.

    When I’m writing I just go for whatever’s natural, so I’d probably do 1st. But if you have reasons that you want her/him in 3rd, then definitely try that too

    And plus, you’ll probably figure out what you want as you keep writing the story


    *Giarstanornarak tries to melt chair*


    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
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    @waterlily @dekreel and @sam-kowal have some good advice. There’s also more than one way to do a third person pov. There’s omniscient point of view, as if the author is God who can see and know everything, hear and read everyone’s minds. That can be confusing to read if it’s not written well. An author who pulls it off successfully would be John Flanagan.

    Then there’s limited third pov, where you concentrate on one person and what they feel and think. I don’t think third pov is ever going to be as close and personal as first, but that doesn’t mean readers won’t enjoy it.

    I’m not sure if this is making any sense, my thoughts are kind of all over the place at the moment. 🙂

    INFP with an army of origami cranes and a sabre from Babylon.


    Grace H.
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    @waterlily I would like to point out that if 3rd person doesn’t go too easily for you (as you said 1st person is easier and more natural) then using 3rd person may make the writing process more stressful than it should be.

    If you’re telling the story from a single protagonist’s view, with no other POV’s, I know first person tends to work well for that.

    Of course, this is your choice to make 🙂 Hope this helps!

    It's g-h, 2-4-6-8 twice, three 9's


    • Rank: Chosen One
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    @waterlily This is a tough question, but I’ll try to be as helpful as I can.

    Obviously, you want to write the best story possible, and if first person works better for you, that’s a good sign first person might be the best choice.

    However, I would offer some balancing points. Sometimes writing in a tough POV can be incredibly helpful. I personally wrote in omniscient for over two years, only now to discover that I’m actually better at deep 3rd. However, I doubt I would be able to write deep 3rd quite as well if I hadn’t picked up some very helpful lessons while writing omniscient. Omniscient was hard, and therefore it grew me as a writer.

    It might be the same for you. Maybe pushing yourself to write really well in 3rd will develop just the skills you need to hone. I can’t say for sure. It’s just a possibility.

    And don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you decide to write in deep third. Most of us use that I think and could lend some pointers.



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    @waterlily This is something I struggle with too! Writing in limited third makes me feel so detached from the characters, which is hard for me to push through since I’m so character focused when I write. Though I want to learn how to write in deep third to expand beyond what I’m comfortable with now.
    I think @dekreel nailed it though! I would decide whether losing the advantages of first is worth using third to you.

    And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.


    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
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    Well, I’d respond to this, but @dekreel already did and nailed it. I’m struggling with this in my WIP, but I’m not quite to writing yet, so I don’t think I need to worry about it?



    • Rank: Loyal Sidekick
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    @dekreel Yes, it is 🙂

    @dekreel @sam-kowal @seekjustice @gh24682468999 @daeus @introvert_girl @that_writer_girl_99 Thanks for the advice, everyone! I’m gonna try my hand at 3rd deep. Got any tips?

    Feel free to disregard any and all writing advice given. It's mostly just my opinion anyways.


    Sam Kowal
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
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    @waterlily Hmm

    Probably not any that would be super helpful, but I guess, A) experiment with writing in 3rd and play around with what you like, don’t worry about having to revise stuff if you don’t like it, B), get to know your character really well and develop their personality so that you can write him/her easily and not wonder “What should they do here?”


    *Giarstanornarak tries to melt chair*


    Ashly Vye
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    @waterlily       I personally writing in third person, giving the character thoughts in italics.  I think third person is best because you can describe what they look like, what other things look like, and what something feels like.  Other things as well, but in first person, the reader thinks that something looks or feels like something as an opinion.  In third person they think of it less as an opinion and more of a statement, with the end note of “In [name]’s opinion, the [item] looked more like a [something else] than an [item]”

    Sorry if this doesn’t make much sense.  I’m listening to a book and typing at the same time (I make no sense ^u^ )

    WARNING!! My bad metaphors will boggle your mind.

    Website: To Be Created 😉


    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
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    @waterlily Hi! you may have gotten all the advice you need, but I thought I’d put in a link for some articles on helpingwritersbecomeauthor.com.




    Hope this helps! 😊

    "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen." -Martin Luther


    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
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    I know that Bleak House is weirdly in both 3rd and 1st person but then again that is Dickens so… Maybe you could post an extract of both and see what people like?

    "Come out from them and be separate says the Lord." 2 Corinthians 6:17

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