I have been thinking about this post and what I should write about. I was trying to come up with something when I came across this picture by a great friend of mine, Zeeshan Sattar. Then, it occurred to me. Point of View and Perspective of a story.
Point of View is whose point of view the story is told and whether it’s in first or third person. First person is more limited because you can only see what one person sees and only know what that one person thinks. Whereas with third, you can have two or three characters’ points of views and see more of your surroundings. You aren’t limited to thinking one thing about something. You’re given many different options on how to feel or see the surroundings.
On the other hand, first person point of view puts you right there in the story. You can feel what the main character is feeling such as love or hatred. Sadness or happiness. Fear or elation. Third person can limit you actually being the “I” in a story.
I have been debating with this for my second novel. The one I am currently editing titled, “Read Me Dead,” was in third person having four different points of view in it. It worked, but reading over it, I thought it would work better if it was in first person.
Being a YA book, I felt like I needed my readers to connect with the main character more than they needed to connect with the killer, her brother and ex-boyfriend. Although their perspectives are important, hers is more important. I had to sit there and think about just who this story was about. It wasn’t just about her being chased by her parents’ murderer, but it was also about her journey through the pain of her parents’ murderer and how important her friends are to her survival and not just in the physical way. They help her through her emotional pain as well. So, as I established, I want my readers in her head more so than any other character. That’s how I came to the decision of first person POV.
I usually write in third person because with third person I can describe more. I am loving the first person more and more, so I have moved that first person over to a series of books I’m writing. Another YA series. (Be prepared for vampires. Something new for me. :P) However, I have noticed that most YA books are in first person, and I’m starting to understand why as I write in that genre.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not pushing first person because I love third person just as well. It’s all about what point of view you feel your story/novel/poem needs to be written in. After studying different points of view, I have come to that realization. It’s all about how you want your written world to be seen. The decision is ultimately yours of course, but you, as the writer, have to decide how your selected readers see through your characters.