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Dr Rissy’s Writing & Marketing

FIRST OR THIRD PERSON? FICTION OR NON FICTION?

FIRST OR THIRD PERSON? FICTION OR NON FICTION?

FIRST OR THIRD PERSON? FICTION OR NON FICTION?

Some might say that a first-person point of view over the third-person is a weird preference when it comes to fiction. Publishing companies are no different when it comes to this preference, especially if they prefer to publish non-fiction writing.

We mostly focus on creating amazing works of fiction. However, that doesn’t mean that we shy away from exploring new boundaries. There are many ways to experiment with subjectivity and objectivity in fiction, but what is the best approach to either?

Writing in first-person is a great way to make your stories feel more personal. If you want to connect with the audience in unexpected ways, the first-person singular – the “I” in your story – allows you to do that.

Third-person is better if you want your narration to be as factual as possible regarding the world you build and the characters you develop within them. However, you have to sacrifice some of the personalization you need to feel closer to your protagonist’s subjective experience of your world. 

No matter which way you go with your use of point of view, remember this: Successful and compelling works of fiction always create an unforgettable relationship between the characters and the readers. The safest way to do this would obviously be to focus more on the first-person point of view than the third-person.

However, we will never suggest that you refrain from using any other point of view in your fiction writing. Many fantastic books have switched back and forth between first and third-person points of view in order to have the best of both worlds. Simone de Beauvoir’s 1956 novel, The Mandarins, did exactly that – and it won the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary award at the time. Some authors, like Chuck Palahniuk, make sparing use of the second-person – which is a very aggressive, yet very fitting stylistic choice for a book like Fight Club.

It is so interesting to see various authors approach the problem of subjectivity and objectivity in the ways they do. Every time an author succeeds, it helps our team draft, revise, and publish without limitations! 

Let’s open the conversation to the rest of the floor! Which point of view you prefer? First person or third? What do you find useful about either of them?

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