First Person POV


My novel Pecan Hill is told from the first-person viewpoint of Sean Alexander, the protagonist. One of the things I’m busy trying to do in the seven billionth rewrite is to put a little bit of character into the narration as one can really only get in first-person. For this I’m grateful that I finally discovered Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files this year. I can’t help but try to study his writing to try and figure out how he was able to get so much character into Harry Dresden in this form. Every time I put down one of his books, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve just met with a good friend and listened to him talk.

There are many other authors who also write in first-person but in my opinion, none do it better than Mr. Butcher. He uses the character in the voice to reach out and grab the reader and not let them go until the story is done. I’ve read one or two first person narrative like Stephen King’s Duma Key and can’t help but feel as though it didn’t feel any different to a third-person narration except for where the author changed ‘He/She’ for ‘I’. The Dresden Files are different.

I’m hoping to be able to bring as much life into my writing.

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2 thoughts on “First Person POV

  1. I’m mixed in my thoughts about first person POV. I have used it for short stories where the immediacy of perspective and emotion helps give you more bang for a limited word count, but I have never considered writing a long work in 1st POV. I’ve always been of the mind that big stories require multiple POVs and thus, 3rd person limited is my choice. Maybe it’s that the fantasy genre is more typically 3rd person, or its that I just enjoy it more. Although, I did enjoy SK’s Bag of Bones and Duma Key, but his 1st POV does read like 3rd. The entire Twillight series, which I read with my wife and girls is 1st and I can’t imagine that story being told in 3rd. Same with The Host. So, what was my point? Don’t have one. I prefer to read and write in 3rd, but a good story in 1st will keep me reading.

    1. Thanks Mark.

      I have to agree with your views on 3rd person but for some reason, 1st person feels right for Pecan Hill.

      If you want to read great 1st person I’d have to recommend you pick up (beg, borrow or steal) a copy of Jim Butcher’s Storm Front, the first novel in the Dresden Files. He cranks up the volume on 1st person POV, adding so much character to every sentence it’s amazing. It’s the best 1st person I’ve ever read.

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