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Should You Use a First Person Narrator?

by | Feb 22, 2016 | Tips For Writers

Should You Use a First Person Narrator?

Using a first person narrator, like any point of view, has its pros and cons. As a newbie writer, it is important that you understand these pros and cons so you can decide if using a first person narrator is beneficial to your novel. Sift through these lists and think about what you want your book’s tone to be. Think hard about your story and whether or not a first person narrator is what you want.

First Person Narrator: The Pros and Cons


The Pros:

• Writing your novel in first person can make your readers feel like they are actually experiencing what is happening in your story. First person is how your readers experience life, so by reading your first person novel, they are getting a sense of reality through fiction.

• With a first person narrator, your main character’s personality is more easily discovered and understood by your readership. They feel connected to your character from the very first page because they are getting to see into the inner workings of your character’s mind.

• There is an immediate sense of believability with a first person narrator. Your readers feel intimacy with your main character right away and most likely will be rooting for them throughout the rest of your novel.

The Cons:

• If you need to explain an event where the main character is not or was not present, getting the importance of those scenes is almost impossible.

• You need to make sure that your main character is really interesting. It seems like a given, but it is extremely important. If your entire novel is going to be seen from this character’s perspective, you need to make sure your readers won’t get bored.

• A first person narrator can lead to the author putting too much of themselves into the novel. Beware of this! Your character is not you—they are your creation!

Using a first person narrator can lead to a really great novel if you use it correctly. After reading these pros and cons if you decide to use a first person narrator, think about using a very unique voice or using a different point of view character for each chapter! There are a lot of ways to make first person work for you, you just have to explore your options. If you need assistance with your writing, contact me at Write One Publications.

NEXT: Should Your Novel Use a Third Person Limited Narrator?

Should You Use a First Person Narrator?