First, Second, and Third Person
Published on September 16, 2011 by lahilden | Views: 2291

First Person

The first person point of view is when the narrator uses “I” or “we.”  This may be a secondary character, observing the scenes, or it can be the main character.  This form of writing allows your readers to feel close to your character’s viewpoint, but it also limits your readers, since they are only reading about what one character knows, which can be a drawback.  Example:  The Woods by Harlan Coben.

Second Person

The second person point of view is a narrative mode in which the main characters are referred to by the second person personal pronouns like “you.”  This technique is used but it’s not common in literary fiction.  You often find this viewpoint mixed with other tenses.  Example:  The Orchards by Thomas H. Cook.

Third Person

The third person is a narrative where the narrator tells all the action using third person pronouns, such as “he” or “she.”  Third person pronouns can be omniscient.  Omniscient is when the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters, this is opposed to the third person limited, which adheres closely to one person’s perspective.  Steven King novels are written in the third person omniscient.  Writers often feel comfortable writing in the first person, but writing in the third person allows you more freedom to write your story.


The majority of romance novels are written in multiple third person.  This is a great way to write, and it allows your readers to view things from both hero and heroine’s perspective.  When you change viewpoints, use a page mark or make the transition flawless.