Does anyone else have a “signature” point of view that they write in? And do you have trouble writing from any other POV? I certainly do. I tend to write from first person limited POV, and it’s extremely difficult for me to write a story in anything other than that. I have written a grand total of ONE good story in a non-first person POV (it was 3rd person omniscient), and it was extremely difficult for me to write. So today, I’m going to talk about why I’m so in love with being the narrator of my stories through first person POV, as well as some of the problems I run into while using it.
First person point of view is perfect for me because I’m a psychological writer. I like to get inside the mind of my main character and see what makes them tick. I love writing from the perspective of just one particular character because they have a unique look at the people and events of the story. I like not knowing what other characters in the story are thinking…it leaves me in the dark as much as the narrator. For all intents and purposes, I AM the narrator. I’m inside the narrator’s head, I see what he/she sees, feel what they feel, think what they think. Aside from what they experience, I have no idea what’s going on elsewhere in the story. I’m usually as surprised by plot twists as the narrator is, actually, because I get so wrapped up inside that character that I have no way of reaching out to my other characters. I can speak to them but I can’t get inside their heads. It’s fascinating and makes my own work as new and exciting to me as it is to the characters in the story because like them, I have no idea what the hell is going on. From a writing perspective, I become the character who is narrating the story, at least in my head. It also makes everything feel more realistic. In real life we don’t see what everyone is thinking and we don’t have control over how others act. First person POV is great in my opinion because it is just that one character…one set of thoughts, one set of actions. It makes the writing process either, at least for me. Jumping to any other POV is difficult because they tend to either overwhelm me with the thoughts of more characters than I can handle or just shut me out from their heads completely. It’s very disorienting, really.
Of course, first person POV can be extremely frustrating for me as a writer because I do have only that one perspective. If my
narrator isn’t present at some event, I can’t talk about it in the story unless one of the other characters mentions it. I have to stay with the narrator through the whole work no matter how much I want to go see what’s happening with Rachel, Sam, or any other random cast members. It’s also a little annoying not being able to tell what everyone else is thinking at times. Character development can be really hard when you can’t see anything past what your narrator sees. Still, those quibbles are rather minor compared to the overall picture.
Simply put, first person point of view is AWESOME. I love it. I get to narrate all my own work in a more personal way than most writers get to. It’s a little more realistic, it’s fun, it’s exciting, and it keeps me on my toes, so to speak. It’s not for everyone, but it definitely works for me, and that’s what I tend to write in 99.9% of the time. I’m the narrator, and it’s a fantastic job.