First person vs. Third person

It’s not uncommon for arguments to cook between writers on First-person vs. Third-person. Aside from the various narratives in each category, these differences of opinion occur because they are convinced one is better than the other.

I believe in plot-driven stories. Which means I center my narrative on the story and not the characters needs. I delight in reading both, even though I prefer a Third-person. Especially Third-person Omniscient at that (Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Elie Wiesel, Philip Pullman, etc…). It is a shame that these days, this style of composition is determined out of fashion. (I like old fashion stuff!) Unless you are successful, established and a published bestseller, this method of writing most likely won’t land you a publishing contract. That said, not impossible if you are gifted at writing Omniscient.

I write in Third person Limited Omniscient. The most universal known example of this is the Harry Potter series. However, I switch point of view more times than JK does.

Let’s have a quick glance at the fundamental differences;


Looking at the above chart, it’s apparent the differences are vast and explains why First-person narratives are so in. To put it this way, With First-person, you are the character. Your emotions link with theirs, and you see the story unfold as if you were part of it.

This fits with today’s society I think. Everybody wants to live as part of a story. We are trained to accept actors, singers, business people, etc… are characters we want to be. We want to be them, not like them.

Third-person though, gives you an overview of the story. Permitting you to search for clues in the story and even create a desire to warn the MC (the main character) for the evil oncoming. We don’t want to be them. We desire to be able to do what they can. A complete different impact while reading.

Both are excellent ways to tell a story. When deciding what fits for your novel it depends on what the focal point of your story is. Is the journey/ Growth of the MC is the main plot? First is your gal of choice.

The plot is the drive behind your novel and the MC’s need to adapt. Then Third is your gal to dance with.


To become better at writing the advice is to try all styles. It will give you different tools, exploring beyond that what you enjoy most.

Knowing that I challenged myself by starting on a horror short story (4000 words) in first-person. I hate every Which is precisely why I need to do this.

May we fight in peace, #JustMyPointOfView

3 thoughts on “First person vs. Third person

  1. I have wondered about this often. I tend to go for third person, but not sure about O niscient. I need to try that one.


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