Monday, 11 April 2011


My crime novel work-in-progress is being written in the first-person. I. This I believe is usually frowned upon in novels with third-person narrative being the preferred means of storytelling for agents and publishers.

First person narrative is where one of the characters is telling the story from their point of view and will talk from the, I did/felt this, viewpoint.

The most popular and preferred narrative is third person, either third-person omniscient or third-person limited.

Third person omniscient is an all seeing all knowing narrator who informs the reader of things the characters wouldn't necessarily know.

Third person limited narrative however, uses the thoughts of one character to tell the story but in third person tense, so he/she did/felt rather than- I felt.

Though in the main, my work is told through the eyes of the female Detective Inspector, there are scenes in-between the main narrative that is third person limited. This tact is used varyingly dependent on who the scene is focused on and what I want to convey.

My main character can't be in all places all of the time so for added texture - giving a sense of who the villain is- I've opted to use both first and third person. I will see how this works at the end of the first draft but I'm getting a good feeling about it and think it works.

What are your thoughts on first-person narratives?


  1. My thoughts = never tried to write in first person, and probably never will. Having said that I quite like reading novels written in FP.

  2. I can write either or. Which is a bit weird because when a story comes to me the characters start talking in the perspective and that's how I start writing it.

  3. I've not used it in anything much longer than a short story but it seems to me a safe and trusty choice.
    The two novels I've written were both third person, but then there's some peril in trying to judge the right distance from the character that way.

  4. I like both "persons" (or whatever that is called, lol). Which ever makes the book better to read. :)

  5. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Powerful Woman Writer Award.
    Go to and pick up your award.

  6. First person narratives can be very powerful, but they can also be limiting. It really all depends on the story...and the character(s) telling it.

  7. Hey Rebecca ~~ I'm not too certain about first-person narrative because I've read quite a few blog articles that caution against it because of its restrictive nature ? Since I'm fairly new to fiction writing , I will admit that these "well intended warnings" ('cos that's what I think they are), have "put me off" the idea of writing FP narrative . :)


  8. Denyse - I'm really enjoying it and it feels the natural way to write this novel :)

    Patricia - I know what you mean. This feels the way it should be for this novel and it's working :)

    Jamie - It seems to be flowing for this novel so I'm sticking with it. I know the preferred method is third person, but you have to do what feels write for the story and the characters don't you.

    Bethany - Exactly. As long as the reader enjoys it, that's the whole point :)

    Deirdra - Thank you for the award! I will pop by your blog later today :) (I'm just playing catch up before work)

    Bish - That's why I have chosen to throw in some third person character scenes. It feels to be working so far. Lets see how it all meets at the ending! :)

    Mish - I know. I've read them all as well. This novel though, just needs to be told this way and though there are preferences for third person, I really feel this work needs first person, so I'm going with it. :)