Is Third Person POV Dead?|Writing Fiction

Just like anything, I’ve come to realize that writing books is a business in itself. At the end of the day we all want to be our authentic selves in hopes that at least one person will receive it positively but it’s also true that we write for an audience. Particularly in the romantic genres, in the last few years I’ve been seeing a lot of first person present tense POVs. I read it but it doesn’t always read well to me, because that’s my preference. Everybody has their own tastes even when it comes to reading.

I’ve asked the question first person vs third person in a couple of writing groups and the group with majorly romance writers and readers favored first person. Recently I read on a blog that reading in first person helps the reader connect to a character better as it reads like you’re inside of the person’s head. The blog also went on to say that when something reads like a chick diary it’s more relatable. While that may be true, authors who write in third person are still successful in publishing. Some of which I enjoy quite a bit, like Nora Roberts, Susan Mallory.

It’s mostly on the indie scene I see first person being more preferable and that’s scary for someone like me who is choosing to go the self-publishing route. I have written in first person, I’ve switched entire books in first person but I’ll tell you where it goes wrong for me.

I spend a few sentences throughout my story noticing things that my characters may not necessarily notice. For instance, my MC who is a guy may not care what the color of a curtain is or the set up of a bedroom. There’s also the self-description thing that makes me cringe. Personally, I find it hard to describe myself or brag about myself and again, not all of my characters care what they look like but I do want my readers to have a feature or two in mind. And I find that reflection thing that I see ever so often in other books is not really my thing.

My writing voice is also not my character’s voice. I enjoy using different words to describe and elaborate on things and I can assure you my main character may not always share that vocabulary. So it’s hard for me to articulate the story that I want in my main character’s voice. I don’t head hop because it’s confusing to readers and even me as a writer. I do focus on one character at a time but just in third person POV. It’s called third person limited whereas the other is called third person omniscient. This I will cover in another blog post so stay tuned for that one.

Lastly, I have been writing in third person POV as early as the age of seven. In school, I had tons and tons of essays to write and I even started writing my own stories so I had time and practice with writing in third person. It’s why it comes more naturally to me as a narrator.

What POV do you prefer and what are the challenges you face? Why is one or the other easier for you?

As always thanks for stopping by. Here’s the link for my newly created Facebook Page if you want to keep up with me there. I always love discussing bookish things with bookish people! Find me on Instagram @bookishkat7

xo Kat



9 thoughts on “Is Third Person POV Dead?|Writing Fiction

  1. I much prefer 3rd person limited, I think it’s how I’ve always written stories and just what comes naturally. I’m not sure why it’s my preference other than I can give more detail about the character than if I was limited to only their perspective and like you say, use different vocabulary that the character might not. Sometimes if I get stuck in a 3rd person story I’ll write in first person for a bit to try and get into the character’s head better which sometimes unblocks the story but then I go back to 3rd.

    I’ve also noticed the increasing popularity for 1st person – especially in YA and often in short fiction – and I understand the reasoning about immediacy for the reader and ease of identification with the character. I’m experimenting with it more now and enjoy it if the character’s voice is strong. It’s a very intimate way of telling a story isn’t it.

    Does it worry me that it’s more popular? It did at one stage as I didn’t feel confident doing it. Short stories are okay but the thought of being stuck in one head for 30,000 plus words is daunting. Prompted to think about it by your post I think that no, I’m not going to let it worry me. I think we have to tell a story the way that feels most comfortable to the story and our abilities. If something isn’t working try a switch but ultimately work with what feels most comfortable.

    Sorry, that wasn’t meant to be so long!

    Liked by 1 person

    • no need to apologize, I love hearing everyone’s take on this. I do write short pieces in first person to get a feel of my characters but to write the entire story from their point of view just doesn’t work with the way I want to tell the story. I agree it’s daunting, and characters tend to get annoying by inserting too much filler. thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The funny thing is I prefer to write in first person past tense and read in third person. Although if the story is good enough I read in any POV, but my least favorite of all is first person present tense it just seems weird to me, although a lot of reader like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wouldn’t worry about the so-called rules of writing, especially when it comes to POV. I almost always use 3rd person, but if someone else wants 1st person, then they should use it. It completely depends on the individual writer. For me, I prefer 3rd person.

    Liked by 1 person

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