Many authors enjoy writing in first person point of view, and for some, it can be easier to write this way.\r\n\r\nSome authors, on the other hand, prefer to write solely in third person, and some even prefer omnipotent point of view.\r\n\r\nWhile there is no right or wrong answer, writing your story in first person can make sense for many reasons, a few of which we'll analyse today.\r\n\r\nThat brings us to the question: Can a novel be written in first person?\r\n\r\nThe short and simple answer? Most definitely!\r\nShould I write my novel in first person point of view?\r\nFirst person POV has many advantages. The first person narrative can be recognised by use of the 'I' pronoun.\r\n\r\nFor many writers, it's the easiest POV because of the natural flow of the writing that imitates our normal, everyday way of speaking.\r\n\r\nFirst person perspective is also a brilliant way to bring some attitude, originality and fun to the overall tone of your novel, and a unique voice\u00a0to your character\/s.\r\n\r\nIf you're considering the first person narrative for your novel, ask yourself these questions:\r\n\r\n \tOut of all the viewpoints, why do you want to write in the first person? Do you enjoy it?\r\n \tDo you want to write in a strong voice that is unique to your character? Are you able to distance yourself from the character's voice? (i.e. Does your character's voice mimic how you normally talk?)\r\n \tTake a look at your first person scenes. Do they work from a reader's perspective? What are they lacking? Would they be better suited to a different perspective, like close third person?\r\n\r\nIf you're considering writing your novel in first person, we\u2019re here to give you some pros and cons to help make your decision easier.\r\n\r\nImage via Unsplash\r\nPros of using first person point of view\r\nIt provides direct access to protagonist's thoughts\r\nThis is the most obvious reason to choose to write in the first person point of view.\r\n\r\nImagine writing in your diary. How does it make you feel? You can pour your thoughts into it, whether it be information, secrets, how your day was \u2014 anything. \r\n\r\nThis is the perspective from which your reader will view your story. There is nothing the protagonist will think or feel that the reader will not be privy to.\r\n\r\nWe have a direct line to the character's thoughts. We know their motivations and have an easier time of understanding their core being and why they behave the way they do. And this is all down to framing the narrative through their eyes.\r\n\r\nAn intimate connection is created with the reader and the character, which is why many young adult writers choose to use this point of view (more on this below).\r\n\r\nThink about it. When you meet a new person and learn more about them, hear about their likes, fears, dreams and worries or learn about their bratty younger sibling, you establish a closer connection to them. A relationship is formed.\r\n\r\nThis is the same between your reader and character. An authentic and unbreakable relationship can often be created much more easily through first person narrative.\r\n\r\nThe first person point of view can also create a sense of immediacy, and a more natural, fluid narrative for your reader.\r\n\r\nAnd the best part is that we speak in the first person every day without even thinking about it, so you can really let the words flow as you draft your novel.\r\nIt suits middle grade and young adult audiences\r\nStroll through a bookstore and pick up a middle grade or young adult fiction book. Flip to the opening scene and there's a high likelihood that it will be told in the first person (with close third person coming in as a strong contender).\r\n\r\nSo why is first person so popular among YA readers and authors?\r\n\r\nReaders of this category crave a personal connection with the protagonist. With a first person narrative, your reader will have an easier time of forming a stronger bond and connection with the character.\r\n\r\nThe first person 'voice' is also less filtered; when things happen to the protagonist (breakups, fights, etc.), their voice reports it back like a personal friend, speaking to the reader as though they were right in front of them.\r\n\r\nSpeaking of friendship: the first person point of view allows the reader to feel like they really know the character on a personal basis. Again, this is what readers crave in YA \u2014 someone they can relate to and call a friend!\r\n\r\nKeep in mind that first person narrative is most commonly used in books with only one protagonist\/POV character. Readers will follow one storyline, thereby establishing a stronger connection with the POV character.\r\n\r\nIf you write in the YA genre, choosing first person narration for your novel might be a good place to start.\r\nCons of using first person point of view\r\nNot enough distance\r\nFirst person allows the protagonist to have a more dynamic voice than any of the other points of view. However, it can be challenging for the writer to put enough distance between their personal voice and the character's true voice.\r\n\r\nThe problem with this is that, if you write other books in first person, all of your books will have the same voice and tone, making your writing seem repetitive and stale.\r\n\r\nYour characters could all end up seeming like carbon copies of the same voice, and it will be hard for your reader to relate to each new character as a unique, separate entity.\r\n\r\nAs your reader grows accustomed to a character, they will be able to spot things they wouldn\u2019t say and things they wouldn\u2019t do, so it will be obvious to the reader if your actual voice streams into your story.\r\n\r\nIn order to improve this, it's important to learn everything you can about your protagonist (their personality, words they use, idiosyncrasies, etc.), and infuse your writing with these unique characteristics.\r\n\r\nFrom this exercise, you will learn how they think, feel and react in certain situations, and their natural voice will come bouncing off the page.\r\n\r\nImage via Unsplash\r\nLimited viewpoint\r\nOne common issue that many authors face when choosing first person viewpoint for their novels is the limitation it imposes on the writing and story.\r\n\r\nYou, the writer, cannot share anything from other characters' perspectives (unless you're writing a multi-POV novel). You can only show what the viewpoint character interprets or believes.\r\n\r\nHowever, you can use the character's own thoughts, feelings and observations to drive the story forward.\r\n\r\nDoes the bad guy look a certain way, or give off a certain vibe? While we won't be able to know exactly how they feel unless they explicitly state it, we can gauge their feelings via the POV character's perceptions of the situation.\r\n\r\nAdditionally, there can be less creative freedom to explore the story in first person than with the other most common perspective: third person POV.\r\n\r\nHow about describing how the protagonist looks? Something so seemingly simple is challenging in first person.\r\n\r\nHow awkward would it be if you had to describe how you looked to another person? 'I'm a sixteen-year-old girl with light brown eyes, long, flowing dark hair and olive skin...' Total cringefest, no?\r\n\r\nIn these instances, try using the character\u2019s environment to give hints and clues towards their appearance\/age\/description.\r\n\r\nFor example, if your character is a teenager, they might be wearing leggings and a cozy sweater, a school uniform, or skinny jeans while they rummage through an overflowing laundry hamper for their favourite band T-shirt.\r\n***\r\nWe hope you now have a general idea of the typical advantages and disadvantages of using first person narration for your novel.\r\n\r\nKeep in mind that this list isn't exhaustive; there are still many factors that will determine whether first person POV is the right choice for your novel.\r\n\r\nGenerally, if you are a YA author, you'll find it's common to use the first person narrative so that your reader can establish a stronger bond with your protagonist.\r\n\r\nBut overall, it's about how you feel most comfortable telling the story, and what kind of voice and perspective will serve that story best.