First Person Vs. Second Or Third Person POV

POV Post featured picHave you ever chosen a point of view for your novel, novella, or short story and later realize you’ve chosen the wrong perspective?  Well, a few days ago, that was me. I recognized early enough the story would be more effective in the third person omniscient POV rather than the first-person narrative. Thus, I spent hours backtracking and editing the story, a tedious process, but well worth the effort. Now with a new face-lift, the story is richer in the all-knowing narrator’s voice.


In the first person POV, a character within the story narrates the story directly using  the I/We perspective (I, Me, My, Us, Mine, Myself, Our, Ours and Ourselves), which allows the reader to understand the main character fully, however, the reader is limited to a single perspective, unable to delve into other characters motives, or emotions.

POV Post - First Person 2

POV Post - First Person sentence Hemingway


The second person POV is commonly used in nonfiction. The narrator uses the “You” perspective to talk directly to and pull readers into the story. However, this POV is very limiting and hard to maintain throughout a story and can fail miserably if not crafted well.

POV Post - Second Person sentence

POV Post - Second Person sentence Dr. Seuss


The third-person, limited POV is most common in commercial fiction. The narrator is an observer outside the story, narrating experiences from a single character’s perspective with he/she/it/they pronouns. Unlike the first and second POVs, which brings the reader closer to characters thoughts and emotions, the third-person perspective keeps the reader at a distance.

POV Post - Third Person Limited

POV Post - Third Person limited sentence Katherine Mansfield


Third-person, omniscient POV is told by an external narrator with a he/she perspective. Unlike the third-person, limited narrative, this all-knowing narrator has full access to characters emotional state and relates  not only their thoughts and feelings but also reports and interprets facts and experiences of other characters.

POV Post - Third Person Omniscient

POV Post - Third Person Omniscient DH Lawrence


POV Post - Third Person Omniscient E.B. White


POV Post - Second Person sentence 2

Happy writing!


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