First the Worst, Second the Best…

Books, stories and other texts can be written in first, third, and occasionally second person.

Personally my favourite is first person. This is when the story is told from a character’s point of view, using the words I and me. This style of writing ends to help the reader connect more with the character as they live the story through them. Classics such as Great Expectations (Charles Dickens) are told in first person, as are many modern popular novels, such as Twilight (Stephenie Meyer). As both these books have quite character driven plots, this style of writing strengthens them.

Writing in the second person is usually quite rare. It can be seen in the “Give Yourself Goosebumps” series, by RL Stine, where you are the main character and your story is being related back to you. Second person writing can be found in a diluted form in books such as Stolen, by Lucy Christopher, or in any other book composed solely of a letter or letters. The letter format can mix both first and second person perspectives, and usually contain more first person as the writer is more often than not writing about things that happened them.

Very popular in childrens books, stories with action-driven plots, and in classics, is the third person style. This perspective can be found in Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen), the Septimus Heap series (Angie Sage), and in the Harry Potter books (J. K. Rowling). This type of writing allows you to see things happening even when a main character is not present. Because of this, you can build up dramatic irony which is quite difficult when writing in first person. However this style detaches the reader from the characters, and can make the story less emotion-filled.

Which perspective do you prefer when reading/writing?

Check back tomorrow for a post about mixing these different styles together. Also, check soon for a post on tenses in writing, and for a review on the book Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. The hero’s journey post had to unfortunately be postponed until next week.


One thought on “First the Worst, Second the Best…

  1. My favourite perspective is the third person narration because of the things you have written and also because it enables authors to keep things secret from the reader that the hero knows about (like at the end of the Harry Potter 7 when we were told things Harry knew for a while and which could have ruined the ending for us). And also thrird person narration can follow many characters but it can also focus mainly on one character and mediate his or her inner thoughts as well.
    At the English literature class we had to learn all the different perspectives but they are mostly the subcategories of what you have written 🙂

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