I know there's 3rd person etc... but can a story be told from a secondary character's POV? or does that never happen and would be useless? I want the story from the girl's view, but i really want the story to revolve around the guy.

1 Answer 1


Yes, the narrator can be a secondary character.

The beautiful Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is about the warrior Achilles and his life, but told by his lover Patroclus.

The Great Gatsby is told by Nick Carraway, almost a tertiary character in the love story between Gatsby and Daisy.

All the Sherlock Holmes stories are about Holmes, but almost all are narrated by Dr. Watson.

(Although if I might interject... why, why, why are you having a woman as the narrator if the story "revolves around the guy"? Why can't the woman narrate her own story? Why isn't her story interesting enough to tell?)

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    Why, why, why does Doyle have Watson as a narrator, if the story revolves around Holmes? Why can't Watson narrate his own story? Why isn't his story interesting enough to tell? – @LaurenImpsum Why do you automatically view the fact that a man's story is told from the perspective of a woman as oppressing the woman? Maybe your feminist reflexes are a bit too high strung. Can you not imagine that a woman's view on a man's life might impart interesting and relevant information both on his life and personality as well as on her own?
    – user5645
    Jul 15, 2015 at 6:30
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    @what Your questions are legitimate. Why isn't Watson's story interesting enough to tell? Why don't we ever find out what happened to him in Afghanistan? And for the record, Firebird may well have an excellent answer for why s/he wants to tell a man's story with a female narrator -- but I'm never going to know if I don't ask. I wasn't posing those questions as rhetorical. Jul 15, 2015 at 10:15
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    The reason Watson narrates is because Holmes is so stunningly brilliant that if he were to narrate his own stories he'd come across as a narcissist and readers wouldn't warm to him. It's okay for Watson to talk about the "singular gifts by which [his] friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes was distinguished." But if Holmes were to tell us about his own "singular gifts" we'd probably find him quite sickening. We don't hear Watson's story because it's not the story Doyle wants to tell. And perhaps that's what the OP is doing. Sometimes to avoid an amazing MC coming across as a narcissist you need a Watson.
    – GGx
    Jul 17, 2018 at 12:25
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    Have you read Ready Player One? I spent the first two thirds of that novel wanting to stick my fingers down my throat at the MC going on about how brilliant he was and how he knew every computer game ever devised, ever film ever made and the lyrics to every song. It's a classic example of a brilliant MC coming across as a narcissist and making him extremely difficult to warm to.
    – GGx
    Jul 17, 2018 at 12:28
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    Absolutely. Fitzgerald couldn't have created the enigmatic, rich and handsome Gatsby without Nick. The Nicks and Watsons of the literary world may appear to get overlooked but these brilliant MCs cannot exist and be loved without them.
    – GGx
    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:41

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