I am deciding between First Person and Third Person (and inclined towards First Person)

One of the limitations of the protagonist is that he is a poor communicator and this impacts his relationships.

My question is - how can the protagonist, who is a poor communicator tell the story that will be a fine narrative? how can I the author who is actually writing on behalf of the protagonist distance myself from the protagonist. Author is a great story teller, but protagonist is not.

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2 Answers 2


How is his communication poor? Like, he has trouble sharing his emotions, or he actually has trouble with words?

Either way, you can probably make it work. If the guy has trouble sharing his emotions, you may be looking at someone like Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye) who tells the reader what's going on but doesn't seem to have a lot of self-knowledge about exactly why it's going on. He's also telling the story from a time in the future, so he's got slightly more perspective on it all and that might help a little.

If the character has trouble with words, you're going to have a bit more of a challenge, but it's still not impossible. You can write in dialect (like Trainspotting and others) if the character is verbose but not in conventional English, or you could try to really simplify your writing, like Charlie at the end of Flowers for Algernon.

So, totally do-able, but will require some thought.


do this: make it apparent that though the protagonist may be a poor communicator, but isn't a poor thinker, only has trouble getting his thoughts across. then, using narrative cast subtle shadows of distinction between what s/he is thinking and the actual dialogue. your readers will be riveted!

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