How do I know, when I'm writing, which perspective I should write in?

I almost always write with a 1st person narrative because it makes it easy to get great immersion in with the characters. Is it always okay to write in 1st person?

In a piece of fiction writing, how do you know which perspective to use?

5 Answers 5


I would say work around your strengths. 1st person narrative, compared to 3rd person, requires a lot of dialogue. You can explain a lot of expressions in 3rd person narrative that would otherwise require you to convey by dialogue. And conveying silent emotional situations in first person is not easy.

Imagine yourself writing different emotions; see what you are comfortable with. Seeing the nature of your question, I assume you have just started to explore writing; I would suggest 3rd person.

Once you get in touch with your inner genius and voice, you won't need to think what voice to use.

1st person or 3rd person is not the only choice you have to make.

You refer to the word "perspective", it's more of whose (which character's) point of view you want to use. You can choose to tell the story from the perspective of either of the two lead characters, or both. You can always mix 1st and 3rd person, and character point of views in the same piece of fiction. Just make sure it feels natural and doesn't confuse the reader.

Good writing requires a lot of effort to write and none to read.

  • I've only really started to explore 'extended' writing. I've been writing poems and short stories for about 2 years. Thanks for the answer, it really helped. Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 19:36
  • Great, as you have a hold of poetry and style I am sure you'll find treasure on your exploration. The best part of wiring long fiction is you can pour out everything, create worlds altogether. All the best.
    – Akash
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 2:43

Use whatever you think will work best for your story. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote all but two or three of the Sherlock Holmes stories in first person, from Watson's perspective, and you see the longevity and popularity of those works.

There are benefits and drawbacks of any perspective, but no blanket rules. No one will think it's a problem if all the stories you choose to write are in first person. You may get people suggesting that a story might be told more effectively in third, but that's a function of your story, not some arbitrary writing requirement.


I would suggest that you take a subset of your story and try both and let the story tell you which perspective is best suited for it.

All stories can be told in both perspectives but not all stories should be told in one or the other just because. I myself mull over the idea for a bit before I progress and if I am confused I certainly do the afore mentioned exercise. It not only helps with selecting the ideal perspective but also helps with the detail I can put into a scene later on.


I would agree with the answers above. It all depends on what you feel more comfortable with as a writer. If you think your story would be better suited in third person than go for it! As stated above It's a good idea to test your story in both narrative's to decide which flows easier. Just make sure in whatever narrative you use that you state everything clearly and in detail, in first person I've found some description to be a bit harder than in third person. Once again! Do what your comfortable with always :) Hope this helps.


Thanks everyone for your answers!

After reading them through, I tried some things and found out what helped me settle into the first person.

- Rewriting the story in different perspectives

After rewriting the story, I found that in 3rd person the story didn't flow well, and it was harder to distinguish exactly who the main character was.

- Strengths

In the past, I've written plenty of short stories in different narratives, and I have certainly found that I am able to make a more emotional connection with the character and reader if I write in 1st person, as I can really get inside their head and think exactly what they would think.

- Technical reason

There is a theme of depression and anxiety early on, and a lot of thoughts the character thinks to himself until things really get going. I found that instead of having to write "he thought to himself" or whatever, it was so much easier to just do it in 1st person as it helped me avoid that similar sentence structure.

- What do I think in conclusion

In conclusion, I think you should base the narrative of your story based off the answers above certainly, but, I think it also depends around what you think would be better. Also, think of if its hard to distinguish which person is your main character, or if it's too hard to convey how a character is feeling in 3rd person.

Also take into consideration your own strengths and weaknesses, and base your ideas off them to create the best work you can create.

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