I have written a complete book. However, as I was revising, I noticed that what I have in first person does not work entirely. I also noticed that I constantly invade the thoughts of the other character as I look through the eyes of the main character.

Is there a way to transition a whole, complete novel from one POV to another? I am aware that it will most likely not be an easy change.

  • I did the opposite in my book, from close third to first. I'm still finding odd places where I messed it up a little! :o Still, I think it was worth it. Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 19:09

3 Answers 3


I think once you start, you'll know if it's the right decision. I would say start doing it (in a new file in case you change your mind) and see how you feel about it. When I was questioning whether to switch my story from past tense to present, I started doing it and loved it immediately. It changed the pacing and it just felt right. Changing perspective is a bigger task, but I don't think writers should be afraid of big changes. If it's going to make your story better, it's worth the rewrite.


The story might still work better in first person and you can fix it can stay that way.

You could rewrite the parts where the narrator seems to know what other people think and make it clear that s/he doesn't, really, because the characters make it plain by their later actions that they did not think that all.

Or you could, instead, have the other characters betray their emotions in an obvious way such as tone of voice or mannerisms, so that the narrator can pick up on their actual thoughts or emotions. you could even make the narrator a body language expert or something like that to justify his/her ability to read people.


You're right, it isn't. Changing a novel from first to third person doesn't just involve slapping the name of the viewpoint character on instead of I, and changing a few minor words. Sometimes, a scene in a novel has to be rewritten in order to accommodate for the shift.

I wrote a short story once, and about halfway through, I realized that while first person was a great way to convey a few scenes with heart-racing action and fast-paced scenes, that was only two or three scenes. After making the switch to third person, I realized that I had to throw out half the short story... So, the issue ended up being resolved, but the lesson for me held true.

I hope this is helpful, and not just me ranting.

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