I'm an author, but recently I started this book, but I had to put it on hold it's a Nigerian/American book and mostly I write in 1st person's pov but I'm thinking if I should write the book in the 3rd persons pov, and I've never written a book in 3rd POV but I feel most people prefer 3rd persons pov and I really dunno how to do that. And 1st pov is easier for me soooo I need advice, which should I do

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    Based on the information you provide, you should stick with 1st-person POV because it appeals to you and is easier. Don't worry about pleasing imaginary people with general format decisions, focus on your story and what it means to you. This question will probably be closed as a duplicate since this is a common question we all ask when starting out, but don't worry. Read the linked question's answers. Maybe you will find helpful answers.
    – wetcircuit
    Nov 20, 2018 at 20:04
  • Yes. Because the answer is to write it the way that pleases you. Either 3rd or 1st person works well. I've seen 2nd person and it's usually dreadful.
    – Cyn
    Nov 20, 2018 at 20:51
  • @Cyn which is not to say that there isn't excellent 2nd person (The Fifth Season comes to mind). But it's hard, and usually done poorly as a consequence. Nov 21, 2018 at 1:19
  • I think this question is opinion based and cannot provide a singular right answer. Both perspectives are fine for their own reasons. Just pick one you like and give it a try. And since you prefer 1st pov, I would say begin from there. Or try both and compare. You cant really go wrong. Nov 21, 2018 at 8:27
  • It's worth noting that First Person POV is actually very popular right now. I certainly wouldn't cite audience tastes as a reason to avoid it. Nov 21, 2018 at 17:25

4 Answers 4


I think you should


To find out what works best for you, you'll have to try different approaches. I always thought I was a pantser, but now that I have outlined and written a novel, I never want to discovery write again. Same for viewpoint. I've been writing from first person perspective for years, but now I have written the first book in third person and while I needed a few weeks to really get into it, in the end it worked so well both in writing and as a final result, that I'm happy that I attempted it. And of course I'll go back to writing first person if the story demands it.

So just try it, if you feel that your story could do well with third person perspective. And if it doesn't work, or if it isn't for you, then you have learned something that will help you write better books in the future.

Have the courage to learn to write, and don't expect of yourself to write your masterpiece right away.


First of all, I've never come actually met anyone who has said that they prefer to read 1st or 3rd pov.

But to answer your question, if you're better/more comfortable with 1st then you should probably stick with 1st. However you might find that the story needs to be told in 3rd. For example, I started to write a story in 3rd person limited, but found that it was better told in 1st person, and have since committed to finishing my first draft in 1st person.

Additionally, because you've never written in 3rd, then you should try writing the first draft, or at least a variety of writing exercises in 3rd person to expand your skill as a writer and to get at least somewhat comfortable with actually writing in 3rd. Before you chose between any two (or more) methods, you need to be sure that you can use both methods with at least some degree of ease/familiarity and or be willing to commit to gaining the skills needed to use the chosen method.

  • I prefer 3rd, I won't even read a 1st person novel.
    – Amadeus
    Nov 20, 2018 at 21:40
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    @Amadeus You are missing out, especially when it comes to ensemble first person, it reads nearly the same as third person limited.
    – Ash
    Nov 21, 2018 at 14:17
  • @Ash I am sure I miss out on a lot! I have about two hours to read per day, and could likely find stuff I want to read to cover eight hours per day. I might as well read what I like best.
    – Amadeus
    Nov 21, 2018 at 14:37
  • @Amadeus Yup I know that feeling, I could do 16 hours a day in front of a book easy if I had the option; as it is I get the bit before I fall asleep if I'm lucky.
    – Ash
    Nov 21, 2018 at 14:40

I personally only write in 3rd person limited (3PL), and recommend it.

In 3PL the narrator can describe settings and feelings, thoughts and memories of the MC at considerable length, without seeming phony. To me, doing this in 1st Person seems unnatural; no real person goes on about such descriptions in their head, but we expect a narrator to do it.

Also, every book I love is written in 3rd Person (not necessarily limited, not necessarily focused on only one character). I don't think I've ever read a best selling 1st Person novel; if they exist I'd bet best-selling 3PL novels far outnumber best-selling 1st Person novels.

I recommend 3rd Person unequivocally; and my own work is always 3PL. To me it is what I expect; if I pick up a novel in a book store and the first word is "I", I put it down. I think that style inevitably grates on me because I didn't do any of this stuff, and I know I am supposed to be reading as if somebody is telling me a story, but that's not how it comes across. I prefer a clear distinction, I am reading about what Merlin did, or what Harry Potter did.

As for "how to do it", learn by example. Pick up a best-seller by Stephen King and see how he does it.

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    One very important point is the excess of description only works in 1PP if the POV is very attentive. Sometimes you need the character to be oblivious of something but the reader needs that tidbit of information to understand the plot. 3PL solves this. Nov 21, 2018 at 12:30
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    @Mindwin True. I also feel that, realistically, we just don't notice things we have seen all our lives; and to write a realistic character in a fantasy world or sci-fi world, it feels wrong to have them mentally reviewing and describing things in that world that everybody in that world already knows (but the reader may not). As if, in a modern tale, I wrote a page for readers describing what a "taxi" is, and how all that works. The character would take all that for granted, and be thinking of something else. But in 3PL the narrator can spend time world-building and it seems natural.
    – Amadeus
    Nov 21, 2018 at 12:40

Yes and then again no, there is no one answer to this question, write using whatever perspective gets your point across. Usually it's a good idea to pick a perspective and stick with it throughout a given narrative but even that is not an absolute necessity. I've read a good deal of work that uses multiple first person POVs with the occasional piece of third-person-limited where the narrative steps back from the personal and gets bigger picture for a passage.

While you're drafting POV and tense are not essential concerns; get the ideas on the page worry about lining everything up when you go into the editing phase. Also note that it is often easier to translate first person passages into third person scenes than the other way around when you do come to editing.

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