Should I write my novel in first, second, or third person?

I am leaning slightly towards first person but have found recently that writing in third leaves room for more characters to be introduced easily. What do you think?

1 Answer
May 2, 2016

Which is your focus, the action of the story or the thought processes of the characters?


Not that this is your only choice, but... Does your novel have more in common with Beowulf or Catcher in the Rye?

Generally, stories are about extraordinary people or extraordinary circumstances. A story about an eccentric person ordering lunch can be riveting (either from his point of view, or of another character watching him) and this would make for a good first-person narrative.

A story about an uncomplicated person person coping with an earthquake or a war would do well to focus less on the protagonist's thought processes and more on the big picture, and this is done with third person.

You have other possibilities, of course, but the stories of an offbeat character in offbeat times might lack the contrast that makes a story riveting, and an uncomplicated person in mundane settings is barely worth considering. You might as well write the adventures of a houseplant.