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Surveys and Quizzes > What's your preferred point of view in books?

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message 1: by Carla (last edited Oct 15, 2017 09:10AM) (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments I thought of doing a poll on FB or Twitter, but I'm hoping to get good results here. What is your favorite point of view in YA books: 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person? I know there are sub categories to those, and you can list those preferences if you have them. I'd like to know why also. Thanks.


message 2: by L.C. (new)

L.C. Perry | 700 comments I like first person because I like being in the main character's head. it also allows more of their personality to come out but lately, I've been liking 3rd person a lot also. 3rd person can allow you to get into the heads of other characters as well and I've been more drawn to that recently. it's kind of why I started writing in 3rd person for my book Gold Shadow, too. It ended up working better :)


message 3: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 141 comments I like the immediacy and intimacy of first person, but like the freedom to roam in third person. I can't actually think of any 2nd person stories. I'm sure they exist, but they seem rare and I can't recall reading any so I can't really comment.

Now, I know this is an annoying response, bordering on a non-answer, but I think it depends on the story. Some work well one way, while some work well the other. I have no real preference beyond that.


CrazyAsACupcake | 425 comments I like 1st person because it makes me feel more involved in the story, as though I am the main character. Also, because I never had many friends growing up, when the main character did anything with their friends, I would feel like it was me doing something with my friends. It sounds stupid and sappy, but it makes sense to me lol.


message 5: by Sabrien (new)

Sabrien Abdelrahman | 6 comments I prefer first person (when the characters are likable), because even if you don't understand why someone does something (like Edgar Allan Poe's short stories) you still understand their thought process.
However, if done well, the third person can suck you in and make you feel just as close to the characters. It all depends on the writing, really.


message 6: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments Sabrien wrote: "I prefer first person (when the characters are likable), because even if you don't understand why someone does something (like Edgar Allan Poe's short stories) you still understand their thought pr..."
Thanks Sabrien.


message 7: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments Tommy wrote: "I like the immediacy and intimacy of first person, but like the freedom to roam in third person. I can't actually think of any 2nd person stories. I'm sure they exist, but they seem rare and I can'..."

Tommy, great answer and not annoying at all. There are no wrong answers. I just hope for lots of opinions to see if one gets more "votes".


message 8: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments CrazyAsACupcake wrote: "I like 1st person because it makes me feel more involved in the story, as though I am the main character. Also, because I never had many friends growing up, when the main character did anything wit..."

CrazyAsACupcake Books are friends and that's why there are so many people on Goodreads. I didn't have many friends except in my imagination. 😀


message 9: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments L.C. wrote: "I like first person because I like being in the main character's head. it also allows more of their personality to come out but lately, I've been liking 3rd person a lot also. 3rd person can allow ..."

L.C. I know what you mean. I end up changing characters in different chapters. In my last book I even wrote through a male's point of view in a few chapters. It was challenging.


message 10: by idiffer (last edited Oct 18, 2017 12:08AM) (new)

idiffer Ooh, I've been really thinking about this one. So definitely first person. Limited third person is okay, and second person is just plain weird and pretentious. Now the "why":
I read books to escape into another life, so the closer some aspects are to real life the deeper the immersion. "I thought" is closer to how we experience the world than "[my name] thought". The operative word being "closER". Third person is often used to share thoughts of other characters - we live only in our own heads. Also first person generally has more thoughts of the character included - in real life we think constantly.
This is why I don't like multiple pov and breaking the fourth wall.


message 11: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments idiffer wrote: "Ooh, I've been really thinking about this one. So definitely first person. Limited third person is okay, and second person is just plain weird and pretentious. Now the "why":
I read books to escape..."


Thanks for your "vote" and perspective. I'm getting good feedback.


message 12: by Guro (new)

Guro I like 3rd person best, I like the chance to get in other characters head. I do not think 3rd person gives you a limit to know the main persons feelings. it all depends on h ow it is written.

I do not know why, but i often get tired of reading a lot of "I" and the 1st person voice often get childish in my head. I just nenver liked it very much. when i was younger i skipped 1st person books on purpose. but agian i have read lot of good 1st person books too later on.
it all depends on the writer


message 13: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (hippiebookworm1995) | 7 comments This is kind of hard for me! Most of the time, I prefer first person (especially in contemporary novels), but if it's a vast fantasy world I prefer third person so I can have a better understanding of how it works.


message 14: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments Katie wrote: "This is kind of hard for me! Most of the time, I prefer first person (especially in contemporary novels), but if it's a vast fantasy world I prefer third person so I can have a better understanding..."

Interesting perspective. Thanks!


message 15: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments Guro wrote: "I like 3rd person best, I like the chance to get in other characters head. I do not think 3rd person gives you a limit to know the main persons feelings. it all depends on h ow it is written.

I do..."

Thanks for your opinion.


message 16: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments idiffer wrote: "Ooh, I've been really thinking about this one. So definitely first person. Limited third person is okay, and second person is just plain weird and pretentious. Now the "why":
I read books to escape..."


I definitely read to escape too. Thanks for sharing your opinion.


message 17: by Tacey Raye (new)

Tacey Raye First person. It makes the characters and story more tangible somehow. It’s also what I prefer to write in.


message 18: by Chloe (new)

Chloe | 226 comments I prefer 3rd person so I can get a better look at the dory as a whole. I think Maggie Stiefvater does 3rd person amazingly!


message 19: by Suzi Evelyn (new)

Suzi Evelyn (suzievelyn) | 1538 comments I think I prefer 1st person more in most cases. It's an easier way to get to know your MC really closely. In my experience, it's easier to get into and not get lost. When the writing's in 1st person, characters and other things are usually explained when they're introduced, whereas in 3rd person books, oftentimes, the names of characters and places are just dropped in with an explanation that comes 30 pages later, which I find frustrating sometimes. Yes, it depends on the author, but, generally, I'm more likely to pick up a book if I learn that it's written in 1st person.


message 20: by R.S. (last edited Nov 22, 2017 09:40PM) (new)

R.S. Merritt | 141 comments First person is great for getting you into the story and for the author who is writing it. It is limiting though as you can only understand other people through the lens of the person the story is following.

It All Started (Zournal #1) by R. S. Merritt

First in a 6 Books series told in a Journal format (first person). Book 2 is free until Nov 26th.

Cruising the 'Poc (Zournal #2) by R. S. Merritt

R. S. Merritt

R. S. Merritt


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahmango) | 44 comments I prefer first person, because it feels more like I'm in the characters head. It feels more casual to me than third person does.
But I do like third person, too. I like it when the author takes advantage of third person to do some dramatic irony (when you know something that the character doesn't). My only trouble with third person is the occasional cases when it's also written in present tense. It trips me out.


message 22: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments I really appreciate everyone's comments. I just finished a James Patterson book, Private, that he co-authored with a woman. He did both viewpoints. Some chapters were first person and some were third person. I'm not sure if I totally liked that, but it would definitely cater to all different POV tastes. I thought there were some kind of rules about switching like that in the same book, but I guess if you are a famous author the rules don't apply. Unless rules have changed and I'm behind the times.


message 23: by Carla (new)

Carla Reighard | 19 comments Chloe wrote: "I prefer 3rd person so I can get a better look at the dory as a whole. I think Maggie Stiefvater does 3rd person amazingly!" I follow @paperfury on Instagram and she loves/obsesses over Stiefvater books. She also wishes authors only wrote in 3rd person, so that puts light on her opinion since her favorite author does that.


message 24: by Danielle's Books (new)

Danielle's Books (daniellesbooks) | 215 comments I don't have a preference as long as it is well written!


message 25: by Dan (new)

Dan Lutts (dan_lutts) | 2265 comments I like third person past tense. The writer has more flexibility with it and can switch among characters. I don't like the first person, probably because it's always in the present tense, which I find intrusive. However, after I get into a book in the first person, I often don't notice the tense anymore.


message 26: by Bridgett (new)

Bridgett Murphy | 137 comments I'm happy with either first or third person, as long as it's past tense. I won't read books written in present tense.


message 27: by Anouk (new)

Anouk Snel I really enjoy first person, and not always, but sometimes the present tense is really fun to read if it’s well written


TheMistressofBooks | 17 comments ooh, it's tough for me. If it's a grating, self-absorbed character I don't wanna be in their heads too long, so third person. BUT if I love the character then I want first person.


message 29: by ☆☆Heather (new)

☆☆Heather (heatherluna) | 139 comments 3rd past is probably my #1 fav


message 30: by gwen (new)

gwen (gwentg) | 719 comments First person, except when the author has several different perspectives all in first person that changes every chapter and it's too confusing.


message 31: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Whitton Definitely first person for YA. POV doesn't matter to me in any other genre. One pet peeve--switching from first person to third person in the same novel. That's cheating in my "book". You can't have your cake and eat it too. You have to commit to one or the other.

And I would love to read something good in second person POV. I'm open for suggestions :).


message 32: by Cadence (new)

Cadence Cavanaugh (cadencecavanaugh) | 35 comments Great question. In my debut novel I actually have both views featured. I'm good with both personally, first or third works well.


message 33: by Hayley (new)

Hayley | 7 comments I like first person POV. I like being able to connect with the characters and see how there thinking. My second choice would be third person, I do not like second person at all.


♦♣ Queen of Faerie ♠♥ (judeduartegreenbriar) | 31 comments I like first person. It feels more real that way to me.


message 35: by R.R. (new)

R.R. Adams | 212 comments This is an interesting question. It depends on the genre and the speed of the book.

Epic fantasy/slow pacing: 3rd person POV
Low fantasy, paranormal, romance etc/fast pacing: 1st person POV

Interestingly enough, I find first person the most difficult to write in (for me).


message 36: by Anu (new)

Anu (ok7a) | 4 comments I think I actually prefer third person. I sometimes have hard time connecting with characters, not that I don't like reading about them, its just their ideas and ways of thinking don't often match with mine and staying in their perspective too long can be really annoying. Usually its not enough to make me hate the book though. Depends on whether the author is focusing more on the plot and the overall happenings of the book or character interactions and character development. Genre also affects a lot. I'm not a writer but worldbuilding at least seems to be harder in first person, because you can't really shove in big Can't say whether I prefer past or present tense, hmm.


message 37: by Anu (new)

Anu (ok7a) | 4 comments Sorry, missclick.
Fixing the sentence incomplete sentence:
*because you can't really shove in huge amounts of expositon about how the world works. Or you can but its harder to incorporate.


message 38: by Michihako (new)

Michihako (michimochi) | 71 comments first person


message 39: by S.J. (new)

S.J. Black (sjblack2) | 4 comments third person always. first person gives me too many flashbacks to wattpad! :(


message 40: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Infante | 16 comments I really like first person. I feel like I connect better with the protagonist and can really become immersed in their journey.


message 41: by Robin (new)

Robin I enjoy first person books.


message 42: by Angelina (new)

Angelina (avirgobookworm) | 7 comments I usually enjoy fist person but I really liked how SJM did third person in the ToG series.


message 43: by Deon (new)

Deon Cantrell (moderndaywonder) | 5 comments I prefer 3rd person, but will definitely read 1st person too. Also, I’m really starting to like books that are from multiple perspectives as well.


message 44: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany It depends on the book. Some books are great in second person, but you know how weird most books would be. I have no preference at all


message 45: by May (new)

May | 576 comments I like books that are in first person that give you multiple views. I also like third person that also give you the thoughts of multiple characters.. but if the book is written well I don't care 🤷🏼‍♀️


Ashi✿TheAvidReader | 474 comments I like both Third person limited and First person POV. I prefer if their are multiple POVs.
Third person omniscient isn't my thing. Characters feel too distant in that.


message 47: by R.R. (new)

R.R. Adams | 212 comments I can definitely agree that third person omniscient isn't very engaging. That being said I don't mind when a story switches perspectives (especially in epic fantasy). But, usually its split by chapter. Some lighter novels should avoid switching perspectives...


message 48: by Dana (new)

Dana (sophrosyne17) | 40 comments I do prefer the first person POV. It allows you to understand the inner working of their minds or the fuel that drives their actions. Although, I prefer having first person POVs of each of the major characters especially the antagonists of the story. It makes them much more tangible and relatable. Sometimes, I even find myself cheering for them :)


message 49: by Ishan (new)

Ishan Deulkar | 9 comments Third person limited with multiple POVs for sure. I love authors who can desribe scenes from the perspective of different characters so you truly get the limited view of how these characters view each other and each pov chapter feels really unique (Kelsier and Vin in Mistborn or anything Michael J Sullivan).

I actually can't stand 1st person POV for some reason and it takes me a lot to get over that


message 50: by julia (new)

julia (no_mourners_no_funerals) | 123 comments i really like both, but i'd say first person for realistic fiction and third person (one or multiple POVs) for fantasy or dystopian, which is my favorite genre. i agree that first person can be quite difficult to read sometimes if you don't agree with the MC's way of seeing things or their opinions.


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