First-Person Narration — Strength and Weaknesses

There’s a big formal choice that affects everything, even from the first sentence of your book. Something you have to consider seriously, and commit to before you put digital ink to digital paper, because changing it later will be the biggest headache of your writing career. It’s a difficult choice to make: third-person or first-person.

I have written all my books in first-person. I tried third-person, I just couldn’t get a handle on what my voice was. Was the narrator me, or was it a new narrator-me? Who even am I? It didn’t go well. Then, inspired by Raymond Chandler in my case, I tried first-person, and it unlocked everything for me. So, if you’re thinking of making that choice, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learnt.

Getting the reader’s sympathy

Lack of jeopardy

Monocular vision

Dramatic irony

Practical advice

An earlier version of this article appeared on Cheekypee Reads and Reviews

Author, film nerd, proverbial Brighton rock.