Nathan Bransford posted a blog entry regarding "First Person versus Third Person". While this is a topic that been under discussion since cave men first started writing on walls, it is still under debate.
Overall, I prefer the 3rd person pov because if I don't have enough in common with the main character in a 1st person pov, I can't empathize with that character and I'm already left out of the storyline from the first pages.
That said, if the 1st person pov is someone I can empathize with, then the story becomes more personal. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen as often. I read for escapism. I like the adventurous, dangerous life of fictional characters probably because I don't live that way thereby making it harder to read from the 1st person. As much as I would love to be Lara Crofts, James Bond or Indiana Jones, I'm not.
This ideology may account for my reduced reading of YA novels in the last 15 years. No, I didn't suddenly become an adult, but I could no longer identify with protagonists in the video age with cell phones, absent parenting, and a mall lifestyle.
I think mass reader identification is the key to whether or not to use 1st or 3rd person pov. Ask yourself, "Who is my audience? Who is going to read this book?"
June 28, 2011 11:28 AM