The Voice in Reading-Why I Love Writing in First Person

  1. First person is an intimate voice. It allows the protagonist to share his or her innermost thoughts and feelings with the reader in a way that’s impossible with third person. Because the protagonist is telling the reader what the other characters in the novel don’t know, an intimate connection is made. Much like the bond between best friends or a husband and wife, it’s forged by shared secrets and experiences and leads to a deeper, more insightful relationship.
  2. First person is an authoritative voice. The reason most readers enjoy reading a story in first person is the same reason jurors enjoy hearing directly from witnesses in a trial. The words of a person who saw something, heard something, or experienced something carry weight. The protagonist in a story told in first person knows about the story; the words are weighty words.
  3. First person is a natural voice. The voice of first person is natural because it’s how we all think. We talk to ourselves in first person. We say, “I need to go to the store. I really like her. I love this apple pie.” Thus, whether we read or write in person, it’s a comfortable way of looking at a story.
  4. First person is a character-driven voice. Writing or reading in first person inevitably leads to seeing the full spectrum of at least one character, the protagonist. However, because the protagonist is having dialogue with other characters, thinking about the characters, describing their actions, it allows the other characters to be fleshed out in the story in a more well-rounded and meaningful way.
  5. First person is a simple voice. As soon as the reader begins reading a story in first person, the focus of the story becomes clear-it’s the protagonist. When a story is told in third person, this may not become evident until much later in the story. With first person, the perspective is well-defined and uncomplicated.

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