Advantages in Third Person Storytelling

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As a reader of most things fiction, I find that the first person point of view is being used more heavily, especially in YA novels. I am unsure why that is but here is a list of bestsellers told from first person point of view:

  • Twilight-Stephenie Meyer
  • The Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins
  • The Fever Series-Karen Marie Moning
  • The Percy Jackson Series-Rick Riordan




These are a just a few of the books that have turned into movies and are doing well in their respective genres. However what is first person point of view and why is this important as a reader and writer?

First person point of view in storytelling means using “I” for instance: “I grabbed some lunch today and ate in my car.” I am telling the story and I am also, more than likely the protagonist in this story, so you will have a peek at life from my own eyes as the reader. The downside? If I am writing, I am telling one person’s narrow view of things and may not be crafting the story well enough to include other characters and sub plots.

According to Tara K. Harper, who has worked as a science editor for over 20 years says,

For the most part, I recommend writing in third person when you’re starting out.  Why?  Because I’ve noticed that the “I” form to a new writer is like the temptation of the suicide ending–it’s not usually done well when you’re first starting to write.  In first person, it’s easy to be stilted and boring in your delivery.  It’s easy to use too many “I did X” sentence structures.  It’s easy to forget how to include description and emotion; easy to spend far too much time thinking, and not enough time in the here-and-now of the story.

In other words, if you are a newbie writer and unfamiliar with writing elegant “I” forms, it is best to stick with third person writing(using “he or “she”) which has a couple of advantages such as:

  • Being in the minds of all characters
  • Developing various scenes to hint at the unfolding elements in the story

So which form is better?

As a reader it doesn’t matter if the story is in first person or third person omniscient, if the story is well told I love it. Check out what others are saying at about First Person YA Literature.

Harper agrees as well that it doesn’t matter which form is used as long as you can tell the story well. Visit for more information on this literary form.

Which do you prefer to read/write?

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