Point of View – First Person or Third?
Before you begin writing a story, you must first decide which perspective you will use. First person, as I discovered too late, is limiting, or more appropriately, challenging. You are telling the story from your own point of view, and the other characters’ thoughts and feelings cannot be told—except through their dialogue.
The third person point of view, or as some call it, the Omnipotent Observer, is much easier, and gives the writer more freedom to include ALL the characters thoughts and feelings.
When I began writing Keechie, I was telling my own story from my childhood, and had no idea that it was going to develop into a full-length novel. Had I known from the beginning, I would never have chosen first person perspective for my writing debut! I didn’t know the problems I was about to face until I needed to include something from Keechie’s perspective. Then I realized that I could not have known what she was thinking. I finally got around the problem by making a chapter division and switched to her point of view for that chapter.
Another trick I incorporated was to have the first person character (me) READ a story to his daughter, which allowed a change of perspective, making it effectively a third person point of view.
Notice that I haven’t mentioned the second person point of view. I have researched and studied, and have reached the decision that I will never understand it, nor will I ever use it. (At least not while I’m in my right mind!)
Read the first chapter of Keechie to get an idea of first person perspective.