Home Discussion Forum First or third person? ?

First or third person? ?

Okay I love to write; it may sound kind of nerd-ish but I don’t care. If you’re going to stereotype me then don’t bother answering. Anyway – I’m starting a new story – called le petale de rose.
I don’t know whether to write in first or third person.
Anyway if you want to read a bit of my last story (which is in 1st person) here it is:
I know there’s a lot of grammar and punctuation issues – it’s still got to be edited.
Anyway here it is:
I’m only 13
I cared not to delve into business that was not mine to delve into however it was obvious that the Cohen case had improved, my father now walked to work with a skip in his step, and a whistle as opposed to his usual despondent frown. A kiss was deposited upon my small cheeks every-day before he left eagerly for work. And so arrived the 12th of September. The day of the Cohen’s court case. My father was up at the crack of dawn, racing around the house frantically, he held small sheets of yellow tatty paper, which curled at the edges with hoariness. His writing was scrawled all over them. On a rare inattentive moment on my father’s behalf I caught a glimpse of them. Desperately inquisitive as to how the case was managing I attempted to read; the illegible hand writing refused to make it easy for me, and much to my annoyance I had to give up. At around nine Father left, running back only to plant the kisses he had forgotten earlier upon our heads. Upon my asking of how Father managed to go through all these cases without shedding a single tear he told me that when he left for work he left his heart in our hands, asking us to look after it for him until he returned.
Chapter 3
My father returned from the Cohen case with remorse abstracting his face. He did not wish his heart to be returned that night, I was to keep it for him, until he wished to redeem it. The case had not gone well, not only was it not going my father’s way but there were people there, a certain type of people, people that sent controversy everywhere they went. Tall men, it seemed apparent to my father that they all dressed the same, in long coal black jackets that trailed down to their ankles, and shiny boots. However I knew this to be untrue, my father, ironically went against his cleverness and did not administer to his usual inclinations of scrutinizing every detail about a single person, instead he seemed wary, reluctant to discover the truth surrounding these people. He began to eat, not even bothering to check what he was eating. After his meal he rose from the table and declared that he was going to bed. Slowly after me and Orli followed.
Orli was talking to me as usual, her normal sparkle returned at long last to her green eyes; she was talking about the Cohen’s, about Lizza Cohen, the late grandmother of Ari. Of late Orli had become particularly friendly with Ari Cohen, consoling her, sympathising with her. Lizza Cohen was an elderly woman, both in mind and physique. She was schizophrenic, living a life of solitude in a mental institution. Rumours fluttered around the town, conspiracies flew around the town that Caleb Cohen had disowned Lizza as soon as she had become ill, although the precise details were unclear. Orli was stating that she would rather die than be mentally ill, I had answered wryly that I wasn’t so sure. She hated the idea of not truly being herself, not being slightly tuned into reality, as much as her own little world mattered to her she had decided that staying slightly tuned into reality was important. I thought differently. Perhaps not really being yourself would be good, perhaps letting go of the real world would be a rewarding prospect, an interesting spectacle even too me. The irony of the situation made me laugh, Orli was the creative one, the one that loved to disappear, who’s soul remained vacant from the real world almost every minute of every day, where as I, I didn’t like my world, I was a realist, choosing reality over anything else and I was willing to totally let go of the world. I was left pondering over my incongruity as Orli put out the light and bid me a goodnight.
Father was gone by the time I had got up. It was a shame, I had forgotten to ask him if he wished his heart back!
So basically I’m just asking for you to say a random one – first or third?
I didn’t mean to put this one on; this isn’t one of my best pieces but it’s okay -ish. I might of forgotten to say that I have got no confidence at all. So basically I can write better than this.


  1. I love to write too and almost always write in first person but lately I have been writing in third. Is that what you were asking?

  2. Since you love to write- you should experiment. Write a couple paragraphs in third person and see if you like it…if the story works well from that viewpoint. If not just rewrite it from first person.

  3. I would say first person narrative, it lets the reader join the story with you, seeing what you see sort of thing. Lets them take on your views and get more involved in the story.

  4. Well, it depends on whether you want it to sound more personal or not.
    If you use the first person the narrator becomes a character, and the reader will be waiting for the narrator to reveal himself.
    Personally, I prefer the third person.
    Here is some piece of information i found just in case you want a more academical approach.

  5. That’s in third; you are looking at the father. It would be better if you looked in perspective of the father if you want it in first, or put more on the child and look into some of the father, not so much detail, it isn’t appealing!

  6. Why not try a shifting-perspective narrative? I have a novel coming out next year that is written in this style- approx 70 percent 1st person and 30 percent 3rd. It gave me more freedom because I didn’t have to have my protagonist on every single page and every time I started to get bored with what I was writing I just shifted perspectives. I’m about 80 percent finsihed the follow-up, and I’m experimenting again with multiple perspectives.
    A lot of people say not to do the shifting-perspective stuff, but for me it is the only way to work.

  7. It’s amazing. In my opinion, you should keep it in first person. It sounds much better, you can grow on the character, play with their emotions. If it’s written in first person, people will connect more because, in my opinion, when someone writes in third person, the characters always seem a little flat, it’s like they’re one-sided. If you write in first person, you can really show all the different sides of everything which will attract the readers attention. I love the story! Keep writing!

  8. I reckon third person would be the better choice but its all about a matter of interpretations: when i read a book, I would rather it be told about somebody else instead of my own or your own point of view! That’s just me! Ask yourself: what type of stories do you like? That’s the point of writing: to amuse yourself or to challenge yourself.

  9. If you like first person better and it works well with your story then use it. But remember that first person doesn’t always work and can be very limiting to what you’re trying to put into the story, your narrator can’t be in two places at once whereas a third person perspective can switch locations.
    Take the whole story and where you want it to go into consideration before you decide what style to use.


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