Point of View?

I struggle to make this decision. My hands automatically want to write in first person, as if I am telling the story from my own life experience. However, I feel as if this can be really limiting from a storytelling perspective. Often I find that I start a story in first person, only to go back and edit things to the third person point of view. I have read a few books that teeter back and forth between characters, using the first person. Sometimes I find this challenging to follow, though it is interesting to get inside the heads of all the main characters.

How do you choose which one to write in? As a reader, do you have a preference as to which one it is? Is it harder for males and females to get into the first person point of view from the opposite sex? I struggle with the idea that I might limit my audience by choosing to write from a female’s first person view point. Furthermore, I struggle with the idea of writing as a male in first person.

Could I really capture a man’s soul? I would hate to butcher it. For practice I am going to assign myself a set of synchronized short stories that create a larger story, however each section of the short story will be in different views and different genders. I’m going to call the story, Flannel. It’s about a shirt that is shared from one person to the next. I hope to have installment one by this time next week. I did say this is a short story! Hopefully my goal isn’t too lofty.

This means I will have 4 short stories, female first person, male first person, female third person, male third person. I’m not committing to that particular order. Time to brainstorm.

If you want to play along, feel free to use this idea as a writing practice, be sure to Pingback so I can find your stories. It doesn’t have to be a shirt, think of anything that would follow more than one person. A parrot might be interesting, they live for 50+ years I believe. Some other ideas: tools, kitchen serving ware, quilts, coats, picture frames, furniture, trees, cars, houses, fishing rods, guns.



  1. I love this idea. I understand what you mean. I don’t plan out my short stories on my site The Unfinished Scripts, I literally go to it with a title and go with it. As for writing in different persons, this is such a struggle! I actually struggle more with defining if it’s male or female, but also think that’s sort of more fun with the audience as they can put themselves in their shoes. Love the idea of this challenge so I will definitely be giving this a try and do a ping back! I have planned to do this in my series Banana Pancakes (from a male 3rd person pov) but do a few chapters from other points as well

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    1. I have read some of your Banana Pancakes and really enjoyed it. I should follow through and connect the few I have not read. Hope you enjoy the exercise. I quickly jotted down my four characters and already began.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really thank you, glad you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read then. My weekend task is going to be this, I’m thinking a crime story with the roles reversed from typical stories and show the women in power

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  2. Yes! It is difficult and I think it totally depends on the story and the characters. Each POV has a purpose and sets a certain tone; sometimes you don’t know what you want until you’re immersed in it. I love this Flannel idea! Can’t wait to read them. Anything that pushes comfort zones and encourages different approaches to the same topic only makes for a better writer in the end.

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    1. I think you’re right. The story tends to determine the POV. At least that’s what I’m finding with this exercise. It’s fun, can’t wait to top it off!

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