First, second, and third person are ways of describing points of view. In grammar, the personal pronouns (“I,” “you,” “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” “you,” “they”) are grouped into one of three categories:

  • First person is the I/we perspective.
  • Second person is the you perspective.
  • Third person is the he/she/it/they perspective.

The Second-Person Point of View is Most Commonly Used For ‘Advertisement’

Let’s get this over with first, Stories and novels written in the ‘second person’ exist, but they are seldomly used. Second person tells the reader what they are doing. It is mainly used in advertising, recipes, how-to books, or instructions. 

Written to the person (or people) being addressed. The “you” perspective (second-person pronouns: you, your, yours, yourself, yourselves).

  • If you or someone you love is struggling with ____,
  • You can help yourself to anything in the fridge.
  • You should be ashamed of yourself!

Examples: The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins, or How to Become a Writer by Lorrie Moore.

The First-Person Point of View is Most Commonly Used For ‘Business Writing’

This view is through the storyteller’s eyes, and refers to the speaker himself or a group that includes the speaker (i.e.,” I,” “me,” “we,” “us”, “our” and “ourselves”). When we talk about ourselves, our opinions, and the things that happen to us, we generally speak in the first person.

The storyteller in a first-person narrative is either the protagonist relaying their experiences or a peripheral character telling the protagonist’s story, without being aware of conveying that experience to the readers, or the narrator may be conscious of telling the story to a given audience, perhaps at a given place and time, for a given reason.

When to use 1st Person

In business, writing in the first person (i.e., using “I” and “we”) portrays a personal touch and shows that you accept responsibility. For example:

  • We will handle your claim within 24 hours.
  • I will send you the results this afternoon.

Odd Tibit: The last five years, 30% of the finalists are written in the first person. Prizes like the Pulitzer, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Man Booker. About 50% is genre and commercial fiction.

Examples: Sorry To Disrupt The Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell, This Hat Is Not Mine by Jon Klassen, Pinaklicious by Victoria Kann, or Dragon Tears by Dean Kootz.

The Third-Person Point of View is Most Commonly Used For ‘Fiction Writing’

The third-person point of view belongs to the person (or people) being talked about. The third-person pronouns include he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves. In this type of story, a disembodied narrator describes what the characters do and what happens to them. You don’t see directly through a character’s eyes as you do in a first-person narrative, but often the narrator describes the main character’s thoughts and feelings about what’s going on.

  • Jessie used his birthday money from his Nana to buy the bike he really wanted.
  • The band played louder so that the people in the back could hear.

Examples: Most Fiction books. . . Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Frog And Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel, or Lord Of The Flies by William Golding.

3rd Person vs. 1st Person: Which Is Best?

Most fiction novels are written in 3rd person, but you see what you like better. Try writing a page or chapter in 1st person and in 3rd person, then decide which one suits you better.

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