First person point of view is a narrative mode that is used when a story is told from the perspective of one character. In this mode, the narrator uses the pronoun “I” to refer to themselves and refers to other characters in the story by their names or other third-person pronouns. This mode of narration allows the reader to gain a personal connection with the narrator and experience the story through their eyes.
7 examples of first person point of view
1. “I never expected my life to turn out like this. I was so sure of my path, and yet here I am, taking a detour I never saw coming.”
2. “I saw the fear in his eyes as he backed away from me, and I knew I had to do something to protect him.”
3. “I never thought I would be able to accomplish something so great, but I did it. I am so proud of myself.”
4. “I was so nervous when I saw her across the room, but I knew I had to go talk to her.”
5. “I knew I had to make a tough decision, but I felt like I was backed into a corner and had no choice.”
6. “I can never forget the moment I saw my best friend cry for the first time. It broke my heart.”
7. “I remember feeling so scared when I heard the news. I had no idea what was going to happen next.”
Should you write your book in first person POV?
First person POV is great for specific genres, like YA fiction. I prefer it, because it keeps things simple, and it’s well-suited for nonfiction and memoir as well. For your first book, it might be a good idea because it limits you and forces you to make choices about what happens and when it is revealed, and what the character knows.
With 3rd person limited, you could still “see” inside your character’s mind, but it isn’t as immediate:
Kate sat on the couch, brooding about her mom’s decision to keep her inside instead of attending the final school dance. It was the last chance to see her friends before they were moving. It wasn’t fair! She threw her book against the wall and then crashed into her bed, burying her face into the pillows.
“It’s not fair!” I shouted, as mom closed the door and locked it behind her. I threw my book against the wall, upsetting some photos I’d tacked up years earlier. Oh well. None of it matters now. I’d never see my friends again. They’d all be at the final dance, without me. I might as well start packing. Instead, I crashed into bed and buried my face in the pillows.
3rd person is a little more distant, so you have to see and describe and make things happen, while in first person you can just act and do things, imagining yourself in the role of your protagonist.
20 Famous books told in first person narrative POV
1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. 1984 by George Orwell
5. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
11. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
13. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
14. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
15. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
16. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
17. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
18. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
19. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
20. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess