Story Telling Perspective

You know how stories are told from different perspectives: first and third-person. I already knew my favorite view. But a few days ago, I realized more than ever the perspective I prefer when reading books and how hard it is to switch.

Opposing Views

This Summer, I read three books by the same author, all in the first-person. After those, I read Ed Snowden’s new memoir, a real-life story told in riveting first-person.

Then I started reading another work of fiction. Right away it felt off. At first, I didn’t know why. And I had trouble getting into it. Then after a bit of slogging through, I realized it was written in third-person. That’s when it became clear as diamond just how much the perspective of the story-teller makes a difference.

So then I did some Googling about narrator perspective. It confirmed what I experienced. Now I know how strongly I prefer first-person accounts and why.

I like how immersive first-person perspective is. It’s like you are the protagonist experiencing the events of the plot yourself. Or the hero is talking directly, giving me a personal telling of the story as it unfolded.

Contrast that with the third-person, like the epic I’m now plundering, Dune. So far the story is good and well told, but it naturally is more distant. I’m less a participant and more an outside observer, peering into moments in time surrounding the intriguing characters and the detailed events.

This makes me wonder, can any story be told from either the first or the third person? Or are some stories somehow restricted to one or the other? That’s another one I’d have to Google. Much to learn, I still have.

Fit To View

Anyways, it’s not a big deal. I just got a much deeper appreciation for the first-person perspective and wanted to share my new-found delight from it.

In the past, this gripping narrative view is what helped spark me further as a reader in general. It was the Hunger Games trilogy that drew me in. Experiencing that trilogy from Katniss’ perspective was pretty enthralling. My love for reading grew as a result. The story itself was awesome, so that helped too.

You may already be an avid reader yourself. Maybe the perspective of the story-teller makes little or no difference to you. But, there might be someone you know who struggles to read fiction. It might help them to know that switching stories based on perspective could make the difference. Whatever helps someone fall more in love with books is a win for all story lovers.