Intro to First PersonA Lesson by Miss Evans
The first lesson in the "A Guide to Writing in First Person" course by Sally D. An introduction to First Person, and an explanation of its basic aspects.
Lesson 1: Intro to First Person
Most of us learned the different perspectives in grade school- First Person, Second Person, Third Person, and so on. A lot of the time though, we don't use very much First Person in our everyday writing. Sure, we'd have a personal narrative every now and then, or perhaps a testimonial for a product we use, but that doesn't really give you any insight on how to use it in Creative Writing, and other works of literature.
This guide will be covering many aspects of First Person, and how to implement those aspects into your writing to make a more successful experience for both you and the reader.
Now to the lesson!
What is First Person?
Anything told in first person is narrated by a character or person within the story, form their perspective, where they speak for and about themselves. From this point of view, the reader is brought into the speaker's head, seeing how they see things, and listening to their thoughts.
How do I know the difference between First Person and any other Point-of-View?
First Person uses personal pronouns- I, Me, My, We, Our, Us, etc. Whereas second person uses You, Your, Yours, etc. Third Person uses pronouns like She, They, Him, and et cetra. First Person also includes a lot of thoughts.
Why should I use First Person?
First Person should be your first choice when you want to evoke emotion in the reader. By using First Person, you are communicating with the reader on a more personable level than if you were using second-person. It is possible to evoke emotion with the other POV's, but it is less challenging in First Person.
Examples of First Person in Popular Culture
Do you play video games? A lot of guys do, and quite a bit of girls too. Most of you gamers have probably heard this already- But there are games that are in the First Person POV. For example, Halo is a FPS- First Person Shooter. While the character may not be talking to the player, the player can see through the character's eyes as if they were their own. This draws most players into the game because they can see and move around as if it were their own body they are controlling (well, if you don't look at the whole controller thing... We don't have pause buttons in life).
I'll assume you read books, if you're trying to write them (and if you haven't, you should go do that) and a good lot of you are bound to have read some of the classics, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This book was written in First Person, from the perspective of the main character (the confused teen "Chief" Bromden) , which allows the reader to see the story through his perspective. Personally, I thought the book was very well-written.
And last but not least, Television. There aren't many First-Person shows, but there are bits of shows that are in First Person. Have you ever seen a show/movie where the camera suddenly seems to be a character's eyes? If you've ever seen a scene where someone is underwater, and the camera switches around so you can see who comes to save them, that is a great example of First Person.
What To Expect
Those are the basics of First Person, how to spot it, and examples of how it is used. Next week, I will be showing you all:
• Appropriate and Inappropriate uses of First Person
For my future lessons, I plan on going over quite a few things, but it is up to you- My faithful readers, to inspire me with things you'd like to see built on. It doesn't even have to be about First Person! I am always looking for more topics to write about. Here are some ideas I have received already:
• How to Write Effectively in First Person (Part of this Series)
Got any more ideas? Questions? Comments? Leave a comment or send me a message, I'll be sure to reply!
And remember- The eyes [perspective] are the windows to the soul!
Added on November 4, 2011
Last Updated on November 4, 2011