First person point of view is when the main character is telling the story. Typically they use words like, “I” and “we”.

The advantage to this style is that you get to see the story through their eyes. You can get a good sense of their thoughts and feelings.

The disadvantage to this style is that you only get one perspective. If you have multiple characters in your story, it’s hard for the reader to know what other characters are thinking.

In this guide, we’re going to talk about first person point of view and what it means for your writing.


first person point of view

What Is first person point of view?

First-person point of view is when a narrator or storyteller relates a story from his or her own personal perspective.

The most common first-person point of view characters are writers, who tell their stories from within their own heads.

But other examples include memoirs and autobiographies, and stories told by people with heightened memories.

Since you’re relating the story from your own perspective, you don’t have to rely on other characters to explain what’s going on.


Exploring First Person POV in Stories & Film

Ever wondered how it feels to walk in someone else’s shoes?

First person point of view pulls you right into the character’s world, letting you see through their eyes.

We’ll jump into the nuts and bolts of this immersive narrative style.

You’ll learn why it’s a favorite among writers and readers alike for its ability to forge a deep connection with the protagonist.


What Is First Person Point Of View?

Understanding first person point of view is crucial in our journey through storytelling and filmmaking.

It is the method by which a story is narrated from the perspective of a character, typically the protagonist.

The main characteristic of this narrative style is its use of personal pronouns like “I,” “me,” “my,” and “mine.

” This creates an intimate experience as if we’re stepping into the character’s shoes.

Filmmakers leverage first person point of view to achieve immersive storytelling.

Movies like The Blair Witch Project and 127 Hours immerse the audience into the characters’ personal experiences.

Through the use of voice-over narration or direct camera address, this perspective deepens the audience’s connection with the protagonist.

It’s as if we’re undergoing the same trials, triumphs, and tribulations.

This narrative style offers us a range of benefits:

  • Enhanced empathy – Audiences connect more deeply with the character’s emotions and thoughts.
  • Personalized suspense – Tension feels more immediate and personal.
  • Relatable storytelling – The character’s perspective is often more relatable to us.

In our own projects, harnessing the power of first person can bring out a raw authenticity in our storytelling.

It’s all about crafting a world through someone else’s eyes.

Benefits Of Using First Person Point Of View

Embracing first person point of view in filmmaking opens a trove of creative advantages.

Here we explore the elements that set first person narratives apart.

First person storytelling garners a deep emotional connection.

Experiencing events as they unfold from the protagonist’s perspective fosters a unique bond with the audience.

This sense of closeness isn’t as easily achieved with other narrative styles.

A key benefit is the heightened subjectivity that first person offers.

It allows us to present a character’s internal monologue, shading every scene with personal significance.

Movies like Fight Club and books like The Catcher in the Rye demonstrate how this can drive a story’s appeal.

We also find that suspense feels more personal and immediate.

When danger lurks around the corner for the protagonist, viewers are right there with them, on the edge of their seats.

This immediacy can elevate thrillers and horror films to new levels of intensity.

In films, the use of camera work to mimic a character’s vision, such as in Hardcore Henry, creates immersive experiences.


The audience doesn’t just watch the story – they partake in it.

  • Relatability – Audiences see the world from a familiar, human perspective.
  • Empathy – Sharing the character’s experiences encourages a deeper emotional investment.
  • Exclusive insight – Gain access to thoughts and feelings otherwise left unsaid.

also, first person can apply a unique filter to the storytelling process.

It can distort reality, play with memory, and uncover hidden depths, as seen in Memento.

Our understanding of the character’s truth becomes as much a journey as the narrative itself.

Leveraging first person point of view isn’t just about telling a story.

It’s about offering an invitation into the character’s world, their mind, and eventually, their soul.

With every frame and spoken word, we’re not just recounting events – we’re crafting experiences.

Examples Of First Person Point Of View In Literature

In literature, first person narrative is a powerful tool authors use to pull readers deep into the protagonist’s world.

A classic example is The Catcher in the Rye by J.


Salinger, where we wade through the choppy waters of adolescence alongside Holden Caulfield.


Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby employs this viewpoint intricately, allowing us to experience the lure and disillusionment of the American Dream through Nick Carraway’s eyes.

Not only do we see Gatsby’s world, but we’re also privy to Nick’s judgments and feelings about it.

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre draws us into the heroic journey of its titular character through her own reflections and moral musings.

Our connection with Jane is immediate and personal, making her struggles and triumphs our own.

Here are a few contemporary examples:

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ushers us into the dystopian reality of Panem through Katniss Everdeen’s survival and rebellion.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green reveals the complex emotions of love and loss through Hazel Grace Lancaster’s eyes.

These narratives showcase the dynamic scope of first person point of view.

Each character’s voice shapes our understanding of their world and mirrors the depth of human experience.

Transitioning to cinema, first person visuals can enhance the literary narrative’s intimacy.

Films like Fight Club and The Wolf of Wall Street use first person perspective to bend our perception of reality – and sanity.

Immersing audiences in the inner life of characters has cemented first person as a storytelling mainstay.

It’s about giving a voice to protagonist’s world, ensuring the story remains vividly etched in our minds.

How To Write In First Person Point Of View

Writing in the first person point of view is about embracing the protagonist’s perspective and making it ours.

It requires a deep jump into the character’s psyche, expressing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences as if they were our own.

To master this narrative style, we’ll need to immerse ourselves completely in the character’s world, ensuring that every word we write is infused with their unique voice and personality.

We must also be vigilant in maintaining the protagonist’s voice throughout our storytelling.

Consistency is key – readers should never feel jolted out of the experience by a sudden shift in tone or perspective.

A steady, authentic voice will hold the audience captive and convey our story with the intended intimacy and immediacy.

Here’s a short check-list for writing in first person point of view:

  • Ensure the protagonist’s voice is distinctive and consistent,
  • jump into their emotional landscape for every scene,
  • Write with a strong sense of the character’s desires, fears, and motivations,
  • Capture their sensory experiences in detail to build an immersive world.

Avoiding the common pitfalls associated with first-person narratives is just as important as the techniques we employ.

One such trap is limiting our storytelling to the protagonist’s direct experiences.

While staying true to their perspective, remember to craft a narrative that also hints at a larger world beyond their immediate scope.

This provides a richer, more believable backdrop for our character to navigate.

Another technique to consider is the unreliable narrator – a powerful tool that can add layers of complexity to simple tales.

Deployed skillfully, it adds dimension to characters and keeps the audience guessing about the veracity of the narrative.

Films like Fight Club Use this device to great effect, pulling the audience deeper into the intricacies of the plot.

By adhering to these strategies and tips, we infuse our storytelling with authenticity and create an unbreakable bond between our audience and the protagonist.

Engaging readers with a well-crafted first person narrative invites them into a realm that’s as vivid and real as their own, making every twist and turn of our story resonate on a deeply personal level.

Understanding The Limitations Of First Person Point Of View

Often, when we immerse ourselves in the narrative of films like The Blair Witch Project, we’re experiencing the story through a singular perspective.

This choice can sometimes narrow the lens through which the story unfolds, restricting our access to only what the protagonist sees, knows, or experiences.

But, this limited viewpoint can create a disconnect when other characters in the story have experiences or information outside of our protagonist’s knowledge.

It necessitates a careful balance to maintain audience engagement without the benefit of multiple perspectives that third person point of view affords.

First person narratives rely heavily on the protagonist’s voice and thoughts to drive the story.

If the character doesn’t resonate with viewers, or if their inner monologue doesn’t captivate, we risk losing audience interest.

We also encounter the issue of reliability.

A first person narrative like in Fight Club inherently raises questions about the objectivity and credibility of the storyteller.

This can be both a clever narrative device and a stumbling block depending on its execution.

Here are some challenges of first person point of view:

  • It can limit the plot to one perspective, potentially leaving out critical information.
  • There’s a risk of a one-sided character portrayal, lacking depth from other character insights.
  • Audiences are confined to the protagonist’s knowledge and experiences, possibly missing out on broader story developments.

Embracing first person point of view requires recognition of these limitations.

We must craft our narratives with care to ensure that, Even though these confines, our stories remain engaging and multidimensional.

Engaging our audience’s senses and emotions through strong character development and strategic storytelling can transcend these barriers, allowing for a compelling and richly layered narrative.

What Is First Person Point Of View – Wrap Up

We’ve explored the immersive qualities of first person point of view and its ability to forge a deep connection between character and audience.

It’s clear that while there are challenges to this narrative style, the benefits often outweigh the limitations.

By carefully crafting a first person narrative, storytellers can deliver a compelling and relatable experience.

It’s our hope that you’ll walk away with a greater appreciation for the nuance and power of first person storytelling in both literature and film.

Whether you’re a reader, viewer, or creator, understanding this perspective can transform the way you engage with stories.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The First Person Point Of View In Storytelling?

The first person point of view in storytelling is a narrative style where the story is told from the perspective of the protagonist using pronouns like “I,” “me,” “my,” and “mine,” allowing the audience to experience the story as if they were the character themselves.

How Does The First Person Point Of View Affect The Audience’s Connection To The Character?

This narrative style fosters a strong, immediate connection by causing the audience to experience events and emotions directly through the protagonist’s eyes, enhancing empathy and making the story feel more personal and relatable.

Why Do Filmmakers Use The First Person Point Of View?

Filmmakers use the first person point of view to achieve immersive storytelling, deepening the audience’s connection with the protagonist and providing a visceral, intimate experience that other narrative styles might not offer.

What Are The Benefits Of Using The First Person Point Of View?

The benefits of using the first person perspective include creating a highly personalized connection with the audience, enhancing the suspense as experienced by the protagonist, and delivering relatable and authentically raw storytelling.

What Are The Limitations Of The First Person Point Of View?

Limitations of the first person point of view include the potential for a narrow perspective confined to the protagonist, the risk of one-sided character portrayal, and the possibility of missing out on events not directly witnessed or experienced by the protagonist.

How Can A Narrative Overcome The Challenges Of The First Person Point Of View?

To overcome the challenges of the first person narrative, a story should be crafted with care to maintain engagement, providing a well-rounded portrayal of events, and offering multidimensional character development despite the limited viewpoint.