I, She and Two Tenses

Thorne Moore

Some people hate books written in the first person. Some don’t, including me. As a reader, I am not bothered one way or the other, as long as it reads appropriately. Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë are both fine by me. So, as an author, I will choose to write in either, but which I choose is entirely dependent on what I am trying to do.

Writing in the third person is the normal option, and the simplest, allowing the author to act as a detached narrator, preferably with an all-knowing, all-powerful God complex. The protagonist becomes a character operating in a spotlight on a stage that you, the reader, are being invited to watch.

Books written in the first person are more intensely personal. The author takes the reader inside the protagonist’s head and sees everything through their eyes, a completely different view point, looking out from the stage…

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