Why are books never in first person anymore?

This is going to be less like a discussion post and more like me complaining, but seriously, what is up with that?! I love first person! But you never see it anymore. Everything is always in personal third.

First person is just so intimate. You really get to know the character really well, and I love that it feels like they are talking directly to you. In first person you really get characters that feel like they could be your best friend forever.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t like third person POV. That personal third person is the most popular choice for a reason. It works, WELL. But there’s just nothing like some good ol’ “I” and “me”. Am I right?

Authors, pretty please, write me some awesome first person fantasy? ❤

32 thoughts on “Why are books never in first person anymore?

  1. I agree. I prefer first person. I see third person narrative more in books these day and usually they are third person narrative but from protagonist’s POV. I often think what the point of that and why not just write first person narrative!

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  2. The trend seems to be telling the narrative from different perspectives. I think it depends a lot on genre. Some books are better told in certain ways.

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  3. I love a mix of 1st and 3rd person! For example, I’m currently reading Shadow of the Fox by Julia Kagawa. It has alternative chapters between the two main characters. It’s neat to see how the character thinks about the other character. I’m not sure if that makes any sense after I say it out loud, LOL. But I do love 1st person. I feel like the characters are telling me all their secrets. It’s so cool. 3rd person makes me feel like I’m a bug on the wall watching from afar.

    -Amber

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    1. Amber, I get the same feeling! Third person makes me feel like I’m watching as a ghost in the middle of the scene, or Harry in the Pensieve, whereas first person makes me feel like I *am* the MC.

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    1. I wonder if maybe authors think it seems childish, since it’s very popular in kids’ lit. Or maybe they think people won’t be able to remember the character’s name? lol, I definitely wouldn’t. I barely remember them now!

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      1. That’s ok! I just thought your post was interesting because I see 1st person a lot and don’t really love it. Writing trends definitely vary widely by genre!

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  4. Actually, I read lots of books in 1st person. I don’t really have much of a preference between that and 3rd, but there is an intimacy that 1st person has that sometimes 3rd can’t give you. That said, a good writer can make 3rd person very intimate.

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  5. Yes, it does seem like it used to be a trend not all that long ago. Isn’t the whole Divergent series written in first person? And Hunger Games? And Twilight? …OK, that’s the extent of my knowledge.

    It’s not fantasy, but Susan Howatch writes fantastic 1st-person novels. In her Church of England series, each novel is related by one character. You have to read the whole series to get in the different characters’ heads and see how differently they view the very same events. 1st person works especially well for that series because the plots all turn on personal growth and the characters dealing with their issues.

    Anyway, I just loved her method (if that’s the word?) and I sort of copied it in my first novel, where the different characters will narrate individual chapters in the first person. I kind of had to do it that way, because they don’t all speak the same language but the reader still needs to know what each is thinking.

    For the sequel, I moved to omniscient narrator because it just felt right. Also, that allows me to reveal to the reader just as much of each character’s thoughts as I want them to hear, but no more. Preserve a little mystery.

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    1. I remember Twilight being in first, but I thought THG was in third. I don’t remember Divergent at all. The Mortal Instruments was in first I think? I don’t know, but I’m not as into YA as much as I was.

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  6. I just finished Beach Read, which is in first person, and I do remember thinking, ” Wow, I think it’s been a while since I’ve read a book written in first person.” I loved it, btw. 🙂 Great topic!

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