Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tricks to Writing First Person POV

Last week I attended the 2013 Life the Universe and Everything fantasy/scifi writer’s conference. I thought I'd share the notes from a few of the panels I attended. The first panel I went to was on writing first person POV. The panelists were Larry Correia, Robert Defendi, Daniel Friend, Clint Johnson, and Rachel Ann Nunes. Here are a few of the points that stood out to me:

  • First, figure out how your character would talk
  • Use consistency with your character and don’t have them act out of character
  • Make a list of all the character traits your character has: mannerisms, etc. . .
  • The best way to show a character is through description
  • Other good ways to show character are through their emotional reactions, active thinking, and actions. 
I hope these are helpful. Do you have any other tips for writing in first person? I'd love to hear them. Next week I'll post more notes on other conference topics. 


  1. This is great, since I missed this class. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I only made it to part of the class but what I heard was good stuff. I'd love to see any notes you want to share on other classes.

  2. Writing in first person is hard, but it's also my favorite method.

    It lets us get inside the character's head.

    Here's one thing I have to watch for, though: don't use internals in a spot that stops the dialogue. If that were real life, a lot of internal thought would mean it's five minutes before the m.c. answers.

  3. That's a great tip. I think I've done that before. I'll have to watch for that in my rewrites.

  4. Here's a better explanation of it by author Tim Wynn-Jones, who teaches at Vermont College. #5. He calls it a pause button violation.