Character Perspectives

I prefer 1st person POV. One reason why is that as an author the separation between character viewpoint and writer viewpoint is more clearly defined, and can be expressed without constantly writing ‘he thought/she thought.’

Suppose Bob thinks all orcs should be killed. In 1P POV from Bob’s perspective, I can just write ‘All orcs should be killed,’ and that’s clearly an opinion of the character. Statements like that should be supported by having Bob live that opinion, and it can be undercut easily with narrative elements. If orcs are always chaotic evil, than scenes of orcs doing so can be shown. If I want to demonstrate that the all orcs should be killed opinion is wrong or flawed, narrative elements showing orcs being good, or at least worthy of living, can be shown too. That also leads to narrative conflict which is the pulse of a story.

But if I’m in 3P POV and Bob’s getting genocidal, that opinion is difficult to reveal without either having dialogue or a bunch of ‘he thought’ tags. Now the dialogue introduction of opinion is fine, but it’s a hoop to jump through. Writing constant thought attribution tags gets cumbersome, and sometimes I don’t really want to reveal a character’s thoughts. If there’s a murder mystery and the victim is an orc, I might not want to reveal Bob’s murderous impulses.

This is not to say any of those things cannot be done and done well, but they are often cumbersome. More specifically, they’re set of problems I don’t enjoy solving. I much prefer writing opinions that are wrong and subverting them.

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