Wednesday, January 21, 2009

First-Person Protagonist Narrator (2nd In A Series)


In this viewpoint, the narrator is the protagonist singular. There are many advantages to this viewpoint, especially to the first-time novelist. These are:

1. Writing in 1st person comes easily since it is the most common way in which we communicate with each other. It offers a self-imposed discipline that the writer obeys. Use on the pronoun I confines the writer to the protagonist's POV and avoids inadvertent POV shifts.

2. The protagonist is the center of attention, which allows the reader to participate in all the events.

3. Since the reader shares the protagonist's most intimate thoughts, feelings and attitudes, they easily identify with the protagonist.

4. The protagonist shares his/her personal experience thereby nullifying any reader resistance to the story's credibility. It enables the narrator to speak with conviction and adds realism to the story.

So, what are the disadvantages?

1. The writer's omniscient power is restricted. He/she must confine themself to those things the protaganist sees, feels and experiences first hand. Since the protagonist can only be in one location at a time, this restriction is physical as well as mental.

2. Modesty is forced upon the narrator. While he/she can act brave and heroic, he/she cannot say they are brave.

3. There is a danger that you cannot hold the reader's interest, forcing the writer to make the protagonist colorful and exciting.

4. Description of the protagonist is confined. The protagonist cannot describe the expression on his/her face while experiencing an event.

In summary, the advantages of First-Person Protagonist Narrator, out weigh the disadvantages. More novelists employ this POV than any other and it is the predominant one in mystery novels.

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