How To Write a Story in the 1st Person

Some of the most interesting pieces of literature are first person narratives that can be autobiographical or completely fiction. For some reason, stories shared by the storyteller himself lend a very authentic feel to the book. An example of a story told from the first person is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If you want to make your own first person story, there are a few rules that you need to keep in mind.

  • Rule number 1 – always use “I”, “we” and “me”. Using these pronouns will help illustrate that all of the thoughts, actions and narratives comes from the writer of the book. Whatever event you decide to include in your story, it should always be told from your perspective. This means all of the dialog, actions, back stories should be told from your eyes.
  • Rule number 2 – dealing with other character’s thoughts. Since this story is from your mind, it will be difficult to share what other characters are thinking unless they told you so. This means that if you need to express the emotions of other characters, you would need to do that through a different segment or through confessions of that character. You cannot always assume the thoughts of other people in the story.
  • Rule number 3 – using occasional third person narratives. You can also inject third person narratives to help you move the story along. There may be activities in your story that happens without your main character so you would need to write that in third person but keep in mind that you should limit this type of narration since it might take away the theme of the story being a first person narrative.
  • Other tips. There are other tips that you can benefit from when writing in the first person. You can include dream sequences of the main character or monologues in his mind to further express his feelings and thoughts. You can also include journal writing episodes so that the reader will get a feel of what the character is thinking of in depth. You can also share different parts of the setting or tell a story of history into your plot by including narrations of hearsay whether from your main character or the supporting characters. You can also add suspense to your story by including wrong assumptions of your main character since this is really most likely to happen in real life.

When making a story, it is best that you outline your main plot first and build it on a per segment basis. You do not need to write your story straight from introduction to conclusion. Divide it into manageable subplots and start expanding it from there. You can tell more about the main characters past experiences by bringing in characters from his past – an ex-girlfriend, a childhood nanny, a favorite uncle etc. This way, you are building a thick layer of stories and narratives from other people but at the same time, you are still central to the theme of telling everything (or nearly everything) from the point of view of the narrator.


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