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point of view writing ideas for nonfiction and fiction texts in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade

Point of View Writing Prompts and Activities

point of view writing ideas for nonfiction and fiction texts in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade

Point of view is one of my favorite skills to teach. When students begin to think more about points of view that differ from their own, they become more understanding towards other kids. I don't know any 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade classroom that wouldn't benefit that!  And the point of view writing prompts and activities below are designed for just that.

These no prep point of view writing activities can be used with almost any book. All students need is a sheet of paper! And, even better, these point of view writing prompts can be repeated multiple times, making them great for a reading or writing center. (The links below for books are affiliate links.)

You can find even more point of view activities here.

Point of View Writing Ideas for Fiction Texts

1. have students rewrite the narrative from a different character's point of view..

first person point of view writing prompts

But this activity is not limited to fairy tales - students can rewrite ANY narrative (find some good fiction books for teaching point of view here)   that has multiple characters from a different point of view, and usually they will have a lot of fun doing it!

Seriously, Cinderella Is So Annoying!

2. Have Students Rewrite the Narrative From Their Own Point of View.

Ask students to replace the main character of the story with themselves, thinking about what they would have done differently from the main character. What decisions would they have made differently? How would the plot have changed? What would they have said differently?

This writing activity directly relates to the Third Grade Common Core English Language Arts Reading Literature Standard 3.6: Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

3. Have Students Rewrite the Narrative From A Different Perspective.

This is a good activity for students that are working on distinguishing between first, second, and third person points of view. If the narrative was written in a first person point of view, have students rewrite the same story from a third person point of view or vice versa.

This point of view writing activity relates to the Fourth Grade Common Core English Language Arts Reading Literature Standard 4.6: Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.

This point of view freebie might also come in handy as you have students write from different perspectives.  Or, consider having students use what they are learning about point of view to create a comic strip.

Point of View Writing Ideas for Nonfiction Texts

1. have students rewrite a nonfiction passage from an opposing viewpoint..

In 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade nonfiction books, sometimes the author's point of view is not very clear. In a nonfiction children's book about sharks, for example, it might seem that the author is simply stating shark facts. However, all nonfiction is written with the author's point of view, however subtle it comes across. Does the author thinks sharks are dangerous? Does the author think people overreact in their fear of sharks?

Help students figure out what the author's point of view is in a nonfiction text, and then have them rewrite the passage from a different viewpoint. If the author believes sharks are dangerous, have students write about how sharks are not dangerous if you take safety precautions.

2. Have Students Write About A Topic From Two Different Points of View.

This is a great activity to get kids thinking critically about points of view other than their own. Have students write about the same topic from two different points of view. For example, you could have students write about why a cat would make a good pet, as well as why a cat would make a terrible pet.

Students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade have a hard time understanding other people's points of view if it contrasts with their own. This activity can help make them more open-minded about people with views that oppose their own.

Here are some possible topics for students to write about:

  • asking permission to use the restroom vs going to the restroom whenever you need to
  • homework vs no homework
  • raising your hand before speaking in class vs speaking whenever you want

When students have to start writing from different points of view, it makes them think more critically and behave more empathetically towards those that are different from them, as well as gives them practice writing!

If you are trying to teach your students more about understanding different points of view and how to disagree respectfully, check out these teaching tips.  

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Last updated on Nov 14, 2022

Point of View: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Perspectives

Point of view (POV) is the narrative perspective from which a story is told. It’s the angle from which readers experience the plot, observe the characters’ behavior, and learn about their world. In fiction, there are four types of point of view: first person, second person, third person limited, and third person omniscient. 

This guide will look at each point of view, and provide examples to help you understand them better. Let’s dive in.

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First person

First person narratives are quite common and relatively intuitive to write: it’s how we tell stories in everyday life. Sentences written in first person will use the pronouns I , we , my , and our . For example:

I told my mother that we lost our passports.

First person can create intimacy between the reader and the characters, granting us direct access to their emotions, psyches and inner thoughts. In stories where the protagonist’s internal life is at the fore, you will often find a first-person narrator.

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Having a single fixed narrator can limit the scope of a story 一 the reader can only know what the narrator knows. It’s also said that a first person narrator is biased, since they provide a subjective view of the world around them, rather than an objective one. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and intentionally unreliable narrators are fascinating literary creatures in their own right. 

Genres that commonly use a first person POV

Young Adult . Introspective coming-of-age narratives often benefit from a first-person narrative that captures the protagonist’s voice and (often mortifying) internal anxieties. Some examples are novels like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins , The Fault in Our Stars by John Green , and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Science Fiction . In sci-fi novels, a first person perspective can nicely convey the tension and awe associated with exploring unfamiliar environments and technologies. Some examples of this approach include Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

A close up shot of actor Ryan Gosling in a space suite

Memoir . The first person is perfect for memoirs, which allow readers to relive life events with the author. Some pageturners in this genre are Open by Andre Agassi, Educated by Tara Westover, and Becoming by Michelle Obama. 

As you might expect, after first person comes…

Second person

Second person narratives are far less common in literature — but not entirely unheard of. The pronouns associated with second person include you , your , and yours , as in:

You instruct the chief of police to bring the prisoner to your office.

Second person POV is all about putting the reader directly in the headspace of a particular character: either the protagonist or a secondary figure. When mishandled, this POV can alienate readers — but when executed well, it can create an intimate reading experience like no other.

Since this POV requires quite a lot of focus for most readers, it’s often suited to shorter, lyrical pieces of writing, like poetry. It can also be used alongside other points of view to provide variety in a longer novel, or to indicate a change of character (see: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin).

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Genres that commonly use a second person POV

Creative Fiction . Short stories, poetry, and screenplays can benefit from the immediacy and intimacy of the second person. Two examples are The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, or Pants are Optional by Aeris Walker 一 a brilliant piece from Reedsy’s Short Story competition. 

Nonfiction . In self-help in particular, the second person can be used to ‘enter the reader's mind’, establish rapport, and guide them through a transformation process. For example, in Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now many teachings are conveyed through a series of questions and answers written in second person.

Now that you have seen how second person narratives work, let’s meet some third person limited narrators and see how they handle things.

Third person limited

Everyone has read a third person limited narrative, as literature is full of them. This POV uses third-person pronouns such as he , his , she , hers , they , their , to relate the story:

She told him that their assessment of the situation was incorrect. 

Third person limited is where the narrator can only reveal the thoughts, feelings, and understanding of a single character at any given time — hence, the reader is “limited” to that perspective. Between chapters, many books wrote in this POV switch from character to character, but you will only hear one perspective at a time. For instance:

“ She couldn't tell if the witness was lying.”

A group of actors standing in a train, still from the movie Murder on The Orient Express

The limited third person POV portrays characters from a bit of distance, and asks the readers to engage and choose who they’re rooting for 一 but this POV poses a challenge for authors when trying to create truly compelling characters . A limited perspective definitely adds intrigue, but writers should bear in mind that being able to tell only one side of the story at a time can limit their ability to reveal important details.

Genres that commonly use a third person limited POV

Romance . A love story always has two sides, and the third person point of view is ideal for authors who wish to convey both. Examples in this genre include Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, and The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer.

Thriller . In suspense-driven plots the limited third person POV works well, since it’s fun to try and solve a mystery (or mysterious characters) alongside the protagonists. Two examples are Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, or Nine Perfect Strangers by Moriarty Liane. 

A solid story structure will help you maintain a coherent point of view. Build it with our free book development template.

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If you’re done with the intimacy of “close” viewpoints, perhaps we can interest you in one final POV — a God’s-eye view of storytelling.

Third person Omniscient

The third person omniscient is as popular as the limited one, and uses the same pronouns. The difference, however, is that the narrator is “all knowing” — meaning that they’re not limited to one character’s perspective, but instead can reveal anything that is happening, has happened, or will happen in the world of the story. For example:

He thought the witness was honest, but she didn't think the same of him .

It’s a popular point of view because it allows a writer to pan out beyond the perspective of a single character, so that new information (beyond the protagonist’s comprehension) can be introduced. At the same time, it heavily relies on the voice and authority of the narrator, and  can therefore take some focus away from the character.  

Genres that commonly use a third person omniscient POV

Fantasy fiction . In elaborate fantasy worlds, being unencumbered from a character’s personal narrative means that the narrator can provide commentary on the world, or move between characters and locations with the flick of a pen. You’ll see this approach in action in Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.

Literary fiction . An all-encompassing perspective can allow authors to explore different character quirks, but also interpersonal dynamics between characters. Leo Tolstoy does this masterfully in his great classics Anna Karenina and War and Peace .

Now that we have established the basics of the major points of view, let’s dig a little deeper. If you’re ready for a closer look at POV, head over to the next post in this guide to learn more about first person perspective.

5 responses

Aysha says:

19/04/2020 – 19:56

The Book Thief would be considered First Person POV, similar to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, right? Thank you for the wonderful information. It gave a lot of insight into choosing which POV would be most suitable for a particular story. Pretty clear-cut.

Sasha Anderson says:

31/05/2020 – 10:41

I sometimes have difficulty telling the difference between third person limited and omniscient. For example, in the quote from I am Legend, the sentence "If he had been more analytical, he might have calculated the approximate time of their arrival" sounds very omniscient to me, because Robert wasn't, and didn't. Is there an easy way to tell that this is limited rather than omniscient, or does it not really matter as long as it reads well?

Lilian says:

18/06/2020 – 05:15

This was a very helpful piece and I hope it's okay to share the link for reference.

↪️ Martin Cavannagh replied:

18/06/2020 – 08:51

Of course! Share away :)

18/06/2020 – 05:44

It deal with the challenges associated with POV in writing. I like that it clearly distinguishes between third person limited POV and third person omniscient POV as most beginner writers are guilty of abrupt and inconsistent interchange in the two leading to head hopping. Greattach piece, I muse confess.

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First-Person Point of View: Definition and Examples

First-Person Point of View: Definition and Examples

4-minute read

  • 13th August 2023

The first-person point of view is a grammatical person narrative technique that immerses the reader into the intimate perspective of a single character or individual.

In this literary approach, the story unfolds through the eyes, thoughts, and emotions of the narrator, granting the reader direct access to their inner world. Through the narrator’s use of pronouns such as I and me , readers gain a personal and subjective understanding of the narrator’s experiences, motivations, and conflicts. For example:

If the author uses the third-person point of view , the sentence would read like this:

Why Write From the First-Person Point of View?

This point of view often creates a strong sense of immediacy, enabling readers to form a deep connection with the narrator while limiting the reader’s knowledge to what this character or narrator knows. It’s a dynamic viewpoint that allows the rich exploration of a character’s or narrator’s growth and provides the opportunity to delve into their personal struggles.

First-person narration shouldn’t be used or should be considered carefully in some situations. Familiarize yourself with genre style and tone before making this decision.

Using the First-Person Point of View in Fiction

The first-person point of view is a powerful tool in fiction because it can create an intimate and engaging connection between the reader and the narrator. It is particularly effective for the following purposes.

Developing a Character’s Voice and Personality

First-person narration facilitates a deep exploration of a character’s or narrator’s unique voice, thoughts, and personality. It enables readers to experience the story through the lens of the narrator or a specific character, giving the reader direct insight into their emotions, motivations, and growth.

Portraying Subjective Experiences

When the story relies heavily on the narrator’s or a character’s subjective experience, emotions, and perceptions, the first-person point of view can help the reader connect on a personal level. This bond is especially beneficial in stories that explore complex internal conflicts and psychological themes.

Enhancing Reader Empathy

First-person narratives can foster empathy by enabling readers to see the world through the eyes of the narrator. This perspective can lead to a more emotional and immersive reading experience, allowing readers to relate to and invest in the narrator’s or a character’s journey.

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Conveying Unreliable Narrators

First-person narration is excellent for stories featuring unreliable narrators . Readers can uncover discrepancies between what the narrator says and what they actually do, revealing layers of intrigue and mystery.

Delivering Engaging Storytelling

When the narrative requires a strong and engaging storyteller, the first-person point of view can make the story feel more like a conversation or confession, drawing the reader in.

It’s also important to note that using the first-person point of view comes with limitations. The narrator’s perspective is confined to what they personally experience, possibly limiting the scope of the story’s atmosphere and the portrayal of events that occur outside the narrator’s awareness. Consider how authors of classic novels have utilized point of view in their writing.

The First-Person Point of View in Research Essays

Generally, it’s preferable to avoid the first person in academic and formal writing. Research papers are expected to maintain an objective, unbiased, and impartial tone, focusing on presenting information, data, and analyses clearly. The use of I or we may introduce subjectivity and personal opinions, which can undermine the credibility and professionalism of the research.

Instead, the third-person point of view is preferred because it allows a more neutral and detached presentation of the material. Follow the guidelines and style requirements of the specific field or publication you’re writing for: some disciplines may have different conventions regarding the use of first-person language.

The first person can lend itself to some types of research description when the researcher is discussing why they made a particular decision in their approach or how and why they interpret their findings.

But be aware that when writers attempt to write without reverting to the first person, they often overuse the passive voice . In nonfiction or academic writing, staying in the first person may sometimes be better than using the passive voice.

Ultimately, the decision to use the first person in fiction or nonfiction depends on the specific goals of the author. Fiction authors should consider how this narrative choice aligns with the story’s themes, characters, and intended emotional impact. Research writers should carefully consider whether the use of the first person is necessary to convey their findings and decisions or whether that information could be described as or more effectively without it.

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Writing First Person Point of View: Definition & Examples

first person point of view writing prompts

by Alex Cabal

The first-person point of view (or PoV) tells a story directly from the narrator’s perspective, and using it can help the reader connect with your work. This is because first-person point of view uses language that mirrors how individual people naturally speak. It’s a way for a writer to share thoughts, ideas, or to tell a story in a close and relatable way, and brings the reader directly into the perspective of the narrator.

What is first-person PoV?

First-person perspective is when the protagonist tells a story from their own point of view using the pronoun “I.” This storytelling technique focuses on the internal thoughts and feelings of the “I” narrator, offering a deep immersion into the protagonist’s perspective. This creates the sensation that the character is speaking directly to the reader.

In conversation, first-person language would sound like “I went to the store earlier,” or “I saw a great movie on TV last night!” Internal thoughts may sound like “I wish he would just say how he feels,” or “Why can’t I be brave and just do it!”

Writing a first-person narrator provides the opportunity for both the writer and the reader to directly step into the “shoes” of the protagonist—if done well, it can deeply connect the reader to the work and allow them to experience the story directly from the perspective of the first-person narrator.

First-person narration can also be a great tool to use in non-fiction work, such as autobiographical and memoir pieces where the author is telling a true first-person account of their lived experience. For example, “I was there in Berkeley in 1969, and bore witness to rioting youth and the roots of the revolution.”

Writing in first-person narration brings the reader intimately—and at times empathetically—into the story, as they experience the world of the story directly from the character’s mind.

First-person point of view happens when the protagonist is telling their own story.

A writer can also use multiple first-person perspectives told through different characters in a story. Doing this can immerse the reader in each person’s unique perspective of what’s occurring in the plot.

A writer can also use first-person point of view to tell a story in both the past and present tense to offer direct opinions on the narrator’s personal experience through both reflection on the past and action in the present.

First-person point of view words and language

The words most often used in the first-person narrative include both singular and plural first-person pronouns.

Singular first-person point of view words list:

Plural first-person point of view words list:.

The language used follows the perspective of the narrator: “I did this,” or “he held my hand,” or “we went to the store together.”

What’s the difference between first, second, and third-person point of view?

You’ll often hear writers talking about first-person point of view, second-person point of view, and third-person point of view. But what’s the difference?

First-person PoV , as we looked at above, tells a story from just one character’s perspective (or, from one character at one time) using the pronoun “I.”

Second-person PoV is similar to first-person in that it follows just one character. In this case, however, second-person point of view uses the pronoun “you.” This perspective treats the reader as if they were part of the story.

Second-person point of view is challenging, and is generally best suited to the short story form. However, some authors have taken on the second-person PoV in novels, such as Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler . You might also recognize second-person narration from “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.

Third-person PoV is a perspective in which the reader is kept at a distance from the story. These stories use the third-person pronouns “He,” “She,” and “They.” Reading about a third-person narrator is like watching a film; you can see everything that’s happening, but you’re not part of it.

There are two common types of third-person perspective: third-person limited narration and the third-person omniscient narrator. The limited third-person narrative voice uses the he, she, they pronouns but follows only one character at a time.

The third-person omniscient point of view can see into all the characters, all the time. This type of third-person narration allows the reader to know more than any one character knows at any given time. An omniscient narrator mimics the experience of watching a stage play; the reader can see everything happening on the stage, even if the characters can’t.

Third-person point of view happens when the narrator is telling a story about someone else.

Third-person point of view is popular and timeless because it’s the classic storytelling voice. It’s what we hear when someone says, “ Once upon a time… ” You’ll find that the majority of classic literary fiction, and much of contemporary fiction, uses this narrative point of view.

To learn more about using each of these point of view styles in your writing, why not visit the lesson series in our writing academy ?

What’s the difference between first-person and fourth-person point of view?

Writers often confuse first-person point of view and fourth-person point of view because they both tell a story from the perspective of the protagonist. The difference is that first-person PoV uses a singular voice, while fourth-person PoV uses a collective voice.

This isn’t quite the same thing as first-person plural. When plural first-person pronouns are used in first-person PoV—that would be words like “we” and “us”—it’s describing a shared experience between the narrator and another person.

For example, “We went to the movies, and Jim bought me some popcorn” is told in first person, even though it uses “we” to describe two people.

Fourth-person point of view treats a group of beings as one narrator. This is an experimental narrative form that’s become more popular in recent years and is effective in communicating large social issues. Your fourth-person narrator might be a group of suppressed office workers, a generation of young people facing a broken housing market, or a multilayered collective consciousness from outer space.

If you want to experiment with writing a fourth-person story, you’ll want to take a look at our detailed lesson here .

Types of first-person point of view

When we talk about first-person point of view, there are several types that we might be referring to. Let’s take a look at the different ways you might use the first-person voice in your story.

There are different ways you can express your first-person point of view: central, peripheral, subjective, and objective.

First-person central

In first-person central, the story is told from the protagonist’s point of view—the main character who is driving the plot. Using a first-person central PoV immerses the reader directly into the main character’s thoughts, feelings, and actions, as if the reader is the central character.

A classic example of first-person central PoV is Catcher in the Rye . Holden Caulfield, the novel’s protagonist, tells the story directly from his point of view. This provides the author the opportunity to address complex social issues from the perspective of a teenager.

First-person peripheral

In first person peripheral, the narrator tells the story as a witness, but is not the main character. Using the first-person peripheral perspective in storytelling allows the writer to keep the focus on the protagonist, yet keep the reader removed from the thoughts and feelings of the main character.

This type of distance puts the reader in the shoes of the narrator while the narrator relates their thoughts, opinions, and perception of the main character.

One example of first-person peripheral point of view is the Sherlock Holmes canon. In these stories, the narrator is John Watson, who tells the story from the perspective of witnessing his best friend solve mysteries. Writing from a peripheral perspective allowed the author to create intrigue, mystery, and suspense.

First-person subjective

In addition to the central and peripheral narrative point of view, your first-person PoV character will also use the subjective or objective voice.

Most first-person protagonists in literature are subjective. This means they tell the story through the lens of their own thoughts, feelings, cultural biases, and ambitions. This narrative choice adds richness to your story world, but also narrows the reader’s understanding to the way your protagonist sees the world around them.

First-person objective

The objective first-person point of view is less common, but can be very effective—particularly in genres like speculative fiction and horror. In this narrative style, the PoV character doesn’t interject their own preconceptions and ideas; it’s simply the narrator telling the reader what happens.

This makes the story sound a bit like a witness statement, and allows the impact of the events to come through the actions of the characters rather than through their emotions.

What is first-person limited and first-person omniscient point of view?

Choosing to write from a first-person limited or first-person omniscient point of view allows the author to decide what insight is shared with the reader, and how much the narrator knows about what’s occurring within the plot.

First-person limited point of view

First-person perspective typically takes on a limited perspective—the story is told directly, and only, from the narrator’s internal thoughts, feelings, and personal experiences. This means the entire story has a limited view of how the character sees and experiences the world.

An example of first-person limited point of view is the novel To Kill a Mockingbird . The story is told through the main character, a child named Scout, and the reader is only offered limited information from a child’s point of view. Writing from first-person limited offered Harper Lee the opportunity to approach complex topics from the eyes of a child.

Limited or omniscient point of view? Both have different strengths to offer your story.

First-person omniscient point of view

First-person omniscient is a more uncommon use of first person, as omniscient narration takes on a god-like understanding of what’s happening within the plot. Sometimes, this type of narration can be unnerving for a reader and cause them to disengage from a story. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done successfully.

An example of first-person omniscient narration is Saving Fish From Drowning , by Amy Tan. The story is written from the perspective of a ghost, Bibi Chen, a central yet peripheral character.

Having the story recounted by the spirit of the narrator allows the reader a vast amount of insight into all the characters’ thoughts and feelings without breaking the cadence of the story—at times offering comedic relief for experiences that might be deeply uncomfortable for the reader to experience first-hand.

Why do authors love first-person PoV?

First-person narrators allow the reader to get rooted in their character’s head and thereby achieve a tighter emotional connection with the reader. To make the connection even stronger, the character lets the audience in on secrets or insights that no one else knows.

First-person point of view is often used in autobiography and memoir writing, where the story must be told from one central perspective. Using first-person narrative in memoirs and autobiographies makes the story feel more genuine, authentic, and authoritative because the story is told directly as a first-hand account from the person who experienced the events themselves.

First-person novels are also popular with fiction writers, because they offer deep insight into the theme, story, and plot directly from the “I” narrator. This helps the writer connect with their demographics, their age, sex or gender, social status, and so forth.

First-person point of view in fiction writing can instill a sense of a narrator’s authority or credibility in the story, yet also offers the writer the opportunity to play with having the story told from an unreliable narrator or an unusual perspective.

Consider the earlier example of To Kill a Mockingbird and the way Lee used a child’s perspective to illuminate a theme of justice and complex social issues—a theme that might otherwise alienate a reader from the story, rather than create a sense of empathy.

While it may seem that writing in the first-person voice may be limiting in storytelling power—as the story focuses solely on the internal thoughts and feelings of the narrator—the role of the narrator can assist in weaving complexity and intricacy into the story.

Advantages of first-person point of view

First-person point of view can create a compelling, emotional story—sometimes even stronger than a story written in third-person PoV—because the character and reader are connected through intimate, one-on-one communication.

Advantages of first-person narrative include:

Creating a sense of mystery and intrigue; the first-person PoV shields the reader from certain information until a major moment unfolds in the plot, when both reader and narrator learn something new.

Lending a story credibility by building rapport with the reader, and thus making the narrator seem more reliable. This sense of connection can make the narrator and reader feel as if they’re sharing a private conversation.

Positioning the narrator as an unreliable narrator part way through the story can be used to subvert the reader’s expectations.

First-person PoV prose is highly character driven, leaning into who the character is as a person, their motivations, world views, the strengths and weaknesses of their personality. This perspective can evoke a deep sense of empathy and compassion that connects the reader to the story.

First-person point of view lends credibility, creates suspense, and strengthens characterisation.

Disadvantages of first-person point of view

While first-person PoV can create an empathetic connection between the character and the reader, the reader is also limited to that one perspective—which can become very insular.

Disadvantages of first-person point of view include:

Given that first-person PoV is generally used as a limited perspective, it tends to the personal biases of the narrator. While bias from the narrator’s perspective may not fully be negative, it can turn away readers that don’t or can’t align with the inclinations, preferences, and perspectives of the narrator.

First-person PoV limits a story to the singular perspective of the narrator, which can make additional subplots more challenging since the reader can’t see into the mind of alternative characters.

Using a first-person perspective can also make it difficult for the narrator to describe themselves and their physical characteristics to give further context and details of the story.

Tips for writing in first-person PoV

The following tips for writing in the first-person point of view will lay out some best practices and give you some insight into how to avoid common mistakes.

1. Quickly establish who the narrator is

Open your story by establishing a strong character voice that demonstrates who this person is and why their voice is unique. Consider this example of an introductory paragraph to a story:

I’ll never understand why hospitals don’t use better lighting. No one wants ugly blue light shining into their eyes while as they look for the soft light everyone says calls to you from the end of the tunnel. I don’t see a tunnel, all I see is the burning glare of this light, reflecting at me from all of these too shiny metallic surfaces.

In this example, the character’s tone is immediately established as critical, unhappy, and bitter. Additionally, the reader is given clear details about the character—that they’re in a hospital, possibly dying, and that the story is told directly from their perspective.

2. Stay in character

Think about the demographics of your character, their background, culture, education, and influences, and remain true to who the character is.

This is especially true when it comes to writing dialogue, and if you’re using any kind of vernacular. For example, if a story is told from the perspective of an exhausted waitress who grew up in a big city on the east coast, it would be unlikely that she would approach a table and say:

“Hi y’all, you feelin’ hungry? What looks good today?”

She would probably use terse and maybe even sharp language that gets straight to the point, and wouldn’t use southern vernacular or phrases such as “y’all” or “feelin’.” Instead, she might say: “Did you look at the menu? Are you ready to order?” Make sure your PoV character uses their own voice.

In first-person point of view, a strong narrative voice is essential.

3. Follow your narrator

Don’t lose scope of what the narrator knows within the story—not only pertaining to the thoughts and emotions of other characters, but also to what’s occurring in the plot and world around them.

For example, if your main character is sitting in a jail cell waiting to hear back from their lawyer about the verdict of the trial, there’s no way for them to know the events that are unfolding in the courtroom until a scene takes place where the character is told what happened.

4. Avoid head hopping

Avoid head hopping and don’t change characters’ perspectives within a single paragraph or chapter. If you choose to use more than one first-person narrator within a story, ensure that the transitions between the other characters and perspectives are easily identifiable within the text.

For example, a story about a relationship between two people could be told from each person’s first-person PoV, but the author would need to make it clear which character is telling each part of the story. To avoid slipping into another character’s head, consider this example:

She looked at me, thinking about how I had eaten the last piece of her chocolate birthday cake.

The narrator can’t know what “she” is thinking. Instead, consider the following example that strictly stays in the thoughts and perspective of the narrator:

She looked at the empty plate, and then at me. I felt the accusation in her glare. How dare she think I would eat the last of her chocolate birthday cake?

You can find out more about this cardinal sin of fiction writing through our lesson on head hopping here.

5. Limit the use of “I” and repetitive language

Overuse of “I” language within a story can be monotonous and repetitive for a reader, especially if “I” is used heavily at the beginning of sentences. To avoid the overuse and repetition of “I,” consider the following example:

“I love that particular flavor of ice cream…” vs. “That particular flavor of ice cream is a favorite of mine.”

Or, “I know this room…” could also be written in the passive voice as: “This room feels familiar.”

Playing with both active and passive voice and seeking creative ways to share information about a narrator can keep the text from becoming overwhelmingly repetitive with the use of “I.”

In addition, when writing dialogue in the first person, avoid repetition of “he said” and “she said.” In these instances using character names and descriptive language can assist in alleviating overly repetitive text.

For example:

“Angela, I want out of this wedding.” “You can’t,” she sighed. “My mother already bought the dress and my father put a downpayment on the venue.” “Do you think I care about a dress or a downpayment? I want out.” A single tear rolled down her cheek. “Fine. Leave, and don’t ever come back.” “I won’t.”

To dive deeper, you can check out our lesson on active and passive voice , and our detailed article on mastering dialogue tags !

First-person PoV examples from literature

One of the best ways to learn how to write in the first person is to read books and novels that have been written in first-person point of view. Here are a few novels written in this narrative style:

The Hunger Games , by Suzanne Collins.

The Fault in Our Stars , by John Green.

Elmet , by Fiona Mozley.

Into the Jungle , by Erica Ferencik.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , by Mark Twain.

Moby-Dick , by Herman Melville.

Never Let Me Go , by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Goodbye, Vitamin , by Rachel Khong.

The Time Traveler’s Wife , By Audrey Niffenegger.

To master your point of view, try reading books that have used it effectively.

First-person point of view opens new worlds

First-person point of view has a lot to offer the writer, no matter what genre you’re writing in. Unlike third-person point of view, which puts some distance between the reader and the story, using first-person pronouns effectively brings the reader right into the heart of your story.

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What is Point of View? Definition & 8 Types of Point of View

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What is POV? Writing Prompts to Help Understand

December 10, 2023 by Richard Leave a Comment

What is POV? A definition and POV writing prompts for practice! 

POV stands for “point of view”. A point of view in writing refers to the perspective from which a story is told or the vantage point through which events are described.

More specifically:

The point of view (POV) is the narrator’s position about the story being told. The point of view determines the perspective from which events and characters are described to readers.

Common types of POV in writing include:

  • First-person POV – The story is told using “I” or “we,” portraying events from the narrator’s direct perspective as a character in the story. This brings readers closely into the narrator’s experiences.
  • Second person POV – The narrator refers to the reader as “you,” placing the reader directly into the action rather than having them view it from afar. This is not commonly used.
  • Third person POV – The narrator refers to all characters by name or as “he/she/they.” Different types of third-person POV provide the narrator with varying degrees of access to different characters’ thoughts and feelings.

In summary, the point of view shapes the reader’s understanding of and perspective on unfolding events based on who is telling the story and how closely they are tied to the action. The POV heavily influences how information is conveyed in a narrative .

Sidenote: The TikToc #POV hashtag is meant to indicate to viewers to put themselves in the situation happening in the view. Trying these writing prompts is exactly what the #hashtag means .

Mastering Point of View: 50 Engaging Writing Prompts to Build Perspective-Taking Skills

Writing from diverse narrative points of view allows writers and readers to step into different characters’ shoes, gaining invaluable empathy and insight. The following 50 thought-provoking point-of-view writing prompts will help writers gain proficiency in portraying events, emotions, and growth from the varied first-person, second-person, and third-person perspectives.

This collection of writing prompts provides enriching entry points for narrative role-play across imaginative genres and settings. Scenarios ranging from whimsical, magical realms to emotional coming-of-age moments offer writers opportunities to inhabit protagonists, secondary players, or even anthropomorphized objects to relay impactful tales.

Through consistent practice responding to these innovative prompts from a chosen focal character’s viewpoint, writers build skills vital for captivating, immersive storytelling. Whether writing from the awestruck eyes of a young wizard entering Diagon Alley, conveying a maple tree’s autumn attention-grabbing enchantments, or depicting astronauts’ otherworldly Mars arrival, depicting events through purposefully selected vantage points invites discovery.

By alternating between close first person, more removed third person limited, or fully omniscient narrative styles, writing across this exciting prompt set hones perspective-taking dexterity. Like actors discovering motivation through method techniques, exploring emotions via different characters’ inner voices fosters greater human understanding while crafting compelling stories readers will find hard to put down.

Master perspectives through regular writing practice: choose a prompt, decide on POV, become that character, and relay their tale! Grow more versatile in portraying consciousness while igniting new fiction worlds through these launching pads for viewpoint exploration. Let your empathy expand through walking in varied shoes!

Here are 100 POV writing prompts:

  • You wake up as your 5 year old self, remembering everything about your current life. Write about an average day as your child self with an adult mind.
  • You switch bodies with your pet for a day. Write about your perspective of a normal day as your pet.
  • You become invisible for 24 hours. Describe where you go and what you do without being seen or heard by anyone.
  • An alien ship abducts you. Write about your experience onboard and interactions with the aliens from your POV.
  • Your houseplants and indoor greenery suddenly come to life. Write from the perspective of your favorite plant after this astonishing change.
  • Your favorite childhood toy comes to life when only you are around. Write about an adventure you have with your suddenly conscious toy.
  • You wake up and realize you switched genders overnight. Describe your confusion and how you navigate the day in an opposite gender body.
  • You shrink down to only an inch tall. What ordinary locations seem extraordinary from your miniature POV as you travel around?
  • You are granted your favorite fictional character’s abilities/powers for a day. Describe learning how to use and control these newfound abilities.
  • Write a dream sequence about something bizarre or fantastical from the first-person POV without revealing it’s a dream until the end.
  • Everyone in the world has disappeared except for you. Describe wandering through a deserted city looking for answers.
  • You suddenly gain the ability to communicate with animals. Write about a conversation with your pet or a random animal in your yard.
  • You put yourself to sleep and have a lucid dream in which you can control everything that happens. Describe an exhilarating adventure.
  • You wake up in someone else’s body. Describe your disorientation and frantic efforts to figure out what is going on.
  • You are the first astronaut to step onto Mars. Describe your arrival and the landscape from your POV.
  • A mad scientist performs an experimental procedure on your brain, exponentially raising your IQ. Explain how you now view and interact with the world.
  • You ingest a magic potion allowing you to time travel. Write about accidently alterning the future when reliving a memory from your past.
  • You are deathly allergic to the sun. Write a story about a catastrophic event occurring that forces you outside during day time.
  • You discover you can heal people with your hands. Write about secretly treating someone close to you without revealing your gift.
  • Your sibling/friend morphs into an evil doppelganger version of themself. Describe the eerie changes from your increasingly terrified POV.
  • You suddenly gain telepathic abilities. Describe the chaos of involuntarily hearing other people’s secret thoughts and emotions all around you.
  • Write a wilderness survival story from the POV of someone lost in the woods without supplies or assistance.
  • Tell a post-apocalyptic story from the POV of one of the last people left on Earth after catastrophic destruction.
  • Rewrite a fairy tale from the perspective of the villain detailing their motivations and view of events.
  • Gods walk the earth as ordinary humans. Describe a god just trying to fit in from their own divine POV.
  • You are a dog seeing snow fall for the very first time. Describe what you see, feel, smell, and think as the white flakes fill the air.
  • Write a diary entry from the perspective of a student on their first day at a new school in a new town. How do they feel as they try to navigate new classes, teachers, and peers?
  • Describe a fun day at an amusement park from the point of view of someone who is afraid of rollercoasters. What’s going through their mind as friends try to coax them onto the biggest, fastest ride?
  • You are a character in a fantasy video game going on your first quest. Describe the new sights, smells, and creatures you encounter as you venture through magical lands unknown.
  • Tell the story of making new friends on the playground as a painfully shy 1st grade student who struggles with social situations. What thoughts run through your mind as you work up the courage to join a game?
  • From the perspective of a hamster, vividly depict escaping from your cage and having free run of the house while your family sleeps.
  • As a butterfly emerging from your cocoon for the first time, describe experiencing and interacting with the colorful world around you.
  • You are a maple tree changing colors with the season. Capture the experience through the tree’s eyes as autumn arrives.
  • Write about your mom surprising you by bringing your classroom pet rabbit home for the weekend as if you are the pet rabbit experiencing a human’s home for the first time.
  • Tell the story of a teenager buying their first lottery ticket, envisioning how they’d spend the money if they won.
  • Describe trying coffee for the first time as a 5 year old who sneaks some during a dinner party when adults aren’t looking.
  • From the perspective of a piece of fruit, describe being selected at the grocery store and going home with an excited new owner.
  • You are the first astronaut to land on Mars. Document this momentous event from the astronaut’s awe-filled perspective.
  • Write about reading your favorite book again as an adult that you first loved as a child through your nostalgic eyes.
  • Depict making a new discovery as a scientist that turns research in your field upside down from their game changing viewpoint.
  • You are a wild horse galloping across open plains for the first time after escaping from captors. Capture this exhilarating experience.
  • Tell the story of a refugee arriving in a new land, documenting thoughts, hopes and fears.
  • Describe playing fetch as a dog – your favorite game with your beloved human friend.
  • From a giraffe’s perspective, depict interacting with the fascinating giants (humans) at a zoo for the first time.
  • Write about qualifying for the Olympics from the emotional perspective of the athlete.
  • You are the owner of a restaurant reviewing opening night through their anxious but excited viewpoint.
  • Channel a whale’s perspective to convey breaching alongside others during an epic migration south.
  • You are a spell book documenting the escapades of a bumbling witch or wizard apprentice practicing magic for the first time from your bemused view.
  • Capture receiving an acceptance letter to Hogwarts school through the eyes of a young witch or wizard who grew up unaware of their magical abilities.
  • Convey spotting the first crocuses poking up through snow from the joyful perspective of Spring herself after a long winter.
  • You are a balloon soaring up, up into the bright blue sky after a child loses grip on your string at a birthday party. Describe your flight to freedom.
  • Channel an adventurous cat embarking on their first outdoor exploration when a door accidentally opens.
  • Tell the story of a crayon drawing their very first picture in a brand new box of crayons.
  • From a wave’s perspective, depict building momentum throughout a storm and ultimately crashing over a sea wall.
  • You are the smell of cookies wafting out of a bakery on a busy city street. Capture enticing people into the shop.
  • Write from the strained voice’s perspective inside a rock star’s throat during a big concert trying to hit all the songs’ high notes.
  • Convey receiving terrible nightmare-inducing news as the Sandman, so it permeates every dream you weave that night.
  • Depict being picked from a vibrant flower bed to become part of a lovely bouquet for a special occasion through the rose’s experience.
  • You are the first forkful of creamy Thanksgiving stuffing as it bursts with flavor inside someone’s mouth after a long prep.
  • Document travel anticipation through the eyes of a suitcase as its owner packs for a huge trip.
  • Capture fireworks launching into the air and exploding overhead during a 4th of July show from an enthralled viewer’s POV.
  • Channel a peanut butter and jelly sandwich trying to hold together as a messy kid takes big bites enjoying you after school.
  • You are snake skin helping the snake below emerge after shedding your former dried casing for their fresh new exterior.
  • Depict the intermingled horror and astonishment of villagers first encountering a dragon laying waste to their realm.
  • Convey a fruit smoothie getting mixed, blended and consumed from creation to consumption.
  • Capture a skyscraper looking down on the bustling ant-like city below through the unique vista it provides.
  • You’re an adventurer’s loyal walking stick helping your aged owner continue their globe-spanning travels late into life.
  • Write about beams of sunlight streaming into an ancient tomb from a small opening when its door first cracks ajar after centuries sealed away.
  • Tell the story of kids shrinking to enter a intricate fairy village hidden in the woods from one sprite’s view when the enchantment happens.
  • Convey exhilaration speeding down a winding slide as a young child lets go into the wonder of the wild ride below.
  • Describe bubbles floating and popping around giggling kids in a hot summer bath through a particular bubble’s brief, glistening existence.
  • Channel an ice cube’s POV slowly melting inside a boiling pot as it heats up transforming you into hot liquid.
  • Capture an excited dog’s perspective chasing squirrels through lush autumn woods amidst colorful falling leaves all around you.
  • You are crumbs and spice getting mixed into cookie dough then baked into cookies from grain to dessert.
  • Depict fire spreading from log to log and tree to tree from an ominous forest fire’s relentless viewpoint as it ravages the woodlands overnight.
  • Tell the tale of a young wizard’s wand selecting them in a magic shop, leaving your shelf for adventures untold from the wand’s perspective.
  • Convey the claustrophobia of being trapped overnight alone on a stuck elevator through the elevator’s frustrated lens.
  • Depict stage fright striking right before the curtains rise as the lead in a big Broadway musical through the character’s anxious experience.
  • Describe falling asleep inside a young child’s mind as the Sandman, sprinkling dreams of birthday parties, pets and playgrounds.
  • You are the rear left bike tire getting a puncture from broken glass, forcing an abrupt end to your rider’s triathlon race dreams.
  • Channel a lightbulb flickering off after months providing reading light for an avid book lover from the bulb’s slowing filament.
  • Write about water rising all around during a torrential storm from the perspective of an outdoor basement staircase.
  • Convey being a baby carrot suddenly doused in hot soup among swirling ingredients in a blender from your viewpoint.
  • You are saliva inside a superhero’s mouth attempting to speak clearly with loose dentures as they save the city.
  • Tell the tale of a mischievous ghost reveling joyfully in scaring hotel guests away from their possessed room forever.
  • Describe create-your-own sundae night though the bittersweet experience of a lone maraschino cherry atop ice cream.
  • Document travel in the internet’s wires from an email’s excited perspective winging towards an overseas pen pal.
  • You are a pirate’s persistently flapping Jolly Roger flag viewing the high seas peril and plunder from your lofty crow’s nest home.
  • Capture becoming separated from Crayola friends boxed together since birth when adopted by a young artist for their crafts.
  • Channel a baby carrot suddenly doused in hot soup among swirling ingredients in a blender from your viewpoint.
  • Convey the euphoria of scoring a late game-winning goal in the championship through the eyes of the victorious ball.
  • Depict being trapped in amber during a lush primeval forest’s fossilization over millions of years from an insect’s perspective.
  • You are an aging dam struggling to withstand increasing pressure from raging floodwaters behind your weakening structure.
  • Document a river raging from mountain snowmelt overflowing banks, uprooting trees and swallowing homes through the ruthless current’s path.
  • Tell the tale of film premier anticipation morphing into standing ovation applause from a director’s script first draft to their proud movie’s opening night.
  • Describe police sirens and flashing lights receding into the distance from the alieved viewpoint of a graffitied city overpass.
  • Convey doubt transforming into confident realization of super powers manifesting for the first time inside a teenage superhero’s mind.
  • You are the ears of corn peeking hopefully above rich dark soil, reaching eagerly for warm sunlight and growing rains.
  • Channel a young witch’s favorite quill pen, relaying their academic successes and failures within the walls of Hogwarts.
  • Capture a fruit tree’s exhilaration bursting into fresh flowering blooms after a long cold winter from the apricot tree’s perspective.

So what is POV? Exploring diverse perspectives through creative writing invites discovery. Whether inhabiting awestruck wizards, personified maple trees, or amateur astronauts arriving on Mars, purposefully inhabiting different points of view builds empathy while crafting immersive tales. Keep an open mind, choose varied shoes to stand in, and let these writing prompts transport you! By experimenting with first person intimacy, third person distance, even inanimate object POV, writers can wander new worlds. Master narration styles through consistent practice. Try out different narrative voices. With each prompt, decide on a viewpoint and relay their experience as if you walked in their shoes. Let the boundaries of your consciousness expand through embracing other real and imagined vantage points, unlocking your storytelling potential.

We hope these writing prompts were helpful. We have many more on our site. Please leave us a comment letting us know what you think.

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What is Point of View Definition and Examples in Literature and Film Featured

  • Scriptwriting

What is First Person Point of View? Definition and Examples

I , me , we , and us , are all words used to articulate ourselves in the first person point of view – but what is first person point of view? We’re going to explore how the first person point of view, or POV, is used in prose, poetry, cinema, and video games as both a writing and framing technique. But before we dive into our examples, let’s review what makes the first person POV, the first person POV.

1st Person Point of View Explained

What is 1st person point of view.

There are a lot of different ways to articulate yourself in the first person, some singular, some plural. It’s important to maintain grammatical consistency in first person writing, so that we as the readers know which characters are being referenced. We’ll get to some first person POV examples in a bit, but first let’s define point of view!

FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW DEFINITION

What is first person point of view.

A first person point of view is a character perspective that’s used to relay the thoughts and feelings of a character or entity within a story. First person is defined by the use of I, me, we, us, etc. In video games and movies, the term “first person point of view” is used in reference to the perspective of the camera. For instance, the “first person shooter” is a video game genre in which the player controls a character (shooter) from their vantage point. 

First Person Point of View Characteristics

  • Offers insight to alternate views
  • Focus on internal thoughts and feelings of a character
  • Creates intimacy between the piece of work and reader/viewer/player

What’s First Person Point of View in Grammar?

1st person pov examples in grammar.

Now that we’ve reviewed the first person point of view definition, let’s move on to some first person point of view examples in grammar. Here are some first person point of view examples in the singular:

  • My (possessive)
  • Mine (possessive)

And in the plural:

  • Our (possessive)
  • Ours (possessive)

Every language has its own intricacies. Fortunately, first, second and third person point of view in English is much easier to communicate than it is in other languages. That’s because English doesn’t tie the predicate to the tense and “gender” of verbs like other languages.

For example, in English, if we wish to describe a plan to purchase something, we’ll say, “I will buy” or “I’ll buy,” with the I always preceding the tense and verb. In Italian, the point of view is conjugated into the tense and verb, so the same statement “I will buy” is translated into a single word: comprero. 

What Does First Person Point of View Mean in Writing?

First person point of view in writing.

How do we explain what we did today? How we felt? Where we went? We express ourselves constantly in the first person. Everytime we say, I did this , I feel that , or I went here , we’re using 1st person point of view. By me writing the actionable we , rather than the hypothetical you , I’m choosing to use the first person rather than the second person.

Our default, reactionary perspective is first person – so it makes sense that first person comes most natural to many writers. Think about a story you like to tell. If you were to put it to pen and paper, how would it look? Well, there would probably be a lot of I , me, we, us , and our . This next video explores in further detail how writers use the first person POV.

What is 1st Person Point of View?  •  All About Writing in First Person

As storytellers, we’re naturally inclined to tell our stories in first person. As such, narrative essays, short stories, lectures, and blog posts, are all most commonly relayed in the 1st person POV. Some writers make a conscious decision to write in first person while others subconsciously do it because it feels natural. 

For creative writing, there’s no “right or wrong” choice of perspective, just be mindful that each contains its own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re a fiction writer looking to subvert the expectations of your reader, consider using an unreliable narrator .

And always be mindful of the difference between first person limited point of view and first person omniscient point of view.

1st person limited point of view is when a story is told from the first person perspective by a narrator who has limited knowledge.

1st person omniscient point of view is when a story is told from the first person perspective by a narrator who has omniscient (all-knowing) knowledge.

First Person Point of View Movies Explained

First person point of view in movies.

There are a myriad of different types of camera shots that cinematographers and directors use to uniquely frame their movies – the point of view shot is certainly one of the most audacious. The point of view shot, more commonly referred to as the POV shot, places the camera in a position so that the frame shows what a character or inanimate object sees.

Let’s take a look at a video essay that shows how some of the best POV shots of all time were constructed:

What is First Person Point of View?  •   Subscribe on YouTube

Some POV shots last just a few frames while others last the entire length of the movie. There aren’t many films that were shot entirely, or even mostly in the first person POV, but there are a few; most notably, The Blair Witch Project , Cloverfield , and Hardcore Henry .

How do screenwriters communicate this perspective in movies? Well, one way is through dialogue. Charlie Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich cleverly places its protagonist inside the body of the title character.

What is First Person Point of View Being John Malcovich Excerpt StudioBinder ShotListing Software

First Person Point of View Movies  •   Being John Malkovich Except

Here, Kaufman uses dialogue to allow his character to express how it feels to “see the world through John Malkovich’s eyes.” Essentially, it’s a supernatural instance of turning the 3rd person POV into the 1st person POV.

1st Person POV in Video Games

First person point of view in games.

The 1st person perspective is also used in video games as a technique to put the player behind the eyes of a character. The best selling video game of all-time, Minecraft , defaults to this perspective, as do the Call of Duty and Elder Scrolls games. 

Some experimental games, which are widely regarded as “walking simulators,” use the first person alongside the use of a third person narrator to bend perspective, and subvert our perception of what interactive stories can be.

Two such games are The Stanley Parable and The Beginner’s Guide , both designed by writer/director Davey Wreden. This next video examines how interactive storytelling is changing the game for how POV works in gaming. 

What is First Person Point of View?  •  Philosophy of The Stanley Parable and The Beginner’s Guide

The Stanley Parable and The Beginner’s Guide aren’t the only games to challenge our view of first person. Some other games include: The Unfinished Swan , The Return of the Obra Dinn , Gone Home , Firewatch , and Jazzpunk .

Due to the burgeoning adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality machines, it seems almost certain that our perception of what POV is capable of will continue to change over the next few years.

Dive deeper into point of view

In this article, we focused only one type of POV – but what about other points of view? Up next, we break down all the basic ideas behind point of view, with examples from literature, movies, and games. By the end, you’ll know how to recognize first, second, and third person point of view.

Up Next: POV explained →

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Scholarly voice: first-person point of view, first-person point of view.

Since 2007, Walden academic leadership has endorsed the APA manual guidance on appropriate use of the first-person singular pronoun "I," allowing the use of this pronoun in all Walden academic writing except doctoral capstone abstracts, which should not contain first person pronouns.

In addition to the pointers below, APA 7, Section 4.16 provides information on the appropriate use of first person in scholarly writing.

Inappropriate Uses:   I feel that eating white bread causes cancer. The author feels that eating white bread causes cancer. I found several sources (Marks, 2011; Isaac, 2006; Stuart, in press) that showed a link between white bread consumption and cancer.   Appropriate Use:   I surveyed 2,900 adults who consumed white bread regularly. In this chapter, I present a literature review on research about how seasonal light changes affect depression.
Confusing Sentence:   The researcher found that the authors had been accurate in their study of helium, which the researcher had hypothesized from the beginning of their project.   Revision:   I found that Johnson et al. (2011) had been accurate in their study of helium, which I had hypothesized since I began my project.
Passive voice:   The surveys were distributed and the results were compiled after they were collected.   Revision:   I distributed the surveys, and then I collected and compiled the results.
Appropriate use of first person we and our :   Two other nurses and I worked together to create a qualitative survey to measure patient satisfaction. Upon completion, we presented the results to our supervisor.

Make assumptions about your readers by putting them in a group to which they may not belong by using first person plural pronouns. Inappropriate use of first person "we" and "our":

  • We can stop obesity in our society by changing our lifestyles.
  • We need to help our patients recover faster.

In the first sentence above, the readers would not necessarily know who "we" are, and using a phrase such as "our society " can immediately exclude readers from outside your social group. In the second sentence, the author assumes that the reader is a nurse or medical professional, which may not be the case, and the sentence expresses the opinion of the author.

To write with more precision and clarity, hallmarks of scholarly writing, revise these sentences without the use of "we" and "our."

  • Moderate activity can reduce the risk of obesity (Hu et al., 2003).
  • Staff members in the health care industry can help improve the recovery rate for patients (Matthews, 2013).

Pronouns Video

  • APA Formatting & Style: Pronouns (video transcript)

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first person point of view writing prompts

50 creative writing prompts to enrich your craft

Creative writing prompts provide a useful way to jog inspiration. Try these creative writing exercises focused on individual elements of storytelling:

  • Post author By Jordan
  • 13 Comments on 50 creative writing prompts to enrich your craft

Typewriter with lightbulb symbolizing writing prompts and inspiration

Creative writing prompts – find inspiration to:

Create compelling dialogue, craft vivid setting descriptions, create interesting characters, create strong story openings, master tense, craft more effective sentences and phrases, find story ideas.

  • Create eventful plots

Craft satisfying story endings

1. a relocation.

Prompt: A character is moving to another city. She visits her favourite public place and sees something that makes her want to stay. Describe this in 500 words, using third person POV (he/she). Then rewrite in first person, using ‘I’.

Why: Rewriting third person scenes (especially emotional ones) in first person helps you find your character’s voice. You’re telling the reader what your character thinks as your character, not an observer. When you rewrite in third person (if you prefer this POV), some of this immediacy will carry over.

Prompt: A character is being chased by a villain or villainous group through an abandoned warehouse. Describe their fear and lucky escape in 500 words or less. Rewrite the piece from the viewpoint of the villain(s).

Why: Rewriting a protagonist’s scenes from the antagonist’s perspective can help you create a more realistic sense of threat, since you will be able to picture the protagonist as well as antagonist’s movements and psychological state clearer.

3. A late arrival

Prompt:  A character arrives late to a party, not knowing that an old significant other is attending too. The relationship didn’t end well. The host introduces them to each other, unaware of their history.

In 500 words or less, write the scene and rewrite it twice, once from each character’s perspective: The late arriver, the ex and the host.

Why: Sometimes a story scene can be effective written from a secondary character’s point of view. Writing as a neutral observer might help you notice details worth including in the scene (such as the main characters’ actions and body language); actions that you wouldn’t think about as much if you were writing from a different viewpoint.

How to Write Scenes Free Guide

GET YOUR FREE GUIDE TO SCENE STRUCTURE

Read a guide to writing scenes with purpose that move your story forward.

4. A long affair

Prompt: A POV writing exercise courtesy of Writer’s Digest:

A teenage couple is sitting at a restaurant, playfully making up a fake Cosmo love test for each other. What questions do they ask each other? Now, write the same scene, but this time the couple is in their thirties. How would the questions differ? Write the same scene again, but this time the couple has been married for fifteen years. How would their questions be different than the other two tests?

Why: Character development makes your characters feel real. Rewriting scenes from the POV of younger and older versions of your characters will give you a sense of how your characters’ voices and concerns could change over the course of your novel realistically.

5. A change of view

Prompt:  A detective is called to a small hotel to investigate the disappearance of a guest. Describe him searching the guest’s room in 500 words or less. Use first person POV. Then rewrite the scene in the second person (using ‘you’ to describe his actions, as though the reader were the detective).

Why: Although the second person is very uncommon as a point of view, writing a series of actions in second person can help you get into descriptive mode – you’re putting the reader immediately in the viewpoint character’s shoes, making them see and do exactly what your character sees and does.

Creative writing prompt - dialogue between fighting lovers

6. An argument

Prompt:  Two lovers are having an argument in a bar. Character one hates public displays and is trying to calm the situation. Character two doesn’t care at all what other patrons think. Write their exchange in 500 words or less.

Why: Conflict in dialogue makes it lively and the raised stakes draw readers in. The point of this creative writing prompt is to remind you to include individual characters’ differing psychologies and likes and dislikes so that each character’s voice is distinct.A new tag

7. Remove dialogue tags

Prompt 7:  Take several lines of dialogue (either your own or another writer’s work) that use dialogue tags (‘he said’, ‘she said’).

Rewrite the exchange without any dialogue tags, describing each character’s body language (e.g. crossing arms, pacing back and forth, sitting down, standing up) between their spoken lines instead. (E.g. “You said the same thing yesterday.” She crosses her arms, leaning back.)

Why: Dialogue tags can be distracting and repetitive. Body language can show how your characters are speaking and feeling without telling the reader outright, and this brings characters to life.

8. A public figure

Prompt:  A public figure (a celebrity or politician) is giving a long speech when they are interrupted by a member of the audience and heckled. The speaker loses their calm and responds to the heckler in far more informal speech.

Why: We use different ways of talking depending on whom we address. Creating sudden shifts in how a character talks in scenarios such as this helps us remember to vary a character’s expression according to their circumstances.

9. An elevator pitch

Prompt:  Two characters have been stuck in a lift for an hour. They were strangers but they begin opening up, telling each other about their lives while they wait for assistance. Their conversation is awkward at first but by the end it’s as though they’re old friends. Use 500 words or less.

Why: Creating a sense of progression in dialogue shows change and this change and sense of development is a large part of what makes a story interesting.

10. A group project

Prompt: . Four college students have been put in a group to compile a report. Each has a very different work approach. One student loves to research first, another likes to organize people and delegate tasks, one is a lazy slacker and one just agrees with everyone else to avoid conflict. Write their argument about how to complete the project.

Why: It’s important when writing multi-character scenes to give each character a voice that corresponds to their immediate goals as well as personalities. This exercise will help you create multi-character scenes that are complex and rich with dramatic potential.

[Try extra character writing exercises here for further practice.]

11. A lone hiker

Prompt: Imagine your character has gone hiking in a forest on a mountainside. There is nobody else around. Describe what they hear as they pass through different parts – a densely wooded area, a stream, and a high ravine.

Why: Often when we write setting we rely on visual description almost exclusively. Creative writing prompts that help you invoke the other senses will help you create fuller mental imagery for readers.

12. A city changes

Prompt:  Describe the general goings-on in a city over the past 100 years. In the course of your description, describe at least one major landmark that’s changed as well as one memorable event that residents won’t soon forget.

Why: Writing setting well, especially in historical fiction, requires showing place as dynamic rather than static. The process of time changes a place and showing these changes occasionally makes your novel’s locations feel real.

13. A sailor’s impressions

Prompt: Describe a seaside city from the viewpoint of a traveler who is visiting for the first time. Describe the same place again from the viewpoint of a local. Think about the different places in the city each would find interesting, and have each character list three things they love and three things they hate about the city.

Why: Characters’ relations to places affect what they notice about them and where they go, and the same place in your novel can have multiple qualities depending on whose POV is being used. A visiting character might end up eating at awful tourist-bait diners, for example, while a local is more likely to avoid these.

14. A house changes

Prompt: Describe a big, rambling house in the daytime and make it seem comfortable and homely. Rewrite the piece, keeping everything except the adjectives the same. Change the describing words you use so the house feels sinister, eerie or outright terrifying.

Why:  In setting, time of day and place work together to establish mood and atmosphere. This exercise will help you show how places take on different characters according to the conditions under which we experience them.

15. A character’s refuge

Prompt:  Imagine your character has a favourite place they escape to whenever they feel stressed or need quality alone time. It could be somewhere in nature or else an inner city café, music hall or public library. Describe this setting in 500 words including at least three of senses: smell, touch, sound, sight or taste.

Why: Involving the reader’s senses in your settings makes your fictional world easier to imagine. We form memories of places not just through vision but the other senses too. Do this exercise regularly to create memorable locations for your story.

16. A Mary Sue

Prompt: Describe a character who is loved by everyone (if you’ve seen the cult classic show  Twin Peaks , Laura Palmer is a good example). Describe the character and what is so lovely about her in 500 words or less, but end with a secret or flaw that not everyone sees.

Why: Story characters who are perfect are boring. Great characters are light and shade. ‘Good characters’ can have flaws and ‘bad’ characters can have pasts that show the reader a human side. The villain Lord Voldemort in J.K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter  series was once an ordinary boy.

17. A police line-up

Prompt: Imagine a character who witnessed a crime has to identify the perpetrator in a police line-up. Each of the suspects is quite similar looking but there is one vivid aspect of the guilty party that stands out. Describe your character noticing this stand-out feature and realizing who the guilty suspect is in 500 words or less.

Why:  When we describe characters, we often reach for the most obvious physical features such as hairstyle and eye colour. But these are seldom particularly identifying and can read as clichéd. When readers could spot your characters in a police line-up, you’ll know they are vivid. [Someone on Tumblr used forensics software to put together sketches of famous literary characters based on their descriptions: See more here ].

18.A formative experience

Prompt: Imagine a character who has a single, over-arching goal in his or her life (it could be the quest for money or love, status or acceptance, for example). Now describe a single event from your character’s life that strongly influenced their adopting this goal. Describe the event from the character’s viewpoint as a memory, in 500 words  or less.

Why:  Even if you don’t explicitly mention a character’s entire backstory in your novel, knowing details about  why  your character wants and strive for specific things will help you create a three-dimensional cast for your novel.

19. An intriguing voice

Prompt: Go to YouTube. Click on a random video and quickly minimize the window before you see anything. Describe the voice of the first person you hear speaking, in detail. Is there any defining characteristic? Is it low, high, raspy, clear? Do they have a stutter or an odd way of starting, pausing, or ending sentences? Begin with ‘Her/his voice is/was like…’

Why:  Thinking about the differences in how people sound and express themselves will help you write characters whose voices are unique and interesting.

20. A metamorphosis

Prompt:   It’s fun to ask yourself questions such as ‘if my character were an animal/song/building/food item, what would they be?’ Imagine a character in her mid 40’s who’s a schoolteacher. Her class loves her because she’s a bit odd and quirky. Now answer these questions:

If my character were an animal what would she be and why?

If my character were a song, what would it be and why?

Why:  Creative writing prompts that involve asking questions about imaginary people help to create a more concrete idea of them in your mind’s eye. Even if your reader doesn’t know every little thing about your character, you should have a very deep understanding of them yourself so that, if they’re faced with a specific situation, you will already have some intuition as to how they will react.

21. A dramatic incident

Prompt:  Begin an opening sentence with a character having died. For example, Faulkner begins his acclaimed story ‘A Rose for Emily’ thus:

When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old man-servant–a combined gardener and cook–had seen in at least ten years. William Faulkner, ‘A Rose for Emily’. Available online here .

Why:  Dramatic story openings that leave things unanswered pull the reader in. How exactly was Miss Emily a monument? Why is she so intriguing to the town and why had nobody seen the inside of her house? How did she die? Faulkner leaves many questions to answer in the course of the story.

Story opening writing prompt using 'if'

22. A narrator’s regret

Prompt: Begin a story with the words ‘If I’d known then what I know now, I never would have…’ Continue the opening for up to 500 words.

Why:  Conditionals (if, would, could, etc.) create a question in the reader: ‘Then what?’ Beginning a story with a character talking about having grown or acquired new knowledge in some way makes it clear to the reader that there has been momentous change of some kind, and change is what creates story.

23. An uncommon birth

Prompt:  Begin a story ‘I was born…’ Many classic novels that are  bildungsromans  (stories about coming of age) follow this format (e.g.  David Copperfield  by Charles Dickens and  Midnight’s Children  by Salman Rushdie).

Why:  Great characters have history and can remember (and are driven to some extent by) important life events. You don’t have to give your character’s life history from the day they were born. But write a list for each character in your novel about important events in their life, even if we only meet them when they are in their thirties.

24. A strange action

Prompt: Begin a story with a surprising or unusual action. For example, ‘I rushed around the house in terror, turning every tap on full’.

Why:  The mundane and everyday can happen in the course of your novel. But keep the most mundane parts of your book for any part but the beginning. An unusual or inexplicable action as an opening creates curiosity.

25. An encompassing idea

Prompt: Write a first line that encompasses the whole of a story idea. For example, the first line of The Lord of the Rings   written this way could be ‘I had been to Mount Doom and back, and everything in the Shire had changed.’ This great exercise was suggested by Joe Bunting of The Write Practice in his post on writing great first lines .

Why:  Being able to condense your story into a single line is a good skill to have. It’s often best to write the first line of your novel once you have finished your first draft, too, and once you have all the details of plot you’ll be especially able to find an opening that encompasses the central ideas your book covers.

26. A marriage day

Prompt: Imagine a character describing her wedding day. Describe how she and her future spouse walk down the aisle and how she feels about the occasion, all in the present tense and first person plural (‘we’). Then rewrite the passage in the future tense (‘We will’).

Why: Different tenses and moods have interesting effects (e.g. the subjunctive mood is used to describe hypothetical situations – ‘if I had been president, I would have…’). Rewriting an important event in the future tense can show a character’s longing or the castles in the sky they are building. Writing the above scenario this way can be very effective if you will later show how the event did not go to plan at all. It will let you create a contrast between expectation and reality and this element of surprise is a satisfying component of storytelling.

27. A revelation

Prompt:  Your character is a high school student who has just sat his exams.

Describe the exams he has completed in the recent past tense (e.g. ‘Yesterday, I wrote history and my pen ran out of ink in the middle of the French Revolution’).

Now rewrite the piece in the past perfect (past perfect tense shows actions that are complete, e.g. ‘I had walked to the exam venue at 8:00 am.’) End the rewrite with a revelation that came on the last day (for example, the entire class had to re-sit the exam because there was a mix-up with question papers).

Why:  Past perfect tense is useful for creating anticipation, because it shows something happened before something else . The reader says to herself ‘I see that all these actions have been completed, so what are they leading to?’ Mastering past perfect will help you create a more complex sense of time and chronology in your novel.

28. An interview

Prompt: Describe a character waiting nervously outside a venue for a job interview. Describe what they are worried they will be asked and in what ways they feel prepared. Write in recent past tense, ending with ‘the door opened’. After this, rewrite the same scene in the present progressive tense (beginning ‘I am sitting outside….’ and ending ‘the door opens…’)

Why:  It is important to be consistent with tense in a single section of your book or scene, unless transitions between tenses are logical and easy to follow (for example, a character shifting from sharing a memory to describing a present action). Mastering ‘present progressive tense’ (the tense using present participles that shows immediate, current action) will help you create active scenes that unfold in front of the reader.

29. A five-year plan

Prompt: Describe a character making plans for where they will be in life when they reach 30. Make several uses of the future perfect tense that indicates an action that will be complete in the future (e.g. ‘I will have finished studying’).

Why:  Characters, like real people, project themselves into the future, imagining when certain tasks or undertakings will be finished and what their achievements will look like. Future perfect tense shows that the narrator’s current situation has a definite end-point, making it clear that your character is in a state of transition. This helps to create a sense of both shorter time and longer time scales in your novel.

30. An unexpected visitor

Prompt: Begin a story about an unexpected visit with the words ‘I had not been expecting anyone, but…’ Use the past perfect progressive tense (‘I had been [working/walking/thinking/waiting/missing]’) at least two more times in the exercise.

Why:  The past perfect progressive tense is used to describe a continuous action that was completed in the past. It’s useful for writing about interruptions because there is an implied ‘but’ or ‘when something else happened’. For example ‘I had been reclining by the pool with my eyes closed when I heard an unfamiliar voice.’

31. An imperfect copy

Prompt: Open a favorite book to a random page and pick a paragraph. Copy out the paragraph but change every adjective to a synonym. Compare the two versions and note any differences in connotations. For example ‘green’ describes the color, but ‘verdant’ describes the green of lush vegetation or grasslands specifically.

Why:  When you rewrite, finding more descriptive alternatives for words that perhaps aren’t carrying enough weight will make your writing more vivid.

32. A marathon

Prompt:  Write a scene where your main character is running a competitive marathon. Describe her progress and feelings as she nears the finish line. The first time around, use adverbs (e.g. ‘I ran quickly around the bend in the road’), then rewrite using descriptive verbs instead of verb-plus-adverb (e.g. ‘I hurtled/sprinted’, instead of ‘I ran quickly’).

Why:  Adverbs tell the reader how an action is performed, while active verbs show that specific quality of action more imaginatively.

33. A synonymous exchange

Prompt: Write a scene between two characters who are out on a date at a restaurant. They mirror each other’s gestures from time to time in a subconscious display of affinity. For the first pass, use the same words for these gestures (e.g. ‘She smiled at me as she returned from the restroom and I smiled back.’) The second time around, take all the double words (e.g. ‘smiled’ and ‘smiled’) and replace one with a synonym so there is less repetition.

Why:  Sometimes it is hard not repeating the same word in short succession or you do so intentionally for effect. Yet using the same describing words within a short space of time for different objects or actions can feel amateurish and repetitive to readers. Use this exercise to practice creating variation and to expand your repertoire of useful synonyms.

34. A precocious child

Prompt: Write a scene in which your main character is talking with a precocious child who uses big words a lot (such as ‘precocious’, meaning showing certain abilities or interests at a younger age than the norm). Then go through the scene and find the shortest possible alternative for every longer word. An alternative to ‘precocious’ could be ‘clever’.

Why:  Learning to simplify your writing and strip it down to its most basic meanings is important for becoming a good editor. Before you can write great ornate prose, you need to have a good sense of how to write simply and sparingly.

35. A letter

Prompt: Write a scene in the passive voice, where a character receives bad news in a letter and describes being given the letter and reading it. For example, ‘The letter was given to me yesterday.’ Then rewrite the whole scene in the active voice, where the character is in the subject position: ‘I received a letter yesterday.’

Why:  A lot has been written about using active voice rather than passive voice. Passive voice can be used intentionally to create the impression that a character is fairly passive in their life and pushed and pulled by others. Generally, though, active characters are interesting to read about because we have a sense of their actions being purposeful and driven by some or other immediate goal, and that creates stakes that arouse interest.

36. A newsworthy hook

Prompt: Go to Google search and click on ‘news’, then type in a single word. It can be the name of a place, a colour, a job description. Then use the first line of the top result to begin a story and continue for 500 words. For example, for ‘purple’ the current result is ‘Jimi Hendrix would have been perfectly comfortable with the purple haze of uncertainty that surrounds many of the Liberal government’s most pressing agenda items.’ Granted, it would be an odd story, but you could write speculative fiction about Jimi Hendrix returning from the dead to be a guitar-playing political commentator.

Why:  News articles are a great source of story ideas, from the ordinary to the bizarre.

37. A chance find

Prompt:  Open a favourite novel to a random page. Use the first 5-7 words of the first complete sentence to begin writing a story. For example, from Haruki Murakami’s  The Wind-up Bird Chronicle:  ‘I was going to beat him…’

Why:  Other writers’ books are filled with great turns of phrase. A single image or action can spark your imagination and start off an interesting story.

38. An autocomplete

Prompt: Go to Google search and start typing in a phrase beginning ‘What if’. Look in the auto-complete suggestions that pop up (for ‘what if everyone was’ a suggestion is ‘what if everyone was vegan’). Write a story opening up to 500 words long that explores this idea in greater detail.

Why:  Many great stories and novels branch out from a simple premise. For example, C.S. Lewis’ great fantasy novel  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  starts from the question ‘what if there were another world where animals could talk and we could reach it through secret portals?’

39. A blind stroke of luck

Prompt: Open a dictionary to a random page five times, close your eyes and land your finger on a random word. Write each of the five down and try to combine them into a story idea. For example, for ‘alternative’, ‘full’, ‘discovery’, ‘critic’ and ‘original’, you could come up with ‘A critic obsessed with Kafka makes a discovery – a drawer full of alternative original drafts of stories that seem to give a cryptic message.’

Why:  Using random techniques can jog your creativity and help you find curious combinations of subject matter you’d never normally dream of writing about.

40. A song to start it all

Prompt: Take a playlist on a music streaming service or your own device and select shuffle.

Press play and use the words of the title as either the opening of a story or to create the main idea. For example, the words ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ (the title of a song by the band Joy Division) could be words a character thinks in a story about an unhappy love affair.

Why:  Songs are great sources of writing inspiration because they are often ambiguous and allow us to fill in the gaps using our own imaginations.

Create eventful plots

41. a great win.

Prompt: Write a scene in which a person wins the lottery. Describe their excitement and the lead-up to claiming their ticket, and the moment that they find out that they got the date of the draw wrong and didn’t win anything after all.

Why:  The ‘reversal of fortune’ is a common ingredient of tragedy and drama. Practice writing about reversals of fortune to improve at creating the rising and falling action of dramatic moments in your stories’ plots.

42. A prophecy

Prompt: Write a scene in which a prophet comes to a village and shares a premonition that throws the townspeople into turmoil. Describe how a main character decides to set about resolving the situation.

Why:  The catalyst for your story, the inciting event that sets it in motion, needs to create tension (whether between characters or within one character) that begs resolution. This exercise will help you practice creating action-centered story beginnings.

43. A betrayal

Prompt:  Write a scene in which two old friends have a fight that threatens to dissolve their friendship for good. It could be a fight over a clash of values or a personal betrayal. Towards the end, show that there is a glimmer of hope that they will reconcile.

Why:  Conflict (whether internal or between characters) is the lifeblood of great plots. If everything is easy and straightforward for your characters, the stakes are low and the reader invests less emotionally.

44. An adoption

Prompt: A woman has been searching for her birth mother for years because there are important questions she needs to ask her. She’s finally found the right address and has made contact, and the woman has invited her over. Start with ‘She rings the bell’ and describe their interaction for about 500 words.

Why:  Climactic plot moments are opportunities to create suspense and resolution. Isolating and practicing writing moments of plot revelation will help you handle moments of truth creatively and assuredly.

45. A new piece of evidence

Prompt: A detective has been on the hunt for a notorious killer for years. He’s finally tracked him down to a hideout and the detective manages to cuff and arrest him. But while combing through the killer’s hideout, the detective makes a shocking discovery that opens a whole new chapter. Write an ending for this story that also suggests the beginning of a new plot line.

Why:  Writing a book series is challenging, and knowing how to create new arcs even as you resolve major ones helps to keep readers invested in seeing what your protagonist will face next.

46. A late pardon

Prompt: A man imprisoned wrongly for a crime is released after 20 years. He’s lost touch with his family. Describe his surprise homecoming in 500 words or less.

Why:  Dramatic stories that carry a lot of emotional weight need to be resolved satisfyingly. If your protagonist has suffered immensely, the ultimate deliverance should read as comparatively immense. This exercise will help you find dramatic story endings for dramatic beginnings.

47. A better ending

Prompt: Take a novel that had an ending you found unsatisfying. Rewrite the ending and change elements so that you’re happy with the outcome.

Why:  Sometimes writers make choices that upset us. We finish thinking ‘there was so much promise, and then they went and did  that ‘. So practice writing endings that satisfy your expectations of a book so that you are best equipped to satisfy your readers’ own.

48. An educated guess

Prompt: Read the first paragraph of a short story or novel, then close the book and write a final paragraph.

Why:  Many story openings give a clear sense of what the general themes and preoccupations of the book are. It’s important that the opening and closing of your book resonate with each other, so practice writing these two parts together as an exercise.

49. A top-rated finale

Prompt: Take a favorite television series or movie. Make up your own ending based on what you can remember of the plot line and characters.

Why:  Using TV shows and movies as inspiration is effective because screenwriters are especially well-versed in strong beginnings and openings. Practicing an exercise like this will help you think like a screenwriter in how you craft compelling story endings.

50. A blank slate

Prompt: Create your own prompt for writing a story ending and post it in the comments below

Why:  Coming up with prompts is a valuable creative exercise in itself.

Find daily writing prompts with exercises to practice literary devices and craft.

Try easy, step-by-step prompts that will help you outline your novel and support to see you through the challenging first draft.

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first person point of view writing prompts

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

13 replies on “50 creative writing prompts to enrich your craft”

This is an amazing list! I love the fact that you listed a “why” after each exercise, it really helps to focus the mind. I’ve included a link to this post in my latest blog post on https://elisabethannewritesthings.wordpress.com/ I hope you don’t mind! If you do, let me know and I will take it down, but I thought it would be great to share it with other people.

Thanks, Elisabeth. Not at all, I’m glad you liked it and grateful for the mention. B.

[…] you are struggling to come up with ideas to write about daily, these great writing prompts will inspire you and maybe take your writing in a new […]

Writing prompts has a great significance. It helps the readers come to know the goal of writing the article.A single word, a single line even a picture can be the writing prompts.So, we should be more creative to write a writing prompts.It must be clear, concise and focused.Nowadays, many paper writing service, online writing schools help us to learn writing prompts. Here you have shared fifty real life example of writing prompts. These examples must help us to write a great prompt. Thank you for sharing.

Hi Cody, it’s a pleasure. Thank you for reading!

I wrote a short story based on the first one, and I didn’t follow it exactly but I am really happy with it. I plan on having my friends edit it. I love the why it helps me understand what the point of it is besides just typing words. Thankyou

It’s a pleasure, Emilie. I’m glad you found it inspiring. Good luck with your story!

There are some amazing ideas here! So glad I found this list, you’ve really got me thinking! Thank you 🙂

I loved the prompts as well as the structure of your post! It certainly gave me some food for thought…I was wondering if there’s some way to get feedback on what I write using these prompts, though…is that possible?

Thank you Ananya, I’m glad you enjoyed this article!

You can share pieces for feedback from peers in our members-only writing groups. You can sign up here: https://www.nownovel.com/users/sign_up

Fantastic. Thank you.

It’s a pleasure, Tinka, thank you for reading!

[…] Look no further than http://www.nownovel.com/blog/50-creative-writing-prompts/ […]

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9+ ‘First-person narrative’ Writing Prompts

Nutcracker, the unseen hero.

Pen a first-person narrative from the Nutcracker’s point of view showcasing the untold trials and triumphs he faces.

Explore This Prompt Further →

Icy Reflections

Write a first-person narrative of a person making their way across a frozen lake.

Backpacker’s Diary

Write a sequence of journal entries documenting your experience backpacking through a foreign country.

Bee-lieve in me

Create a first-person narrative of a worker bee aspiring to be the next queen bee.

Life Through Rainbow Coloured Glasses

Write a first-person narrative of someone who sees the world only in the colors of a rainbow.

Walk in Their Shoes

Pick a historically significant figure and write a first-person narrative that speculates their thoughts and experiences.

The Artist on the Pitch

Write a first-person narrative from the perspective of a baseball pitcher during a high-pressure game.

A Wand’s Tale

Create a first-person narrative from a wand’s point of view detailing its experiences over several decades.

Walking a Mile in Someone’s Shoes

Write a short first-person narrative from the perspective of someone you’ve had a disagreement with recently.

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First Person Point of View [5 Times to Use When Writing a Novel]

by Jenn | Writing | 2 comments

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Who’s telling this story?

I am! Me, me, me! Myself!

Point of View refers to who is telling the story and how they’re seeing it unfold.

There are 4 different points of view that you can use to write a story.

  • First Person Point of View
  • Second Person Point of View
  • Third Person Limited Point of View
  • Third Person Omniscient Point of View

Today, we’ll deep dive into the first-person point of view.

Table of Contents

What is First-Person Point of View?

If a story is written using the first-person point of view, you will be reading from inside the character’s head. You see, hear, smell, feel, and taste everything as the character would.

I  often use the first person when  I  give examples of  my  personal opinions, explain things that have happened to  me , claim an idea as  mine  or pat  myself  on the back.

I, me, my, mine and myself are all singular first-person pronouns.

We  usually use the first person whenever  we  talk about  ourselves , give  our  opinions or talk about things that have happened to  us .

We, us, our and ourselves are all plural first-person pronouns.

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When to Use First Person POV

Here are five great times to use first-person point of view in your novel.

#1 – Have an Autobiographical Feeling

First POV can give an autobiographical feeling to a piece of fiction. It enables you to be certain the reader will see the world exactly as it’s experienced by the character.

Modern Examples

The cover for the bestselling novel WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS , published in 2010, is a contemporary novel by Sara Gruen. The movie was released in 2011.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS spent 8 weeks at #1 on the NYT Bestseller List. It has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS feels like it could be the autobiography of Jacob Janowski. Of course, it’s not. It’s a piece of fiction.

But that is one of the great benefits of first-person point of view. It can make fiction  feel  like truth.

I am, as far as I can tell, the oldest male virgin on the face of the earth. Certainly no one else my age is willing to admit it.

The cover for the award winning novel THE SYMPATHIZER

THE SYMPATHIZER , published in 2015, is a historical fiction novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

THE SYMPATHIZER won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

THE SYMPATHIZER is written like it IS an autobiography. From the very first line, we’re expected to read this as the memoir of the narrator.

I AM A SPY, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.

#2 – Show a Unique Point of View

First-person point of view can create a unique perspective on the story. You can use it to show the story from an outsider’s perspective.

Most books written in first-person point of view use the perspective of the main character. But, you can use first-person point of view from the perspective of any character in your novel.

The cover for the bestselling novel THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN , published in 2015, is a mystery, thriller & suspense novel by Paula Hawkins. The movie was released in 2016.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN spent 26 weeks at #1 on the NYT bestseller list. It had sold an estimated 15 million copies worldwide by October 2016.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN  is  Rachel’s story. Or is it Megan’s story? I’ve spoken to people who argue that it’s Megan’s story but most agree it’s Rachel’s.

Either way. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is told from three points of view – Rachel, Megan, and Anna.

Megan and Anna offer differing perspectives on the story (and on Rachel) than Rachel does.

The train I take in the evening, the 17.56, is slightly slower than the morning one… – Rachel
I CAN HEAR THE TRAIN coming; I know its rhythm by heart. – Megan
It could be ideal. It could be, if you weren’t able to hear the screeching brakes of the trains. – Anna

#3 – Provide a Limited Experience

You can use first-person point of view to provide a deliberately limited experience for the reader. Since the narrator is a character, everything is limited by what they experience.

The cover for the award winning novel THE FRIEND

THE FRIEND, published in 2018, is a Contemporary Fiction novel by Sigrid Nunez.

It won the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction.

THE FRIEND has almost no characters. It’s pretty much exclusively the thoughts and ramblings of the (unnamed) narrator and the dog she inherited when her friend died.

When other characters appear, they’re secondary to the feelings and thoughts of the narrator. When you read THE FRIEND, your experience will be limited to a woman, a dog, and her grief.

The trip, as she knows, took less than thirty minutes, but she is a gracious woman, Wife Three.

#4 – Deliberately Mislead the Reader

First-person point of view (usually combined with present tense) is the most effective way to mislead a reader on purpose. This type of narrator is often referred to as an unreliable narrator.

The cover for the bestselling novel GONE GIRL

GONE GIRL , published in 2012, is a mystery, thriller & suspense novel by Gillian Flynn. The movie was released in 2014.

GONE GIRL spent 8 weeks at #1 on the NYT Bestseller List. It’s estimated the novel sold more than 15 million copies worldwide by 2016.

GONE GIRL  does a lot of misleading. Basically, the entire first half of the book is misleading.

I would argue that right up until the very end you’re being misled. But that could be less about the book and more about the fact that I didn’t really like it.

She wasn’t on the water, she wasn’t in the house. Amy was not there. Amy was gone.

#5 – Make Readers Feel Close to a Character

First-person point of view can make readers feel close to the character. It can provide readers with a sense that they are directly participating in the drama with the characters.

The cover for the bestselling novel FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY , published in 2011, is a romance novel by E. L. James. It’s book 1 in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY spent 29 weeks at #1 on the NYT bestseller list. By June 2015 it had sold over 125 million copies worldwide. The movie was released in 2015.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY  is told in the present tense in the first person (via Ana).

The target audience of this novel is adult women. Readers feel a deeper connection with Ana because they experience the events from her perspective. The x-rated nature of this novel adds an additional thrill for the readers by feeling extra-close to Ana.

Obviously, he’s referring to my earlier less-than-elegant entry into his office. I flush.

The cover for the award winning novel ANCILLARY JUSTICE

ANCILLARY JUSTICE , published in 2013, is a Science Fiction novel by Ann Leckie. It’s book 1 in the Ancillary World trilogy.

ANCILLARY JUSTICE won the 2014 Hugo Award. Fox Television Studies has purchased the option to create a TV series.

The main character in  ANCILLARY JUSTICE  isn’t human. This is something we learn almost immediately.

How do you make your readers feel close to a non-human character? Write in the first person – with the non-human as the narrator. And that’s exactly what ANCILLARY JUSTICE did.

“I’m not Radchaai.” Which was true. You have to be human to be Radchaai.

A typewriter - writing practice tools have improved a lot!

Writing Practice

Today we’re going to practice writing first-person point of view by extending and modifying sections of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.

We’ll be using the version ‘ LITTLE RED-CAP ’ written by the Brothers Grimm. If you’re not familiar with the story, take 5 minutes to give it a read.

Exercise #1

The excerpt below is 116 words, make it more interesting.

Rewrite the passage so it’s in the first person from the perspective of the mother.

LITTLE RED CAP Excerpt

One day her mother said to her: ‘Come, Little Red-Cap, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing; and when you go into her room, don’t forget to say, “Good morning”, and don’t peep into every corner before you do it.’ ‘I will take great care,’ said Little Red-Cap to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

Need an idea?

Making the switch to first person point of view is the simple part of this exercise.

Writing from the mother’s perspective will be harder! Here are some prompts:

  • The mother is really a step-mother and she’s colluding with the wolf.
  • Red is misbehaving and the mother just wants to get her out of the house for a couple of hours.
  • The grandmother is reclusive and only likes Red.

Instead of a large section of dialogue from the mother, break it up and add some additional dialogue or description in between.

One day her mother said to her   I said to my daughter: “ Come, Little Red-Cap. ” ______________________. “Here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good.” ______________________. “Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing ; and .” ______________________. “When you arrive and  when you  go into her room, don’t forget to say, “Good morning”, and don’t peep into every corner before you do it.” ‘I will take great care,’ said Little Red-Cap  to her mother , and gave her hand on it.

Exercise #2

Take the same excerpt from Drill #1 and write it from the perspective of Little Red-Cap.

Remember, stay true to the story but be creative!

LITTLE RED-CAP Excerpt

You could break up the instructions from her mother and change Red’s attitude – maybe she’s angry/sulky/excited to be asked this.

One day her mother said to her  My mother called to me: “ Come, Little Red-Cap. ” Couldn’t she see I was busy? I walked over and glared at her. “Here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine; take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good.” ______________________. “Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing ; and .” ______________________. “When you arrive and  when you  go into her room, don’t forget to say, “Good morning”, and don’t peep into every corner before you do it.” ‘I will take great care,’  I  said Little  Red-Cap to her mother, and gave her hand on it.

Me, Myself, & I

Pin This: How to Use First Person Point of View (Learn about 5 times you should use first person point of view, including bestselling & award-winning examples. Plus get writing practice exercises).

These are just a few of the times that first-person point of view might be best for your novel.

Every author has their own voice and ideas – maybe yours is first person point of view; maybe it’s not. Either way, practice can only help.

Now that you understand first-person point of view, you should check out Writing a Story in Third-Limited Point of View next.

Let’s see those exercises! Share yours in the comments below.

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When writing from first person perspective I find it difficult to show what my narrator is feeling. I fwel like I keep on telling what she is feeling, without showing. Also, how can a person avoid using “and”. I also don’t want to start with Me or I all the time, but do you want to go into passive voice either. I know what first POV os, what I need to know is how to write it better.

Jenn

Showing (instead of telling) your narrators’ feelings is one of the hardest bits of writing in the first person. The #1 way to become a better writer (or anything else) is to practice. Reading (and analyzing) first POV novels in your genre is a good idea, too.

You shouldn’t view passive voice as the enemy – active is usually better but there are times passive is the best choice. If you’re writing in the first person, you will say “I” and “me” a lot, but you should still be using he, she, they, etc., enough to break it up.

A simple example (I, me, they, I, the officer, the kids, name, me, she): Last night, when I arrived at the store there were a bunch of kids skulking around the parking lot. It took me a minute to realize they were tagging cars. I called the police but by the time the officer arrived the kids were gone. Officer Friendly spent a few minutes asking me questions before she went inside to check for security tapes.

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Creative Writing Prompts

Point of View Writing Prompts: Explore Multiple Perspectives

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My name is Debbie, and I am passionate about developing a love for the written word and planting a seed that will grow into a powerful voice that can inspire many.

Point of View Writing Prompts: Explore Multiple Perspectives

Overview ‍of Point of⁢ View Writing Prompts

Engage your imagination with point of view writing ⁢prompts, benefits of ​exploring multiple perspectives in ‍writing, how to use point ⁤of ‌view ⁣writing prompts effectively, unlock creativity with point of view writing prompts, discover⁤ the power of empathy through⁢ point of view⁢ writing ⁤prompts, explore different ‍genres with ⁣point​ of view writing prompts, promote critical​ thinking with point of view writing prompts, frequently asked questions, closing ⁣remarks.

Writing from different points of view⁢ can infuse your ​stories with depth and complexity, allowing readers to ⁢explore‌ various⁢ perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of ​your characters. ‍Point of‌ view writing prompts can be a fantastic tool ⁤to help you ‌hone your writing ⁣skills and experiment with different⁣ narrative techniques. ‌Here ​is an‌ overview of some ​inspiring point of​ view writing prompts to spark your ⁤creativity and take your storytelling to new⁣ heights:

1. ‌**First-person‍ perspective:** Step ⁤into the ​shoes of your ⁣protagonist and narrate the story ‍through their⁢ eyes. Explore their thoughts, emotions, and ⁤personal experiences to bring a ⁣sense ⁤of ‍immediacy, intimacy, and authenticity to your writing.

2. **Second-person perspective:** Engage your readers by addressing them directly. This uncommon point of view invites readers to become‌ active participants ‍in the story, creating a unique bond between​ the​ narrative and the audience.

3. **Third-person limited perspective:**​ Take on the role of an impartial observer and focus ‍on a ⁤single character’s thoughts, ⁢feelings, and actions. This viewpoint allows you ​to⁣ deep dive into the⁢ character’s psyche while ‍maintaining a degree of objectivity.

4. **Third-person omniscient perspective:** Harness​ the ‍power of a‌ godlike narrator⁣ who knows everything about your characters. ​You can​ freely access the thoughts and emotions ⁣of ​multiple characters, providing a panoramic view of the story.

5. **Epistolary perspective:** Tell ​your story through letters, diary entries, ⁢or other forms ​of written correspondence.⁤ This intimate⁣ and personal approach can ​add an extra layer of ​realism and allow⁣ your characters’ ‌voices to shine through.

Whether you’re ‍a seasoned writer looking to ⁤push ‍the⁢ boundaries or an aspiring wordsmith seeking new challenges,‍ these point of view ⁣writing prompts offer ‍a​ banquet of⁤ possibilities. Experimenting⁢ with different perspectives can ‌invigorate your writing and unlock fresh storytelling ⁣techniques. So get your​ creative juices‍ flowing and ⁤embark on a journey ‌of self-discovery through ‍diverse ‌points⁢ of view!

Engage‌ Your Imagination ⁤with ‍Point of View​ Writing Prompts

Writing is a wonderful way to unleash ‍your creativity and explore new perspectives. Point of⁣ view writing prompts offer⁤ a‍ unique⁤ and exciting opportunity to dive into the minds of different characters, providing‍ a fresh and captivating approach to ‍storytelling. By adopting various points of view, you can challenge yourself to develop characters, explore ⁣their⁣ motivations, and truly immerse yourself in their worlds.

One of the ‍benefits⁢ of point of view ‌writing prompts is that they allow‌ you to see familiar⁣ stories ⁤from ⁤different angles. Whether you choose to⁤ write from a ⁤first-person perspective, stepping into the shoes of a protagonist, or take on the⁢ challenging task of writing from a third-person⁣ omniscient point of‌ view,‌ these prompts push you to think beyond your usual boundaries. They encourage ⁢you to tap into your empathy and develop a deeper ⁣understanding of diverse perspectives.

To make the ⁣most of point of view writing prompts, consider experimenting with‌ the‍ following:

  • Multiple Points ⁢of View: Take a scene or ​a⁢ story and rewrite it from ⁣different characters’ ‌perspectives. Explore how their individual voices, experiences,⁤ and emotions can influence the narrative.
  • Unusual Perspectives: Step ‍into ‍the shoes of an inanimate object, an animal,​ or even a mythical creature. ‍How would they ‌view the world around them? What‍ insights​ could⁢ they provide?
  • Switching‌ Tenses: Try writing a story in ‍the past tense and then rewrite it ‍entirely in the present tense. Notice how the shift in tense can affect the⁤ overall tone and⁤ mood‍ of the piece.

Engaging with point of view writing prompts ⁤allows⁢ you to explore the unlimited potential of storytelling. By challenging ⁤yourself ​to see ‍the world through different eyes, you⁢ can ⁤enhance your writing skills, ⁣deepen your understanding ⁤of characters, and⁤ bring unique ⁤perspectives to your narratives. ‌So, grab a pen or open ​a⁤ blank document and⁣ let your imagination soar with these captivating writing prompts!

Benefits of Exploring Multiple Perspectives in Writing

When it⁢ comes to ‌writing, exploring multiple perspectives can greatly enhance ‌the ⁢richness⁤ and depth of your work. By delving‌ into various viewpoints, you open the⁢ doors ⁢to new insights and broaden⁤ your understanding‌ of the world. Here are ⁤some key benefits ‌of incorporating‌ multiple perspectives into your​ writing:

  • Increased empathy: Writing from different perspectives allows ⁢you ‍to step into the shoes ‍of others, fostering a deeper understanding of their ⁣experiences and⁤ emotions. This empathy not only enriches your characters but ⁤also connects with readers on a⁢ more ​profound level, engendering a stronger ⁢emotional ⁢response.
  • Expanded creativity: ‍Exploring multiple perspectives encourages you to ‍think outside⁣ the box and push the ⁢boundaries of your imagination. By considering⁣ various ⁢viewpoints, you can develop⁤ more complex storylines, create diverse ‌and‌ authentic characters, and embark⁣ on unexpected narrative paths that captivate your audience.

By incorporating diverse voices and viewpoints into⁢ your writing, you can ⁣inspire and challenge readers to⁤ question their own biases, fostering a more ‍inclusive and accepting⁤ society. So, ‍don’t ‌shy away from ⁤the power ‌of exploring multiple​ perspectives. Embrace ⁢it, ⁤and‍ watch ​your writing soar to new heights!

How to Use Point⁣ of⁣ View Writing⁤ Prompts Effectively

When it comes to creative writing, point of⁤ view ⁢(POV) can make all the difference in how your story ‌is ⁣perceived. Point⁢ of‌ view ⁢refers to​ the perspective from ‌which⁤ a story is told, ⁢whether it’s the protagonist,⁢ a narrator, or ⁣even an observer. Using⁤ point ‌of view writing prompts can​ help you explore different perspectives⁢ and bring depth to ​your ⁢storytelling. ⁣Here are ⁢some tips on :

  • Experiment with ​different points of view: Writing prompts⁢ provide ⁣an excellent opportunity to​ step‍ outside your comfort zone and​ try writing from a ​point of view you ⁢haven’t⁢ explored⁢ before. Whether it’s first ‌person, ‍third person limited, or even second ⁢person, don’t be⁣ afraid ⁣to⁤ dive ⁣into unfamiliar territories.⁤ This ⁤exploration ‌can unlock new storytelling possibilities and ⁤enhance your‌ writing skills.
  • Immerse yourself in ​your ⁣chosen POV: To effectively use point of ‍view prompts, it’s important ‌to fully understand and immerse‌ yourself in the ‌chosen perspective. Take the time⁣ to develop your character’s voice, thoughts,​ and emotions. Consider ‍how their viewpoint shapes their perception ⁣of the ​world and the way they interact with other⁤ characters. This level of immersion will bring authenticity and depth⁣ to your ⁤writing, ‍engaging ⁣readers on a deeper ‍level.

Using point of⁤ view writing⁤ prompts can be a ⁣valuable ⁤exercise‍ in expanding your⁤ storytelling skills and ⁢creating ​compelling narratives. So, whether you’re looking to⁢ challenge yourself or ​simply enhance your writing, don’t⁢ overlook the power⁣ of point ‌of view. Step into the shoes of ⁢different characters, experiment ‌with perspectives, ⁣and watch your stories come alive with vibrant imagination and authenticity.

Looking to unleash your inner creativity? Point of view writing prompts are ‌the perfect‍ tool to help ‌you step into the shoes of different characters, opening‍ a world of possibilities for⁢ your ⁣writing.‍ By exploring various perspectives, you ⁣can break free from monotony and discover new dimensions​ in your storytelling.

With point of ​view writing prompts, you can:

  • Expand your horizons: Challenge yourself by embodying⁤ a wide​ range ‍of characters, from heroes to villains, animals to inanimate objects. See the world through their eyes and let your⁣ imagination soar.
  • Deepen character development: By understanding your ⁣characters’ perspectives, you can breathe⁣ life into ⁣their‌ actions, thoughts, and emotions. This adds⁣ depth and richness to your⁢ stories, leaving a lasting impact on⁤ your readers.
  • Enhance ⁢empathy: ⁤Stepping⁢ into different points of view can ‌cultivate empathy and ‌understanding towards ⁢diverse experiences, fostering compassion for ⁤others⁢ in both your writing ⁤and daily life.
  • Break​ creative blocks: When inspiration ⁣feels elusive, point of view​ writing prompts can⁤ provide the catalyst needed to reignite your creativity. They prompt you to view familiar⁢ themes from fresh angles, allowing your ‍ideas to ​flow freely.

Whether‌ you’re ​a seasoned writer or ​just starting​ your creative​ journey, utilizing point of view writing prompts will spark your imagination and unveil hidden talents . Embrace⁣ the challenge, experiment ​with diverse viewpoints, and watch your​ storytelling thrive.

Discover the Power of Empathy through Point ​of ⁢View ​Writing Prompts

What is empathy?

Empathy is ‍the‍ ability to understand ⁣and⁢ share the feelings⁣ of ‌another person. It ⁤allows us to‍ connect and relate to others on a deeper level. Empathy is an essential human trait ⁤that promotes understanding, compassion, ⁢and ‌kindness. While some ⁣people may naturally possess this skill, it can also be developed ‌and enhanced through various ​practices, such as point ⁣of ⁣view writing‌ prompts.

How⁤ do point⁣ of view‌ writing prompts help develop empathy?

  • They encourage you ‌to step ⁣into someone​ else’s‍ shoes: Point ⁣of view writing prompts provide ‍an opportunity​ to explore different perspectives​ and experiences. By imagining⁣ yourself in someone else’s situation, you gain a better understanding of their emotions ‍and thoughts.
  • They foster an ‍emotional ‍connection:​ Through point of view writing prompts, you can delve ‍into the ‌emotions‍ and inner thoughts ⁢of ⁤a ⁢character.⁣ This‍ process allows‌ you‌ to⁢ connect with​ their experiences on ⁣a deeper level, fostering empathy.
  • They promote ‍open-mindedness: Writing from different⁤ perspectives challenges your own ⁣beliefs and biases. By ⁣exploring alternative viewpoints, you‍ become⁣ more open-minded‍ and tolerant, expanding your capacity ⁢for empathy.

Discovering the power ‌of ‍empathy through point of view ​writing prompts can ⁢transform the way you relate⁢ to others and navigate the ⁣world. By ⁤actively ‍engaging in the practice, you cultivate empathy and​ become more attuned to ‍the feelings and‌ experiences of ⁤those around you.

Explore Different Genres with Point of View Writing Prompts

When it comes‍ to creative writing, exploring different genres can be a thrilling ‌adventure. ‍One effective way to⁣ dive into the diverse world of storytelling is by using point of view writing ‍prompts. These prompts ⁣serve as catalysts for your writing journey, encouraging you to step ​into ‍the ⁤shoes ​of‌ various characters and ⁤explore their unique perspectives. By experimenting with ​different⁣ points⁢ of view,​ you not only expand ⁤your literary horizons but also gain valuable insight into ⁢the⁤ art of storytelling itself.

Point of view ⁢writing prompts can ⁢be adapted to suit any genre, allowing‍ you ⁣to explore a‍ multitude of narratives. Whether you ⁣prefer the ​intensity of a suspenseful⁢ thriller, the‌ magic of a‌ whimsical fantasy, or‌ the ⁢intricate relationships of a family ⁢drama, there’s a prompt⁣ for you.⁢ Challenge yourself ⁣to ⁢think⁤ outside the box and imagine how different ‌characters within your chosen​ genre ⁣would experience‍ and⁣ interpret the​ events that unfold. Embrace the⁤ complexities of different perspectives, from⁣ a first-person narration‌ that immerses the⁢ reader in the character’s thoughts and ⁢emotions, to a third-person limited point⁣ of view that‍ enables a more objective⁣ observer. ​By unleashing‌ your creativity through point ⁢of ⁣view writing prompts, you can develop your skills as a versatile writer ⁤and create compelling, multi-dimensional⁢ stories.

Promote Critical ​Thinking with‌ Point of View Writing Prompts

Point of ​view writing prompts are an excellent tool to promote critical thinking skills ⁢in ⁤students of all ages. By engaging with different perspectives, learners are encouraged ⁤to‌ analyze, evaluate, and express their own thoughts in ⁤a structured⁤ manner. These prompts ⁢not only enhance ⁤their writing ⁣abilities but also cultivate empathy, broaden their worldview, and⁤ sharpen their analytical skills. Whether used in classrooms, homeschooling settings, or as individual writing exercises, point of‍ view ‌prompts spark ‍creativity ⁢and encourage⁢ students to think outside the ⁣box.

One ⁤of the‍ benefits ⁢of using​ point of view writing prompts is that⁢ they allow students to explore various viewpoints⁤ and consider⁣ different angles⁢ of a⁣ given situation or topic. By‌ writing⁣ from​ the ⁤perspective of someone else, learners are challenged ⁤to step into someone’s shoes, potentially developing a greater understanding of diverse⁣ opinions and experiences. They ⁢can examine‍ issues​ from multiple angles, weigh the pros ⁤and cons, and ⁣formulate their own‌ arguments supported by‍ evidence and reasoning.

Here are a⁤ few ‌ideas for point of view writing prompts that can ignite ​critical‌ thinking and imaginative⁣ storytelling:

  • Imagine you are a famous​ historical figure. Write ⁤a letter to ‌a future generation explaining the impact of your actions.
  • Write a dialogue between two characters with opposing views on a controversial topic, such ‌as ‍climate change or ⁤censorship.
  • Describe an ‍ordinary day from the perspective of‌ a household object,‌ like a toaster or a chair.

Using these prompts,⁢ students ⁣can⁣ delve into the⁣ minds of ⁢others, debate conflicting ideas, and express well-rounded arguments that consider various perspectives. By engaging in this ‌type of critical thinking through point of view ​writing, learners​ sharpen their analytical ‌skills, develop effective communication techniques, and foster​ a deeper‌ appreciation for different ‌opinions, ultimately becoming more ⁢well-rounded ⁤individuals.

Q: What ‌are point of‍ view writing ‍prompts? A: ‍Point of view writing prompts are creative exercises designed ​to‌ help writers explore different perspectives by‌ placing themselves in the shoes of ​various characters or ‌entities within a story. By using these ‌prompts, writers can gain a deeper understanding of the⁤ motivations, thoughts, and⁣ emotions of different ‍characters.

Q: How can point of ⁣view‌ writing prompts enhance my​ writing⁢ skills? A: Point of view‍ writing prompts can⁢ significantly enhance your writing skills by encouraging you to step outside your comfort zone and venture into ‌the minds of diverse characters.⁤ This ⁣exercise⁣ builds empathy, expands your ⁢creativity, and develops your ability to ⁤create well-rounded and relatable characters in your own stories.

Q: Can you provide an example of​ a point of view writing prompt? A: Sure! Here’s an example: “Write‌ a short⁢ story from the perspective⁢ of a stray dog wandering ⁣the streets of a bustling city. Describe the ‍sights,​ scents,⁣ and sounds ⁤it encounters, as well as its interactions with humans and other animals.”

Q: Are ‍point of view ‍writing prompts⁤ only applicable to fiction writers? A: Not⁣ at all! While point of⁤ view writing ⁤prompts are⁤ commonly used in fiction⁣ writing to develop characters and narratives, they can also be beneficial for nonfiction writers. Exploring multiple ‌perspectives can help nonfiction‌ writers approach topics‍ from various ‌angles, allowing for ⁢a more comprehensive and ⁤objective understanding of the subject matter.

Q: How ‌can I make the ⁤most out of point ‌of ‍view writing prompts? A:⁣ To make the most ‍out of ‍point ‍of view writing ​prompts, it’s essential​ to fully immerse yourself ⁣in the ⁤character⁣ you’re exploring. Imagine their background, ⁣experiences,‌ and unique worldview. Use​ sensory details to describe their‌ surroundings, feelings, and interactions, and ⁤strive to give⁤ each character‍ a ⁤distinctive ⁢voice. This practice will help you ‌bring your ​characters to life ‌and add depth ​to your writing.

Q:‍ Are there any specific ‍guidelines‌ or structures to⁢ follow when using point ⁤of​ view writing prompts? A: While‍ there ‌are no set guidelines, it⁤ can be helpful​ to experiment ‌with different ‌writing exercises and structures ​when using ⁢point of ⁤view‍ writing prompts. You can try ⁣writing in first-person or‍ third-person‍ perspective, ⁢in the present tense or ‌past tense, or ⁣even experiment with‌ using different narrative ⁣styles, such as monologues or ⁤diary ⁢entries. The key is to let your creativity⁣ flow and ‍explore the character’s ⁤point⁤ of view in ⁢a way that feels authentic to their personality and circumstances.

Q: How⁣ can point of view writing prompts help with ⁣writer’s⁣ block? A: Point⁣ of‌ view⁣ writing⁢ prompts are excellent tools to combat writer’s block. When you find yourself stuck or lacking‍ inspiration, trying ⁤a different perspective can⁤ open up new avenues and kick-start your ⁣creativity. By temporarily switching to a⁤ character’s‍ point of view, ⁤you can break ⁤free from the limitations of your own ⁤thoughts and access fresh​ ideas.

Q: Can point⁣ of ⁤view writing prompts be used in a⁣ group setting or writing workshop? A: Absolutely! Point of view writing prompts ‍work⁣ wonderfully in group⁣ settings or⁤ writing workshops. They provide an opportunity ⁣for participants to share and discuss⁣ their unique perspectives, fostering a collaborative ⁤and supportive learning ‌environment. Engaging⁢ in group discussions can also help writers‌ gain ‍valuable insights into the different interpretations and viewpoints of others.

Q: Where can I ⁢find point​ of view writing prompts‌ to get started? A:⁣ Point ‌of view‌ writing prompts‌ can be found in⁤ various sources. You can explore ‌writing websites, creative writing ​books, or even search for ⁣specific prompts or exercises online. Additionally,⁤ many writing communities offer shared prompts and challenges, making it ⁤easier to find inspiration ‍and‍ connect with other writers.

In conclusion,⁣ point of⁣ view writing prompts offer a unique opportunity⁤ to delve⁣ into different perspectives,‍ fostering⁢ empathy and creativity in our ​writing.

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The Write Practice

Are You Writing From the Right Point of View?

by Monica M. Clark | 53 comments

I’m at a turning point with respect to my manuscript. It’s written and revised but, strangely, the male point of view (POV) is in the third person limited while the female POV is in the first-person . I did this to help me keep their voices distinct while I was writing, but now I’m thinking about changing it.

point of view (pov)

Photo by Sherman Geronimo-Tan (creative commons). Adapted by The Write Practice.

As you can see, I have struggled with the point of view question. It’s so important, but how do you really know which is right for your story? To help myself (and now you), I turned to my trusted guide This Year You Write Your Novel  by Walter Mosley.

Mosley’s advice is too good to reduce to one post, so I will discuss his tips on the First-Person Narrative, Third Person Narrative, and Omniscient Voice in a series of posts over the coming weeks.

Today, let's begin the conversation by going over first-person narrative.

First-Person Narrative

First-person narrative is when the “I” voice tells the story:

I met Josh Sanders on the first day of March 1963. He was a shy man with big hands and an earthy smell about him. He reminded me of my grandfather, who I hated more than Judas.

First-Person Narrative is the Most Familiar Voice

The “I” voice is the most familiar storytelling voice. It’s great because it’s the point of view that readers can relate to best. It’s intimate, which is powerful.

However, first-person narrative can be difficult because the character or POV must be incredibly engaging. Her story must evoke strong feelings in us that make us compelled to care about her.

First-Person Point of View is Also Limited

The first-person POV is limited because every piece of information must come from the character. This is not a bad thing, but it is something to be conscious of. The only way he can know things is if someone told him, taught him, or he otherwise experienced.

For example, you as the writer can’t insert your psychological musings about another character into the manuscript, unless that matches his level of education.

Another thing about this limited perspective that I find interesting is that it’s considered to be unreliable. The reader understands that she can’t completely trust what the character is saying because it’s only her view.

I personally liked this because I wanted my character to make certain decisions that anyone would disagree with, but make sense for her (because she’s essentially blinded by love).

Break Up the First-Person Narrative

With the first-person point of view, the reader only knows what the speaker knows; however, there are ways to give the character information.

For example, she can have conversations, read articles, or have dreams that reveal important events in her life.

Mosley even suggests having her read parts of another book with a different narrative voice to switch up the flow. The world is your oyster!

Which point of view do you enjoy reading the most?

Take fifteen minutes to write a scene in the first-person narrative. Share with us below!

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Monica M. Clark

Monica is a lawyer trying to knock out her first novel. She lives in D.C. but is still a New Yorker. You can follow her on her blog or on Twitter (@monicamclark).

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StoryADay

[Writing Prompt] First Person Story

For the next few days we’re going to be concentrating on point of view. Sometimes it’s tempting to write all our stories in the same kind of voice. Not this week. I’m going to give you a real work out and take you through many different types of voice and story.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Write A Story Using The First Person Voice

  • The whole thing should be told in the “I” voice.
  • It should, for preference, be a story about something that happened/is happening to the person telling the story.
  • When writing in the first person you can never allow your narrative to stray inside another character’s head. The “I” character can speculate about what other people are thinking, but everything must come from their perspective.
  • If you fancy it, try writing the same story over the next few days, but each day from a different perspective.

11 thoughts on “[Writing Prompt] First Person Story”

Catchin’ up. I think this one is my favorite. http://www.hunterthehorrible.blogspot.com/2013/05/story-day-first-person.html

Still playing catch up. It’s written, but must be posted. Where on Earth did the “write for publication” post go?

I’m excited to have point of view prompts for the next several days. I also have an approaching deadline for a presentation on the trips I made to DC in 2009 and 2013 to attend President Obama’s inauguration. I’ve been mulling an essay on the intimacy of the crowd and the spectacle (or something like that) so I might use the next several stories as a way to begin developing the raw material for that piece.

Here’s the story I wrote today: http://guptacarlsonshortstories.blogspot.com/2013/05/live-from-dc-2013-president-obama-and-me.html

I also forgot to post my “victory dance” for yesterday. Perhaps presaging the point-of-view prompts, I broke from my usual first-person form and wrote a third-person story about a visit to a virtual land, which I dubbed Mooc. Mooc is MOOC, an acronym for Massive Open Online Course. Here’s the story from yesterday: http://guptacarlsonshortstories.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-day-in-mooc.html

You guys impress me!!

See Julie, I told you I’d check back after I was through, and you didn’t believe me, shame shame:) I wrote a first person POV story from a prompt on creative story generator. You’re a knife in the pocket of a thief. Write the story from the knife’s POV. I changed the prompt a little though and made it a murderer instead of a thief sort of a peeping Tom murderer. It was a bit shorter than I liked, 462 words, but I got behind the other day so I didn’t want to make it too long. It’s a story starter for later, and yes, I made up the story I was behind in. Am up to date and aim to stay that way.

Finished mine up earlier today. 4,400 words. Almost went with third person, but the story pulled me back to first person. 🙂

This was great fun. Done and done. Mine’s oddly titled Yellow Shoes (as opposed to Ruby Slippers) and it’s at sarahcain78.com.

This is one of my favorites. I’m going to start writing in a few minutes and it should be easy and go by fast. I’ll check in when I’m done

Haha! Famous last words! But seriously, may the muses be with you.

Done! http://starvingactivist.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/story-a-day-7-its-a-mystery-pt-1/

That was a good one — it went so quickly and easily. Since it was a first person prompt, I am guessing my ego is alive and well. *grin*

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first person point of view writing prompts

34 Transformative Prompts to Unlock Your Writing, Courtesy Kelly Link

“the times when i’m happiest while writing are those times when i’ve invented a problem or a complication that needs solving.”.

This first appeared in Lit Hub’s  Craft of Writing  newsletter— sign up here .

Writing is hard work, and often frustrating, unfruitful, or downright excruciating. I spend a great deal of time avoiding even thinking about sitting down to work, and therefore, necessarily, I spend another significant amount of time persuading myself I ought to do it. And how awful and frustrating that this is the case! I love everything about books until it comes to writing them, and therefore the business of writing is reminding myself that there is something of interest in a story or an idea I can latch onto, like a tick. Or perhaps I’m more like an oyster, a reclusive and unprepossessing blob who needs a bit of grit, an irritant or a problem that I can begin to lacquer over.

The times when I’m happiest while writing are those times when I’ve invented a problem or a complication that needs solving. This might be a decision about an approach to character, or the kind of language or tone I’ve decided I want the story to inhabit. It could be deciding on a form, a word count, or a genre (or combination of genres), or a revelation or resolution that I want to hide from the reader as long as possible, while also laying down breadcrumbs that lead up to that moment which, in hindsight, have set up that turn.

In workshop I often begin by asking new writers to make a list of as many things that most delight them in narrative, so that in turn they can have in mind ways to introduce delight in their own work which is often, in beginning, daunting and un-delightful. After all, we must be our own first readers, and the possibility of delight or pleasure keeps us anchored to the work that we must do. But surprise and the chance of discovery are other tools, and worth cultivating.

The list below is one I’ve been adding to over the past month. I think of these as interruptive or transformative prompts. Some I’ve used in the past. Others I’ve lifted from books I’ve read, imagining how I might use them.

Not every story requires a transformative prompt. Not every writer needs to rely on strategies like these. But if your own work feels, at any stage, stale or familiar to you, or as if the path is so clear that there’s little point to going down it, perhaps try one of these—or even two or more in combination. You might pick one of these and apply it to something you’re already working on, or begin a new story with one of these in mind. You might also make your own list of ideas that might helpfully complicate your narrative in some way. If you’re part of a workshop you might make communally make your own list.

The last sentence reverses or subverts the meaning of the first sentence.

To be written in one hour or less.

An animal talks.

All characters are talking animals.

All characters are to be conceived of as talking animals, but this is never mentioned by the writer or the text of the story.

Epistolary story, written in haste.

Uses the language and imagery of fairy tales, but is not a fairy tale.

A story annotated with footnotes by someone who is a minor character in that story.

Language which calls attention to itself. A wall of rose briars. A thicket, entanglement, armature, incantation.

Disordered time.

The story told as plainly as possible.

A death which the narrative was not meant to encompass.

A palindrome.

The action moves in and out of a hospital, but the story is not about the cause.

The story presents a set of rules for living. Some of these to contradict.

A narrator who hates the reader and addresses them with malice at heart.

Some words, crucial to understanding of story, are blocked out.

The numinous domestic.

Continuous point of view shifts.

Meaningless sex—a feast—hedonism—indulgence of various sorts, including of language.

The style of the story to be at war with its genre or substance.

Two stories, written in tandem, in alternating sentences.

A baby is present in every scene—this baby can be used to surreal or realistic effect.

Made up words, used authoritatively, without explanation.

A character, either minor or off stage, to be treated as an almost supernaturally threatening presence, but nature of threat is never explained.

A character appears to be operating according to the rules of a genre which is not the genre of your story.

A story which embraces metaphorical language, embarrassingly so.

Use of the fantastic in such a way that it stymies metaphorical meaning as much as possible.

A story which is directly in conversation with a story by another writer. This may or may not be evident to the reader.

A matryoshka story, told at least three times, each time condensed and changed until the last version is one sentence. This sentence may be at odds with what the reader thought the story was about.

The natural world interrupts and overgrows the narrative.

The story to contain drawings. These need not be good.

A sentence to repeat throughout the story.

The story refuses to be understood. There is something else that it wants of the reader. Possibly of the writer.

_____________________________________

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The Book of Love   by Kelly Link is available now via Random House. 

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IMAGES

  1. First Person Point of View Creative Writing Prompts by Red Specs

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  2. Learn what first person point of view is and how to use first person

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COMMENTS

  1. Point of View Writing Prompts and Activities

    3. Have Students Rewrite the Narrative From A Different Perspective. This is a good activity for students that are working on distinguishing between first, second, and third person points of view. If the narrative was written in a first person point of view, have students rewrite the same story from a third person point of view or vice versa.

  2. Point of View Writing Quick Guide & 10 Bonus Prompts

    When writing in the 1st person POV, you will use first-person pronouns such as "I," "we," and "me," throughout the story. Second-Person Point of View Second-person point of view, on the other hand, is probably the least common point of view in fiction writing.

  3. How to Write in First-Person Point of View: Dos and Don'ts

    Writing How to Write in First-Person Point of View: Dos and Don'ts Written by MasterClass Last updated: Sep 3, 2021 • 4 min read Point of view is the eye through which you tell a story. First-person point of view gives readers an intimate view of a character's experience.

  4. First Person Point of View: Character-Driven Narration

    First person point of view is when a story is told from a character's own perspective using the pronoun 'I,' or more unusually, from a collective perspective using the plural pronoun "we." The narrator interprets events in their own voice, giving the reader direct access to their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

  5. First Person Point of View: Tips, Examples, and Benefits of This

    1. Study first person POV in other books. The best way to get a feel for how a first person POV works is to study bestselling books that use this perspective effectively. Some examples to help you get started are: Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

  6. Point of View: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Perspectives

    Start quiz First person First person narratives are quite common and relatively intuitive to write: it's how we tell stories in everyday life. Sentences written in first person will use the pronouns I, we, my, and our. For example: I told my mother that we lost our passports.

  7. How to Start Writing a Story in First-Person Point of View

    1. Establish a clear voice. Your narrator's voice should be clear and consistent, especially at the beginning of the story. If you have a distinctive, strong voice through which your story is being filtered, your readers will have an immediate understanding of how your narrator operates.

  8. What Is First Person Point of View in Writing? How to Write in First

    In writing, the first person point of view uses the pronouns "I," "me," "we," and "us," in order to tell a story from the narrator's perspective. The storyteller in a first-person narrative is either the protagonist relaying their experiences or a peripheral character telling the protagonist's story.

  9. First-Person Point of View: Definition and Examples

    The first-person point of view is a grammatical person narrative technique that immerses the reader into the intimate perspective of a single character or individual. In this literary approach, the story unfolds through the eyes, thoughts, and emotions of the narrator, granting the reader direct access to their inner world.

  10. Writing First Person Point of View: Definition & Examples

    I Me My Mine Plural first-person point of view words list: We Us Our Ours The language used follows the perspective of the narrator: "I did this," or "he held my hand," or "we went to the store together." What's the difference between first, second, and third-person point of view?

  11. Types of Point of View: The Ultimate Guide to First Person and Third

    First Person Point of View Second Person Point of View Third Person Limited Point of View Third Person Omniscient Point of View FAQ: Can you change POV in a Series? Practice Exercise Point of View Definition

  12. The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction in First Person

    Mar 26, 2020. 1. In terms of point of view (POV), most authors either write in first person (using the pronoun "I") or third person (using the pronouns "he," "she," or "they ...

  13. What is POV? Writing Prompts to Help Understand

    First-person POV - The story is told using "I" or "we," portraying events from the narrator's direct perspective as a character in the story. This brings readers closely into the narrator's experiences.

  14. What is First Person Point of View? Definition and Examples

    First person is defined by the use of I, me, we, us, etc. In video games and movies, the term "first person point of view" is used in reference to the perspective of the camera. For instance, the "first person shooter" is a video game genre in which the player controls a character (shooter) from their vantage point.

  15. Academic Guides: Scholarly Voice: First-Person Point of View

    First-Person Point of View Since 2007, Walden academic leadership has endorsed the APA manual guidance on appropriate use of the first-person singular pronoun "I," allowing the use of this pronoun in all Walden academic writing except doctoral capstone abstracts, which should not contain first person pronouns.

  16. 50 Creative Writing Prompts to Enrich Your Craft

    1. A relocation Prompt: A character is moving to another city. She visits her favourite public place and sees something that makes her want to stay. Describe this in 500 words, using third person POV (he/she). Then rewrite in first person, using 'I'.

  17. 9+ 'First-person narrative' Writing Prompts

    Walking a Mile in Someone's Shoes. Write a short first-person narrative from the perspective of someone you've had a disagreement with recently. Writing prompts and journaling prompts exploring First-person narrative and related concepts - Explore over 50k writing prompts on DraftSparks.

  18. First Person Point of View [5 Times to Use When Writing a Novel]

    #1 - Have an Autobiographical Feeling First POV can give an autobiographical feeling to a piece of fiction. It enables you to be certain the reader will see the world exactly as it's experienced by the character. Modern Examples WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, published in 2010, is a contemporary novel by Sara Gruen. The movie was released in 2011.

  19. Point of View Writing Prompts: Explore Multiple Perspectives

    Experiment with different points of view: Writing prompts⁢ provide ⁣an excellent opportunity to step‍ outside your comfort zone and try writing from a point of view you ⁢haven't⁢ explored⁢ before. Whether it's first ‌person, ‍third person limited, or even second ⁢person, don't be⁣ afraid ⁣to⁤ dive ⁣into ...

  20. Are You Using the Right Point of View?

    The "I" voice is the most familiar storytelling voice. It's great because it's the point of view that readers can relate to best. It's intimate, which is powerful. However, first-person narrative can be difficult because the character or POV must be incredibly engaging. Her story must evoke strong feelings in us that make us compelled ...

  21. First Person Point of View Creative Writing Prompts

    Your students will have a lot of fun writing from the perspective of a cat, dog, bear, and other types of animals with these creative writing prompts!! -This product includes six different prompts in which students are asked to write in first person point of view from each animal's perspective. Check out the preview for a closer look!

  22. [Writing Prompt] First Person Story

    Tips The whole thing should be told in the "I" voice. It should, for preference, be a story about something that happened/is happening to the person telling the story. When writing in the first person you can never allow your narrative to stray inside another character's head.

  23. Writing Prompt For 1st Person And 3rd Person Point Of View Teaching

    25 point of view writing prompt worksheets using nature photography to assess your students ability to comprehend four points of view. Each worksheet tests your students understanding of first person, third person objective, third person limited, and third person omniscient. Included:1 point of view poster to be used as a tutorial25 point of ...

  24. 34 Transformative Prompts to Unlock Your Writing, Courtesy Kelly Link

    Epistolary story, written in haste. Uses the language and imagery of fairy tales, but is not a fairy tale. A story annotated with footnotes by someone who is a minor character in that story. Language which calls attention to itself. A wall of rose briars. A thicket, entanglement, armature, incantation. Disordered time.