4 ways to write in the first person

4 ways to write in the first person
4 ways to write in the first person

Writing in the first person can be a fun challenge that allows you to explore this narrative perspective. You can write a short story, novel, or opinion piece in this style. To be successful with such writing, you need to be competent and consistent, while also doing a thorough review when you're done.


Method 1 of 4: Choose a conjugation tense

Write in First Person Step 1

Step 1. Use the present tense to move the story forward

Two conjugation tenses can be used for the first person narrative point of view: the present and the past. The personal pronoun "I" in the present tense focuses on the thoughts and actions of the author as they unfold in the moment. This can be a great option for advancing storytelling by bringing events to life as they unfold.

For example, a present tense sentence in the first person might look like this: "I open the window and yell at him to leave me alone." I close the window and try to focus on the new soap opera on television. "

Write in First Person Step 2

Step 2. Try to use the past to explore a character's past

This time is suitable for writing a story that explores the past of the main character or narrator. It is the most common and easiest to use conjugation time. Using such a time may give the impression of a narration rather than an account of facts that are occurring now.

As an illustration, a first person past tense narration might be, "I opened my window and shouted at him to leave me in peace." I closed the door and tried to focus on the new soap opera on television. "

Write in First Person Step 3

Step 3. Use the past tense when discussing an assignment

In the majority of these cases, this narrative perspective is not recommended for an academic dissertation. However, your teacher may allow you to use it when you are reviewing literary work or research. Use the past tense for an instant look with an intimate tone.

For APA style, you can write in the first person to outline your research steps in your research brief. For example, write this: “I studied sample A” or “I interviewed patient B”. Usually you should avoid using the first person point of view, but it is still possible to use it a few times in your memory

Method 2 of 4: Use the first person to build the character

Write in First Person Step 4

Step 1. Give the narrator a special voice

First-person writers have a unique way of seeing the world that is inspired by their story. Give them a voice of their own. Take into consideration the age, class and origin of your narrator. Use these elements to create his voice.

For example, if the narrator is a teenage Latino living in Marseille, his distinct voice may incorporate Hispanic expressions and youthful slang combined with basic French

Write in First Person Step 5

Step 2. Filter the actions of the story through the narrator

You must allow the reader to see the universe of the story from his point of view. This translates into the description of the scenes, other characters, and the setups that come from them. Try to filter all the action through it so the reader can understand its logic.

For example, instead of saying, “I couldn't believe my eyes. A poisonous spider ran in my direction and I thought, this is the end,”just focus on the description, from the narrator's point of view. You can write, “It was amazing. A poisonous spider ran in my direction. It is the end ! "

Write in First Person Step 6

Step 3. Use “I” to keep the momentum going and move the action forward

Try not to get the first person narrative point of view bogged down with backstory and lengthy descriptions, especially if you are using the present tense. Keep moving the pace and action of the story forward. Focus on putting the narrator into action in each scene.

For example, instead of writing, “I tried to share my feelings with Sara, but she wouldn't listen to me,” you can stage that in a dialogue, with action. Therefore, you can write, “Sara, why don't you talk to me? I was determined to let him hear what I had to say. "

Write in First Person Step 7

Step 4. Read sample first-person stories

To get a better understanding of this narrative point of view, read examples of it in the books. Look for examples from the present or past so that you can appreciate how other writers proceed. There are several fairly famous illustrations in different books.

  • Harper Lee's “Don't Shoot the Mockingbird”.
  • “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville.
  • "The Great Gatsby" by Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
  • “Lucy” by Jamaica Kincaid.
  • "Shoot an Elephant", an essay by Geaoge Orwell.
  • "The Death of the Moth," a short story by Virginia Woolf.

Method 3 of 4: Avoid common pitfalls

Write in First Person Step 8

Step 1. Don't start each sentence with "I"

Although you adopt the “I” angle in narrative, you don't have to start all sentences with this pronoun. This can make the narration repetitive and frozen. Try to vary the sentences so that you don't start each sentence with "I" or have some in every sentence.

For example, instead of two phrases in the style: “I ran down the stairs, my heart pounding. I could hear the poisonous spider climbing up the wall behind me. You can write, "I ran down the stairs, my heart pounding. Behind me the poisonous spider climbed the wall. "

Write in First Person Step 9

Step 2. Do not indicate the action using "I"

Allow the first person narrator to describe the scene from their narrative perspective. Do not use the passive voice when drifting the scene or a moment from its perspective. This can make the story seem like a report or a summary of different facts, instead of letting the reader experience these events as they unfold.

  • As an example, instead of writing “I ran into Miriam and she told me that she left her homework at home. I felt sad for her and asked her not to be so sorry,”you can put the reader at the center of the scene.
  • You can write: “When I turned around the corner from the gym, I ran into Miriam. I forgot my homework, she complained. I put my hand on her shoulders and tried to comfort her. I told her don't be so sorry. "
Write in First Person Step 10

Step 3. Do whatever is necessary not to distance the reader and the “I”

The use of phrases like “I believed”, “I saw” or “I felt” in the story can distance the reader from the first person narrative point of view. Avoid using them since they can weaken the storytelling.

  • For example, instead of writing “I was sad that I lost his friendship,” you could write “sadness came over me when I realized that I was losing his friendship. "
  • You can also simply remove “I thought” or “I saw” from your sentences to reinforce the narrative point of view in the first person. For example, instead of writing “I passed him in the hallway and almost stopped to talk to him. Then I thought to myself why bother since she will reject me anyway”, instead remove“I said to myself”and focus on the action in the sentence.
  • In that sense, you can write: "I passed him in the hallway and almost stopped to talk to him." But, I continued my walk. Why bother me, she will reject me anyway. "

Method 4 of 4: Perfect the story

Write in First Person Step 11

Step 1. Read aloud

Once you have a draft of the story, read it aloud. Listen to each sentence. Check to see if you have repeated “I” a lot in sentences. Pay attention to the first person narrative voice and see if it has remained constant.

You should also pay attention to the conjugation time. Make sure the past and present don't alternate. The time should be the same from start to finish

Write in First Person Step 12

Step 2. Choose the right words and language

When correcting and re-reading your story, be sure to choose the right words and language. Look for any words that can be replaced with more original terms. Look for any terminology that doesn't seem as clear or precise as it should. Make sure that the words and language chosen are suitable for the first person narrator of the story.

Write in First Person Step 13

Step 3. Show your work to others

You have to do this to get their feedback. Submit it to your colleagues and friends. Collect their opinions and incorporate their criticism to improve storytelling.

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