Writing Question: Point-of-View Poll

povimagesSo I’m working on this new story, and I don’t even know whether to call it fiction or non-fiction, it’s something experimental in between the two. Most of the story is just a conversation between two people, and yet it’s intense and full of drama. I actually want the feeling that the story evokes, at times, to be uncomfortable, too close for comfort, because if such a conversation were to take place in real life, it’d be awkward and uncomfortable (and still intense and full of drama). Oh also, in the story, it’ll be a little unclear if this conversation ever happened or was just in the character(s)’ imaginations. Yeah, I’m weird.

So the question I’m struggling with is what point of view to use. In my mind I think of it as third person, she and he, but I wonder if that might take away from that “too close” feel which might be evoked more easily by using first person POV and getting squarely inside the mind of one or both of the characters. I’m always using first person, so there is a feeling of wanting to do something else but it probably does suit the story best.

Then there is always the idea of using the second person POV, putting everything in “you” terms. I kind of like that idea because it can put the reader into the story more. But I personally don’t usually have that reaction to second person POV writing. A lot of times in regular conversation, when people speak in second person, it’s usually instructional or general, impersonal, and that’s sometimes the feeling I get when I read writing that’s in second person. But I think I’m strange in that, and that most people do get a feeling of being more in the story by being addressed as “you” all the time.


Sidenote: I’m also realizing, though I hadn’t thought of this AT ALL before, that some of what I’m saying (not the POV part but the conversation between two people that’s intense and full of drama and uncomfortable and sorta surreal) reminds me of Walt and Jesse in “Fly.” Or Jesse and Celine in Before Sunset. My influences are so obvious.

So, I’m torn between all three potential POVs. Any thoughts from other writers and readers on what might work best for this type of story? I want to put what serves the story best above all else.

Here’s a poll and please include comments if you have any. I’m a three-way tug-of-war tie right now.

~Emilia J

5 thoughts on “Writing Question: Point-of-View Poll

    • There will be a lot of dialogue for sure, but there also needs to be a fair amount of non-dialogue, like what the characters are doing, expressions, and plenty of awkward pauses, etc.


  1. Have you read Rule 34 by Charlie Stross? It’s accessible Sci-Fi and written from the 2nd person perspective. Great book!

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