Tips, Tricks, and Do's and Don'ts
Every writer may need help from time to time, whether its trying to conquer writer's block or creating realistic OCs. This Forum will have some tips, tricks, and some of the Do's and Don'ts centered around writing fanfiction.
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sam temple

There are a few types of POV, many of which you probably know, but it still doesn't hurt to go over them again. Each type of POV has its pros and cons, and it depends on how you want to write your story to decide which you want to use.


First Person: This is the most personal of the POVs, due to the character essentially 'talking' to the reader. Usually you get all of their thoughts/feelings, as well as their personality and speech patterns. This type is interesting, because the character can honestly tell all or hide/distort things based upon feelings and thoughts. This is one of the most intense ways to identify with the character. However, due to it only being about one character, you are limited to that character and cannot view other character's views of things.

Third Person:

Outside Observer:It views the action from the outside, but does not go into a character's head. It can be useful to use this, but it should be used sparingly, due to it's dry and unemotional nature.

Ominicent Third Person:It tells all the thoughts/feelings of all characters, jumping from character to character. It's good for letting the reader identify with many characters, but not as fully as First Person does. It also can lead to problems with trying to build suspense since you have an inside view of every character. It also can slightly disrupt flow due to jumping from character to character. It can be done right, but it will take experience to combat flow disruption and still being able to build suspense that a reader craves.

Limited Third Person:It gets inside the head of one character at a time. It is also up to the character to reveal what they want to reveal at the time each thing is written. You can change POV between characters, but do this by using scene changes marked with some type of seperator/break (It tells the reader to shift gears and get ready to read the POV of another character). Stick to using only a few characters, so you don't trick the reader into thinking minor characters are as important as the characters you have chosen.

Things to watch out for:

1. Don't switch POVs without a break/seperator or breaking it up by chapters. By not doing this, it disrupts the flow of the story and may confuse the reader due to the abrupt changes made by switching POV. I stress this, because this is a pitfall for many writers that leads to experienced fanfiction readers and writers to not take that writer seriously.

2. Using too many character POVs. It will overextend the writer and take away from the story.

3. Author notes are not POV changes and should never be used during the chapter. Keep them before the chapter or after by using a break.

7/29/2011 . Edited 7/29/2011 #1

Another POV is Second Person. Second Person is the POV that is used the least often, especially in fanfiction. It's a way to get the reader to feel as though they are the main character. For example: 'You walk down the hall, only to see James. It's been a few days since you've last seen him.' This POV allows the reader to know everything about one character. This POV isn't useful if you plan on switching character's POV a lot, but it can be good for oneshots. It can also be useful if you're using an OC and want readers to be able to insert themselves easily.

5/26/2012 #2
Second person isn't allowed on fanfiction... says so in the rules.
9/30/2012 #3

@AaylaKitofNiflheim: True, although still worth knowing about. There are other sites that allow it. But I should have stated that it is against the rules on this site.

10/13/2012 #4

There are rules?

9/30/2014 #5

Yeah, the site has quite a few rules, like not using second person, no real person fics, no song fics, ect. If you look under 'publish' on the left side of your screen after you've logged in, you'll see 'Rules & Guidelines'.

10/4/2014 #6

ohh thank you

10/5/2014 #7

One thing I hate the most when I see a fanfic is when the author changes POV in First Person... I've never sat down and read one of these because I can't stand them. Like, why bother, just write in Third Person, dammit!

1/16/2015 #8

i write in both first and third person and switch between them

1/17/2015 #9

You keep doing you and I'll keep doing me :) I can't stop you, and if it's what you like, knock yourself out!

1/17/2015 #10

You know, I've never actually understood all the hate of first person narratives. I've always thought they were harder to find well written, but I've never just disliked them in general. What is it about them that rubs you the wrong way. Satan-chan? If you don't mind me asking! I mean it purely in a curious way :)

1/22/2015 #11

Of course it's fine for you to ask! I like First Person when it's written from the perspective of only one person consistently throughout the fanfic, I just don't like it when it cuts to multiple characters in First Person, if that makes sense. Like, I always catch myself thinking 'You wouldn't find a book written in this kind of format/No way would an editor allow this to be published,' and although I know this is purely fanfiction and you can do whatever you want with your story, I just find it a kinda amateurish thing to do. In my mind, you should stick to Third Person if you want to write a fanfiction from multiple POV's.

Usually, most of the perspective changing First Person ones also only dedicate a paragraph to a character before it switches to another one, making the paragraph completely a waste of time. Like, I kinda understand switching First Person POV's between the main pairing per chapter (e.g. Focuses on Person A for chapter one, then Person B for chapter two), but when it's a bunch of random/unimportant characters in one chapter, it's just bleh. I also don't like if the per chapter First Person changing just shows the same thing from the other persons POV.

Also - though this is probably wrong - since I read mostly yaoi, I sometimes find myself thinking that when it's written in First Person it makes the author seem like they want to be in that characters position; especially when it's written from the perspective of the 'submissive'.

Sorry for the rant!

1/22/2015 #12

The rules state that you can't have an interactive story. You're allowed rhetorical questions, I think.

eg. I don't know what to do anymore. What would you do?

or things like

It's like those times when everything seems to be falling down around you.

Both of which are second person.

I use them quite often. I think it's allowed. I'm not sure.

2/10/2015 #13

I know right? I hate first person, it bothers me and I can't enjoy the story... I also don't like present tense... '

3/29/2015 #14

Ok, I know these are really old, but I wanted to comment anyway.

I agree that if done correctly, first person is a great way to go, but because it's so hard to get down, many writers choose to use 3rd person. That, and in my opinion, many writers don't know how to correctly write in First person, so it makes it difficult to have any patience or understanding for them. I don't want to be a hypocrite though, I've written in first person before, and rereading it always makes me want to punch myself because I can't do first person very well... So for the authors that do first person fics, good luck to you, practice makes perfect. For those who write third person, same thing. No generalizing over here. :)

5/8/2015 #15
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