Do You Like First-Person Narration?

Yes or no?

Personally: yes.

And no.

Well, which is it?

This isn’t an attempt to be non-committal in my answer.  Rather, I find there are certain circumstances where I love it and all the intimacy and insight it offers into the narrator’s character, and other times where it leaves me cold.

It goes without saying that stories in first-person are told by I – from the point of view of the narrator (who is typically also the protagonist), and likewise told in the narrator’s voice.  As a style of telling a story, it can be found in any genre, but is particularly common in YA, chick lit, memoir, and occasionally historical and romance.

It’s popularity among those who like it seems to be due to the extreme closeness it allows to develop between narrator and reader.

Such ready access to the narrator’s thoughts and observations can be incredibly instructive to the reader in understanding what this person is all about.  So instructive, in fact, that the reader may come to feel like s/he is the narrator, vicariously living every joy and pain that befalls the narrator as his/her their own.  The constant appearance of the word “I” – of the reader hearing it echo over and over within his/her thoughts – can further contribute to this.

What I described above is not the case for me, though.

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