My latest article for JMWW about point of view in fiction. This one is a bit serious, fair warning. POV misuse is a pet peeve of mine so I shared things that I see people doing wrong and ways to figure out what POV is best for you as a writer and your story.
Point of view, the angle from which your story is told, is a pet peeve of mine, so pardon me if I lecture you a bit in this installment. It's something even experienced writers don't always get right, either because they don't fully understand it or don't police their work for errors. But it's one of those key foundational parts to a story that hold it together. Before a writer "officially" starts his/her story, it's important to take time to figure out the point of view.
Some point-of-view basics for you:
These days, the view on first person is that it needs to come from an exceptional character with a unique perspective to work. Speaking in first person (i.e. "I") must be necessary to the story and the voice must be compelling, not your general "everyman" type voice. It's going to be very close as the reader only sees what the "I" shows. The tone depends on the personality of the "I".
In my opinion, this is a rule you can break—not set in stone—if you find your voice for a character and story best in first person. You can also just write in first and then go back and change it to third. A lot of work (!), but the result will have greater intimacy than your average third person.