Ex.) a LOT of YA novels, the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series (although after seeing the show, which deviates from only Sookie's perspective, we've gotten a number of new interesting story lines with secondary characters that would have never been possible in the books because Sookie wouldn't have been privy to "see" them.)Exception: in rare instances, using more than one "I" perspective can work. New Moon did this with Bella and Jacob (kind of drove me crazy though), Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles alternated chapters with the heroine and hero from first person POV, which did work well IMO.
--If written well, your reader will feel like they are part of the character and will get to know them fully through their inner thoughts and storytelling voice.--Intimate and emotionally intense--When writing it may be easier to become the character--Makes the story feel "true"--This often feels most natural when you first start writing because, well, we think in first person.
--First person can sounds monotonous for an entire book--If the reader doesn't like the main character of his/her voice, you're toast(I've heard people say this about PC Cast's House of Night novels. I enjoy the MC's voice, but some people find her annoying and therefore don't like reading the books despite a good story. Update: the last few books have switched first person POVs for some chapters.)--It's easy to get a little too wrapped up in introspection and not enough dialogue--Sometimes when writing "I" you let too much of yourself enter the character. Have to remember to react as the character not as you.
--You can write from more than one character's POV. In romance, that means you get the hero's perspective as well as the heroine's which adds to the tension. In suspense, you can have a few chapters from the villain's POV.--Your MC doesn't have to be everywhere and with everyone to make sure the reader gets all important facts of the story.--Readers are used to this POV and it becomes invisible--Less likely to become monotonous because you're getting different perspectives
--Not as immediate and intimate as first person--You can be tempted to head hop--You have to get to know every POV character intimately and develop distinct voices, which can involve more work. Your villain's POV can't sound like your MC's. And your hero needs to think like a guy, not a woman--there's a big difference.
Ex.) This is seen mostly in classics and epic fantasies/sci-fi. Lord of the Rings and some Literary Fiction.
--You have control to reveal information whenever you'd like, regardless of whether or not your character is privy to it--Can feel "epic" to the reader and give them a wide-sweeping view of your story
--Distance between the reader and characters. This POV is very hard for me to read because I feel separate from the story.
--The reader becomes aware that there is a narrator present, so can feel like they are being "told" a story as opposed to experiencing it
- Cut out these words from your MC's voice: decided, thought, knew, remembered, noticed, saw, smelled, realized, heard, felt, understood, etc. These take us out of deep POV and "tell".
Wrong: She saw him smile at her and felt warmth course through her. She realized with dismay that she still loved him.Better: He smiled and warmth coursed through her. Crap. I still love this idiot.
Wrong: I saw the empty living room and remembered how my grandmother used to braid my hair in front of the fireplace and tell me stories about her childhood.Better: I stared at the empty living room and tears stung my eyes. Grandma used to braid my hair in front of the...
- Don't report things that the MC can't see/know for herself or wouldn't notice under normal circumstances. Stay in her head and see through her eyes. (also known as a form of author intrusion, which I talked about more here.)
Wrong: Her face turned beet red. (She can't see her own face.) The girls in the corner laughed at her reaction. (She can't know exactly why they are laughing, only guess.)Better: Her face grew hot, and the girls in the corner pointed and laughed.