R&J First Person Narration

So we spent a little time discussing different narrations for stories and in particular first person narratives.

First person narratives simply mean that the story is told from the perspective of one of the characters.

This type of narration has its limitations and advantages like all types. We also spoke about these. Some are listed below. Copy these into you books and try to add one or two more to each heading. (You may get some of your ideas from the link above).


  • If the reader does not gel with the character telling the story there can be a disconnect.
  • Limited perspective. You can only tell what the main character experiences.


  • You can connect to the character on a personal level.
  • The characters thoughts, reasoning and feelings can be fully explored.

Many books today write from the first person perspective, but change characters throughout the chapters. This somewhat addresses the limitations of this style as the author can explore other perspectives whilst still writing on a personal level.

Wonder is a book that explores this idea and the director of the movie even maintained the different narrators. This is an unusual style of film-making.

Can you think of any other books you have read that are in first person narration but switch who that narrator is? (This is a little different to third person writing where each chapter switches focus to another character - but is very similar).

Scene from Romeo & Juliet

I want you to have a go at writing a first person account of one of the events in Romeo & Juliet. I would like you to use Shakespeare's version of the play for this task.

It would be a very good idea to share which scene you are doing with other class members, as it would be fantastic to get varying accounts of the same event from different characters' perspectives.

Writing Point of View Pieces

Remember to take full advantage of the benefits of first person narration; crawl inside the skin of the character you have chosen. How do they see things differently?

There are three main factors I look when assessing a point of view piece. Each reflects a deeper understanding of the character and task.

1. Accuracy
At the basic level, whatever event you choose, the facts should not be changed. Your character may see things that were not explored in the original text and will see things from a different perspective, but the events do not change.

2. Thoughts & Feelings
For in intermediate piece, take advantage of this style. Really express how the character you have chosen feels about what is going on around them and try to describe it using several senses if appropriate. Also explore what they are thinking?

3. The 'Big Picture'
For an advanced point of view piece you not only want to explore the thoughts and feelings of the character on what is going on around them in that moment, but also their thoughts and feelings on the 'big picture'.

This 'big picture' is the main idea or theme of the story. So, if it was from a soldier's point of view, no matter what they are going through in the event you have chosen, we want to hear their thoughts on the war overall. Why are they there? Is it worth it? What do they think of warfare now, having witnessed it? etc.

For Romeo & Juliet, the one main idea every character can relate to is the conflict between the two families. When writing from the point of view of a character from this play, try to not only talk about what is going on around them, but give some thoughts on where they stand on the big picture of the family feud.

Do they have some thoughts that they dare not reveal? Think of Mercutio's dying monologue - would you have known his hatred for the families' feud before this point. Write like that character has something important to say.

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