Brynn Stein on First vs. Third and Ray of Sunlight

Today my guest is Brynn Stein, here to talk about writing in first versus third person and feature her new story, Ray of Sunlight. Don’t miss the giveaway info!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Shae.

Today I thought I’d talk about writing in first person versus third person.

So far I’ve split right down the middle with the stories I’ve written. Haunted and Living Again are written in third person, as is an upcoming story, For Mac. On the other hand, Through the Years, and Ray of Sunlight are written in first person, as is an upcoming story, What No One Else Can Hear.

I don’t really decide what POV to write in. The story just sort of comes in one or the other, usually. I’ve tried to change a story from first to third, or vice versa, but it doesn’t really work. The one exception to that is the story I’m writing now, From the Ashes. It was originally coming to me in alternating first person.  I even wrote two chapters that way. Then apparently the characters decided that they didn’t like that way and the rest of the story is coming in third person. So, I had to go back and rewrite the first two chapters. At least it allowed me to do that this time, and I have to admit that third person is working out better for this particular story.

There are pros and cons to each point of view, as far as I’m concerned.

I like first person because it allows me to write less formally throughout the story, since it’s almost the one character’s dialogue. It gives the reader a better insight into that character and there is a lot of personality in the writing. However, it limits the insight into all the other characters, and limits which situations I can write about. If that character isn’t there, obviously I can’t write about it, unless someone tells the character about it later.

Third person, especially alternating third, gives insight into more characters and frees up which situations I can write about. Of course that opens up a debate between limited third and omniscient third, or alternating limited third. But I’ll get into that on another day.

What about you? Writers, do you have a preference of which POV you write in? Do your stories give you a choice or do they come to you in one or the other? Readers, do you have a preference about what to read? I know some people refuse to read first person. Some people prefer it. What about you?

Comment below for a chance to win.

RayofSunlight_FBbanner_HarmonyHere’s how the giveaway will work. Visit as many blog tour sites as you want (full list here), as often as you want. Each comment will enter you to win one of the following prizes: 1st) An autographed paperback copy of Ray of Sunlight, 2nd) An electronic copy of Ray of Sunlight, 3rd) Your choice of audio or electronic copy of Living Again, 4th) An electronic copy of Through the Years, and 5th) an electronic copy of Haunted. The takeovers for Harmony Ink’s blog and Facebook page will be part of the tour, so comments on there will count. I will draw the winners during the FB takeover (March 21) and will announce them then, but will come back and announce it to all the sites too. So, you don’t have to leave your email address here if you don’t want to, just remember to check back. You’re also welcome to leave your email in the comments if you’d rather or email me at with the subject heading of “just in case”, so I can contact you if you win, if you don’t want to have to stop back by the blog sites. You don’t have to be present at the FB takeover to win.

RayofSunlight_smallRuss Michaels has his whole life ahead of him but no plans beyond dropping out of school as soon as he turns eighteen. He’s been in and out of juvenile detention for the last four years and thoroughly expects to end up in an adult penitentiary at some point. He hates life and everyone in it, especially this latest community service that he earned in lieu of juvie yet again.
CJ Calhoun has big plans. He wants to bring joy and happiness to sick and injured children for as long as he can by performing as a clown. The problem is, he has stage-four cancer and a horrible prognosis.
When circumstances throw these two polar opposites together, they find they have more in common than they imagined. CJ discovers Russ’s talent for art and arranges for Russ to create a mural in the hospital foyer, which leads to a tentative scholarship to the Art Institute. As life changes in ways neither of them could have expected, Russ must work harder than ever to better himself as CJ struggles with his deteriorating health.

About the Author

logo extreme cutBrynn Stein has always loved to write. Fan fiction, original fiction, whatever. While Brynn wrote in numerous genres—everything from mystery, to contemporary, to supernatural—she had always tended toward strong male characters. And then she discovered “slash,” male/male romance, and all those strong male characters were finally allowed to express their love for one another. It seems that there are always at least two characters clamoring to tell Brynn their story.

Brynn lives in Virginia near her two grown daughters who encourage her writing and provide a sounding board for fledgling stories. When she isn’t writing, Brynn teaches children with special needs. In free time, when such a thing exists, she reads anything she can get her hands on, and haunts bookstores. She draws and paints, and enjoys the outdoors—especially if she can get to the beach—and is always thinking about her next story.

Please feel free to contact Brynn at any of the following:

6 responses to “Brynn Stein on First vs. Third and Ray of Sunlight

  1. I don’t really mind either actually. I do read a lot more third person narrative stories but it’s not really intentional.

  2. I would imagine there are more third person narratives written, so it might be a statistical thing if not and intentional choice.

  3. I do not really have a preference, but I do enjoy reading at story that has more that one POV, as long as it obvious when there has been a character view change. I recently read a mystery story where there was also the killers view point, as well as the two main characters (police detectives). It was fascinating to experience his viewpoint and terrifying, as you knew he was leading them into a dangerous trap! I have one favourite story that is written in the first person and I would love to know what the other characters thoughts were as well.

  4. Thank you for the opportunity to read all the posts!

  5. I don’t mind any kind of writing as long as I can make sense of it!

  6. And the winners of my blog tour give away are:
    An autographed copy of Ray of Sunlight = Sula Holland
    An Electronic copy of Ray of Sunlight = Denise Dechene
    You choice of audio or electronic copy of Living Again = HB
    Electronic copy of Through the Years = Ree Dee
    Electronic copy of Haunted = Jen CW
    Congratulations to the winners. If you left your email address, or sent it to me, I’ll be contacting you. If you haven’t, please write me at
    Thanks so much to everyone who commented on and everyone who hosted my blog tour. It was a lot of fun.