Content is free; would you consider a donation? See below.

1st person POV in Literary Story

by William H. Coles


Purpose: to explore character development when using 1st person point of view in literary storytelling.

Most fiction writers are successful without exploring the intricacies of 1st person POV. But to achieve high-character development for the great story that has character-based plot, authors improve their writing by understanding how characters affect readers, and then apply the effects through controlled writing.

POV = point of view.
1st person refers to “I” pronoun usage in a prose story, but the “I” character may not be the protagonist or even a major character.

I. Mastering 1st person point of view

For great stories, authors must choose points of view for the right reasons. In 1st person point of view unique advantages and disadvantages that will vary in importance according to story structure and content. Of course, abilities of the author are always in play.


*In narrative telling of the story to the reader, 1st person POV allows the sense of having been there (or being there in the present tense), and a memoir quality of telling my story as the straight-scoop to you the reader. There is a psychic and physical closeness to the action that provokes an intimacy.

*1st person  POV gives the reader constant characterization — that is the thoughts and actions of the “I” character. All other characters, even if the protagonist is not the “I” character, are secondary because of limited access to their thoughts and actions. This consistent access to one character’s opinions and attitudes often strengthens voice and allows easier access to sarcasm, cynicism, and injection of surprise-humor.

*The 1st person POV flows more easily into an intuitive writing style, giving an author a certain freedom from the necessity of structure.


*In 1st person, the acceptance of a character’s dialog changes. In 1st person POV dialog, the reader knows that all characters’ dialogs other than the 1st person are actually being presented, and might be altered in tone and credibility, by the 1st person. Some themes and meanings require reliability on the integrity of character dialog to reach meaningful impact on the reader. A 1st person character who is unreliable tends to confuse the reader as to what and who to believe in a story. In character-based fiction, this may work against significance and the perfection of the story.


We were standing at the edge of the thousand-foot drop on Mount Hood. Carol shivered and looked away from me.

“I’d like to shove your ass into eternity,” she said. I smiled.

“I’m not joking,” she said.

In the 1st person POV presentation, we do not know what Carol really said, or meant, in the story world; we know only what the 1st person POV told us she said. But in third person presentation, through a narrator or a character, the reader may interpret Carol’s words differently, and with an interpretation specific to each reader that will affect the story differently.

At the precipice, Paul looked down the thousand-foot drop to the snow-covered rocks below.

Carol stared at the side of his head, her fists clenched.

“I’d like to shove your ass into eternity,” she said. He expected warmth, but her gaze made him unsure what to think.

He smiled.

“I’m not joking,” she said. The arrogant bastard. She knew exactly what she had to do.

There are many ways to structure this mini-scene, but the examples show how Carol’s words can be interpreted and accepted differently in different POVs. At times, a scene can be given more impact by not filtering all information through the single conduit of the “I” character.

*The 1st person  POV limits knowing what other characters feel and think — characters who may have a more informed view of the story world and may be better sources of significant conflict and action.

*Because of limitation mainly to the mind of the “I” character, the reader has no comparative gauge to test credibility of the “I” character’s view of the world, accuracy of story presentation, or validity of opinions and conclusions. Credibility in storytelling is a fragile, at times abstract, phenomenon that, when highly developed, may allow significant impact of story meaning. But when lack of credibility in character, plot, and/or story world perceptions is present in excess, the chances for a significant effect of great story purpose are often lost.

*In “I” character, when the character is in-scene and distant from the action, easy access to credible and accurate information is lost.

II. Using 1st person POV

How comfy the use of a single character in the 1st person POV (or first person point of view with narrator function) is for an author. How easy the telling is.

“I was sitting at this gay bar studded with full-sized Michelangelo statues of David at each end, and this girl couple walks in, one ugly, but the other  so gorgeous she made my heart throb. In a split second, I was falling in love with a dyke, and I hadn’t even thrown back a gulp of my straight up Port Ellen.”

The mood is chatty with attitude, a story that will be interpreted entirely through a character who provides the reader with only his/her opinions, thoughts and abilities to observe and articulate the story. The character is inherently unreliable by the nature of the 1st person POV — can any individual really know and interpret the real truths that exist around him or her? And this story type will often rely on the ironies created by the differences the “I” persona perceives in his/her world.

There are many flexible approaches to the use of “I” character. This story could be altered to more in-scene, less subjective (ugly, gorgeous, love are each subjective opinions) delivery, which will result in seemingly more objective story information and often a change of attitude.

“My heart pounded when I saw a five-foot-two blond with her girlfriend. She walked with a confident stride, her short shorts creasing the flesh of her thigh with every step. She smiled and looked away. I gulped my scotch and wondered if she could switch-hit the way I was imagining.”

Moving into the objective scene telling, rather than relying on subjective narrative telling, sets a little different tone and is more action oriented.

Now compare a delivery from 3rd person POV (multicharacter plus narrator but not “omniscient”).

“Jared sat on a red Naugahyde barstool with his foot on a brass rail, close enough to touch the life-sized statue of Michelangelo’s David that stood at bar’s end as decoration. He’d wanted Johnny Walker Black, but the bartender had quotas to meet by serving the most expensive drink possible, and Jared had wound up with Port Ellen scotch that didn’t do much for his sour mood. When Doris entered with Camille, their arms linked to express their attachment, Jared’s gaze turned to her, and she smiled, not sure if he realized that the obvious desire he couldn’t hide would never be satisfied.”

Note how information is presented with possible consciousness of multiple characters and the narrator.

RED: narrator or protagonist providing information (POV).

GREEN: protagonist (character) information (POV)

BLUE: minor narrator information (?POV)

ORANGE: Doris’s, and possibly Camille’s too, information (POV)


Jared sat on a red Naugahyde barstool with his foot on a brass rail, close enough to touch the life-sized statue of Michelangelo’s David that stood at bar’s end as decoration. He’d wanted Johnny Walker Black, but the bartender had quotas to meet by serving the most expensive drink possible, and Jared had wound up with Port Ellen scotch that didn’t do much for his sour mood. When Doris entered with Camille, their arms linked to express their attachment, Jared’s gaze turned to her, and she smiled, not sure if he realized that the obvious desire he couldn’t hide would never be satisfied.

Skeptics can reasonably argue that these complexities of point of view are artificially created with various interpretations and that authors should do what feels right and is effective for their purpose in their writing. That is the essence of style . . . one might point out. Yet, in literary fiction, an author is trying to intensely engage the reader and provide lasting and significant insight for the reader with ideas never before considered. For success, expert characterization and a character-driven plot are necessary, and the more control the author has of the writing, and the storytelling, the better chance for creating a lasting, enjoyable, significant story. Understanding POV clearly, and knowing the potential of efficient POV usage, helps authors write their best stories.

III. Distance in 1st person POV: psychic and physical

1) Psychic distance vaguely means how important the character’s emotions are in driving plot progression. 1st-person character limited psychic distance in a scene restricts emotional developments in a scene. When action is character-based, in third person, multiple emotional-based actions of different characters may enhance scene effect.  When story presentation allows multiple-character psychic-distance with varying action involvement, aspects of reasonable and objective information about characters, plot, and meaning may be more significant. As a result, the core purpose of a scene is often better achieved by varying psychic distance with multiple characters.

2) Physical distance is the distance the character is from the action. It is external for the character. Physical distance allows more expansive imagery and broader interpretations. Different possibilities exist between a 1st person POV plunging to almost certain death in seat number 24C in an airplane while telling or in-scene showing the predeath moment and a narrator who describes (even in-scene) after the fact the same disaster by telling or showing the character from a later point in time than depicted in the story, and being able to imagine, and feel, from yards, or miles, or eons away from the action. More objectivity becomes possible, albeit with a loss of immediacy.

IV. Awkward Constructions in 1st person–a summary.

The effects of 1st person POV storytelling are distinctly different and somewhat more restrictive than other narrative techniques, and 1st person POV is often chosen by beginning writers because the style is intuitively easier to write. Also, as previously mentioned, there is an immediacy and intensity effect, a sort of whisper-in-our-ear phenomenon that provides an intimacy between narrator and reader. Problems do exist, however. The 1st person POV has difficulty expressing the feelings of others and relating action that is necessary for story when the 1st person cannot be inrerpreted as reasonably privy to the information or is not present at the event. These problems may make for awkward prose.

Examples: awkward constructions in  1st person.

1) From the fire in her eyes, I knew exactly how she felt—enraged and hurt, and probably a little embarrassed, too.

Comment: Is there a different effect of the same information presented in 3rd POV? She felt engaged and hurt and the fire in her eyes distrubed me.

2) In the dressing room, I knew the Hardrocks were tuning-up on stage, their grimy hands turning the geared pegs, the strings whining with tension.

Comment: The first person imagines a scene outside his or her physical in-story perceptive possibilites. They might hear the strings whining but can’t see grimy hands turning pegs. Here are possibilities for credibility acceptance, the first in 1st person, the second in 3rd person. a) I opened the dressing-room door a crack and there were the Hardrocks tuning up on stage, grimy hands turning geared pegs, strings whining with tension.  b) The Hardrocks tuned up on stage, grimy hands turned geared pegs, the dysfunctional whine of too-tight strings drifting into the dressing room.   

V. Feelings

Great stories enlighten or reverse thinking about something and have theme and purpose. To reach maximum potential, great stories must be structured for purposeful delivery through dramatic events and have clear understanding about how the story is narrated — with elements of narrator reliability,  clear moral thermometer-readings, and logical motivation reasonably tied to all other action and motivations in the story — and, probably most important, dedication to story purpose rather than author-performance.

Writing in 1st person POV makes delivery of story easier—there are certain shared attitudes with the reader that can easily bring a sympathetic response — and it is easier to tell feelings of love and hate and jealousy than to show them through action that never uses an abstract word such as “love” or “anger” to describe the emotion. In general, action with conflict and resolution usually in-scene objectively presented is more effective for creating memorable emotions in the reader than 1st person describing events and personal feelings where feelings of other characters cannot be credibly be delivered by the limited 1st person POV.

A 1st person character telling feelings does not have the same impact on readers as showing how feelings are experienced and how in-scene action with multiple points of view reveals credible story-related feelings to a reader.

1st person may seduce an author into making intuitive decisions about the story structure and narration that may not be the most appropriate choices for the best story and the management of emotional responses.

VI. Narrator and “I” character

Most writers just do a 1st person POV conceptualization of 1st person. But “I” delivery of story information needs more thought than just doing. Consideration of a narrator function should be considered. One problem is all pervasive in “I” delivery — point of view is often imagined by the writer as knowing something, with all its limitations, as one of the five senses. Thoughts and feelings are restricted in the 1st person and take on added subjectivity, possible unreliability, and may elucidate character more than propel story.

In storytelling, an author creates, a narrator tells, and a character acts. It is usually more prudent not to alter this in 1st person by collapsing the author into the character to narrate the story. All stories have narrative information that may be awkward or unbelievable when delivered by a 1st person character. And for great stories, the narrator also has to be more knowledgeable about the story world than the character, even in 1st person POV. This is one essential ingredient for useful ironies.  Narrators provide crucial and, for best effect, truthful information and are necessary in almost every story. Many 1st person stories simply use the 1st POV to surreptitiously provide narrator information, but this can lead to disbelief and mistrust of the character that in turn leads to a feeling of artificiality in the storytelling.

Authors can’t resist, at times, interjection of opinions and attitudes from the author’s sensitivities from her-or-his real world into the story world. It can be as subtle as a single disruptive adverb or adjective or the use of disjointed phrases, clauses and sentences.


She was killing him. He would have no water, and he would die of thirst. The idea pleased her. She held a glass before him and tipped it so water flowed onto the floor, ignoring the drought that had raged in the city from effects of global warning.

Numb with cold, I watched the insecure skier start into the turn, his mental fear freezing his responses to create disaster. (The adjectives, “insecure” and “mental” fear, are questionbly knowable by a first-person narrator in scene, and for an instant, change the point of view to the skier. Different construction needed if the skier’s insecurty and fear are to be addressed (through images or action are possibilites).

Note how extraneous thoughts, no matter how important to the real world, can push the reader away from the story.

In general, narrators should be more objective and reliable than characters, so in 1st person, narrator presence may be needed to establish objectivity and reliability that is important for clarity and story purpose.

When an author becomes narrator, there tends to be a blurring, or confusion, of the telling time. In storytelling, the real-time creation and the narrator time of telling can effectively be different, and these may be different from story-action time. This may allow irony and justify cynicism. An author writing in March of 2008 may do well having a narrator, even in 1st person, tell the story from the time of 1875 about a character acting the story out as a 1st person POV in 1862. The differences, however, need not be years, but may be weeks, or days, or fractions of an hour.

Examples of a 1st person scene with different aspects of POV

There was no doubt the ship was sinking. The captain sat alone, stone-faced in his cabin, an illustrious career turned infamous in minutes. In the radio room, the operator had twisted the knob off the now silent radio and laid his head on his arms. Below deck, the engineer failed to seal a compartment door, and a rush of water banged his head on a girder causing him to lose consciousness before he drowned. (narrator information)

I watched as the life boat hit the water and rocked violently for a few seconds. Someone pushed me from behind. “Dear, God,” I said. I jumped and felt my lower leg crack as I hit one of the wooden seats that broke my fall. “Move out of the way,” someone said kicking me in the ribs. (back to 1st person information)

Many readers (and writing instructors) would not accept this construction as allowable in 1st person. A narrator provides information that the 1st person POV character cannot know at the time although he, or she, delivers this specific information. For many readers who find pleasure in serving as POV police, any deviation from a 1st person POV is an error, or at least a slippage in writing skills. Here is what might be suggested, or required, in revision. In this example, dialogue is used to deliver story information that can still preserve the 1st person POV.

We were crowded near the railing on the port side, the deck slanting twenty degrees.

“The Captain’s taken to his cabin. He ain’t seeing no visitors,” a man said.

“Career ruined,” a sailor said.

“A dead man,” said another.

“The radio’s out.”

“Engine room flooded a few minutes ago. I saw the engineer floating face down with my own eyes.”

Someone pushed me from behind. I looked down to the lifeboat as it hit the water and rocked. A deck officer shoved me. Three of us fell at the same time. My leg cracked as I hit the edge of a wooden seat. Pain seared upward. Someone kicked me in the ribs.

“Get out of the way,” he said.

For many, this attempt to provide, through dialogue, the story information wanted is awkward.  It rings with a lack of credibility and artificiality and therefore makes the scene seem less real and harder to accept and enjoy. A major distraction is that the dialogue is delivered as the speakers are facing death, and it has a barroom chatty tone (due to exposition mistakenly filtered through dialogue).

The information might be provided through internal reflection.

I imagined the Captain alone in his cabin, a man with a stellar career ruined. I doubted the distress signals were going out anymore. In fact, the bridge had become silent and eerie among the yells and shouts on the deck. A man said the forward compartment had flooded, he thought he heard the cries of the engineer who suddenly became silent. The lifeboat dropped, the winch handle spinning to a blur. Someone pushed me and I fell, hitting the gunnels. My leg cracked and a searing pain shot upward in me. Someone kicked me in the ribs to move me out of the way to clear space for others to fall.

But this seems awkward, too. Another try. Much more internal.

With the deck slanting, I could not stand without gripping a rope or a metal ring fixed to flooring. My fall had broken my leg above the knee; pain seared through me with every movement. But I held on, waiting for the cries to signal when a rescue boat might be below. I was close enough to the rail to be in the crowd who would jump to the twenty feet or so below the slanting deck.

“I can’t jump,” a woman whispered to me, sobbing, clutching my leg to keep from slipping violently into the rail. I yelled out in pain. Was she an evil woman? Did she deserve to die? There was no time to lower her into a boat securely and safely. She’d have to jump. She’d have to be forced. Was there someone to do it? Even with my leg whole, I could never shove a woman, or any human, to possible death. She had to make that decision, not me.

“Do you have family?” I asked. That brought more sobs and she did not answer. The ship’s horn blasted. The passengers panicked and began to jump. A few hit the boat, but most went into the water, looking for something to cling to–a deck chair, an oar, some piece of ocean debris. They’d all be unconscious in two to three minutes, motionless with the cold, clumped with broken ice. I began to pray.

There is no right way. And when solutions don’t readily come up in 1st person, 3rd person or narrator presentations might be considered. But to change a POV is a drastic undertaking, and an even more crucial question might be asked: Are the information and the scene necessary? Is it time to delete this scene?

Most authors don’t consider alternatives, or narrator based information, in a 1st person POV delivered story. They go with the gut feeling of what works and that usually results in the author and character being inseparable. And many of these authors are successful and accepted by readers, and have no need to change if they are satisfied with their work. But ignoring narrator function is not the right attitude for creating the great story. Don’t let the ease of writing fictional memoir in 1st person–without narrator function considered–hamper the potential of a story.

Present tense and 1st person POV

In any presentation (point of view), a story is told from a time point related to the existence of the author and the reader. This can be thought of the period in which the story is set. Many writers loosely assume that this time is clear when using the 1st person POV (1st person) because the writer often creates the story as if it is occurring in the time of the writing. This is often analyzed as a “double ‘I'”, that is the “I” telling the story in story time and a second “I” who is telling the story as an older, time-distant narrator (different in many ways from the younger “I”). Grasping this concept and applying to the the delivery of the storytelling can improve an author’s style and ability.

In truth, all stories have happened. Even futuristic stories have happened in the creator’s mind and are being told as if having occurred. No one reading a story actually lives the story, of course, either at the time the story is created or the time the story is supposed to happen. At times, present tense is used to create a sense that the story is happening now. This is a deception—an often acceptable and effective deception–but still not a reality. Verbs indicating present action require suspension of disbelief that the story is happening now. Again, all stories have happened. This deception, and the need to accept the deception, can complicate effective in-depth characterization and confuse back story and front story.

The pleasing effects of 1st person immediacy and strong voice may become tiresome at times, and adding the inherent deception of present tense may work against reader enjoyment of many stories. Still, both present tense and 1st person serve important roles in every writer’s choices for best story presentation.

Thanks for reading.

For EXAMPLES of 1st person stories, see: “The Activist,”Reddog,” “On the Road to Yazoo City.” 

Join the discussion on Facebook:

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

I teach caution in using 1st person point of view in literary fiction stories. It constricts the narration, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the choice of story. "The Activist" is a coming-of-age story, and the reader sees all the action through a child's POV. Does it work for you?

!st person POV is the easiest way to write stories, the most instinctive choice for authors, and the most common POV choice by a large majority contemporary literary fiction writers. But for me, too many stories are spoiled by choosing the wrong POV. In "Suchin's Escape," 1st person seems to work okay because all the facts presented in the girl's "coming of age" (when she defies her mother to gain respect for her dead nephew) are directly related to the girl's inner decision. Would another or different POV wouldn't be an advantage? What do you think?

Read (or listen) to the story free.

For POV, see: AND

The commissioned illustration is by Peter Healy, a major contributor to my commissioned website art and an illustrator for graphic stories "Reddog" and "Homunculus."
See art gallery at:
... Read MoreShow Less

I teach caution in using 1st person point of view in literary fiction stories. It constricts the narration, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the choice of story.  The Activist is a coming-of-age story, and the reader sees all the action through a childs POV. Does it work for you?

!st person POV is the easiest way to write stories, the most instinctive choice for authors, and the most common POV choice by a large majority contemporary literary fiction writers.  But for me, too many stories are spoiled by  choosing the wrong POV.  In Suchins Escape, 1st person seems to work okay because all the facts presented in the girls  coming of age (when she defies her mother to gain respect for her dead nephew) are directly related to the girls inner decision. Would another or different POV wouldnt be an advantage?  What do you think?

Read (or listen) to the story free.

For POV, see:  AND

The commissioned illustration is by Peter Healy, a major contributor to my commissioned website art and an illustrator for graphic stories Reddog and Homunculus.
See art gallery at:

4 CommentsComment on Facebook

As both a writer and a reader, I find the intimacy of first person narrative the riskiest. If I can't feel comfortable stepping 100% inside the narrator ... saying I, me, my ... if I can't relate to that character in some way on an intimate level, I will put it down. There was just a 1st person submission in a critique group I belong to, and I found the narrator repugnant. He was a womanizer rationalizing his infidelity, and I couldn't stand him and I didn't want to read one more sentence. It's probably why I was never able to get through Lolita. I can dislike a character from the safety of third person or omni and still love the story and keep reading, but I have a real difficulty with it in first person.

Personally I love writing in third person when it comes to writing short stories. I enjoy being able to string together character movement, subtle shifts in reaction and interaction with background. It gives me the freedom to describe how the characters look, feel, and interact with their environment, and that's what I feel like gives the story flavor: vivid detail. It's also the ability to pick up on subtle detail that brings a story to life, and I find third person a lot easier to convey that type of information.

1st person is great when delving into a characters motivations while limiting our knowledge of everyone else's motives. It's good at making us care about that character a little more than everyone else. But I warn against every sentence stating with I and my. That's why shades of grey was bad from a writer's stance. It didn't know how to execute good structure in 1st person.

Click here to donate

Read other Essays by William H. Coles

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 thoughts on “1st person POV in Literary Story

  • Todd E. Van Dell

    Mr. Coles. I am both a reader and a writer and my current preference for both is the first person narrative point of view. Though I am not a writing teacher as you yourself are, I have long been on a quest to build what I hope will one day be the largest private collection of first person novels ever assembled by one person. I have done much research and can unequivocally say your claim that first person is far easier and more intuitive for writers is, in point of fact, NOT correct. Nor is it the more popular style of writing than third person point of view. Just based on my extensive research over the years, third person is far and away the more popular narrative point of view for authors to write in. And there are typically approximately maybe a third as many novels written in first as in third. (I am including ALL commercial fiction in that assessment, not only the more purely literary novels you may be speaking of.) Several authors write in both first person or third person. In those cases, about 2/3 of their novels are in third, versus about 1/3 in first person. Lee Child, Harlan Coben, John Grisham, Stephen King, Lisa Unger, off the top of my head, have written that ratio of third person to first person novels. And there are others. Additionally, third person narrative point of view’s greater popularity than first is primarily because it is considered the easier narrative POV to write in. Which conflicts again with your earlier contention that first is easier. In fact, within the community of romance novels and novellas, third person is way more common than first person. So much so that, based on the last time I checked Harlequin’s submission requirements? They STILL accept nearly all unagented manuscripts over the transom for publication. Their ONE exception to that rule? ANY first person narratives MUST have agent representation. NO exceptions. EVER. They won’t even look at a first person narrative storyline unless it has agent representation. And how many Harlequin romance novels are out there in the world, even now? Virtually all are third person, with few exceptions. Some authors never write in any other voice than third person. Nora Roberts. Danielle Steel. Stuart Woods. Barbara Cartland (dating myself rather dramatically there, admittedly). Sandra Brown. Iris Johansen. Even Lisa Scottoline, with ONE shining Edgar Award-winning exception, writes exclusively in third. (Her second novel Final Appeal is the one wonderful exception. And she now totally disavows it. She hates that she did not write it in third person, in spite of the fact it’s her one and only award-winning novel.) But again, I’m speaking of commercial fiction. Not necessarily the literary fiction you might be referring to exclusively. As a general rule, third person narratives are far more commonplace than first person narratives. Sorry to disagree with you on that. You do offer some interesting insights but your essay on using first vs third was very obviously to me slanted toward third person, which I gather is your writing preference, based on your current novel McDowell’s third person narrative. And you touched on one of my own personal biases against third person: authors may use FAR MORE description in third person novels than first person. So, for authors whose writing tends to be a bit more florid in third, usually has to cut way back on that in a first person narrative. Perfect example? Dean Koontz. Hyper florid in nearly every third person narrative novel. Much less so in his first persons. He’s still rather a bit more florid than most authors. But that gets dialed back in his first persons just a bit. Anyway. You get my point.

    • admin

      Hey Todd. Thanks for the comment. So well done and I find the criticism justified from your point of view, which I think is the point of view of a majority of writers in general. All this make you thoughts valuable. As you mention, I am interested in storytelling and literature. Of course, literature is a term ill defined in minds of readers and writers, but in general, for me, literature is a structured story with beginning, middle and end, usually has a character-based plot, engages and entertains, and has a purpose for being written with some aspect of enlightenment about thinking about the human condition. It’s not the the best path to commercial success for a writer but it does, I think, require dedication to rigors of artistic creation. And literature, with it’s story structure and narration in prose, is considered to have lasting value as an art form. Unfortunately, we can’t know what future generations will label as “lasting value,” so we, as writers, write in the moment and really any technique that satisfies what we want to achieve is okay. My point in teaching is not so much to promote one point of view in narration or inappropriately imply that one is better than others, but to encourage choice of point of view for what will make a specific story best–to engage, entertain, and enlighten to maximum effect. One valid thought you point out is that certain genres need to adhere to certain points of view to be successful. I totally agree. In the literary endeavors however, narration of stories is complex. Even in 1st person, narrator point of view is frequently buried from necessity in the narration. And, depending on what the purpose for telling the story is, one point of view is not equal to other points of view. And my thoughts about of point of view are mainly to help writers find the right point of view for best effect in the narration of story. As examples, “Reddog” is a story about truth–and how a chronic lier cannot depend on a truth being accepted by others–and “The Miracle of Madame Villard” is a story about a dying mother’s love that shapes the future for son. I feel the the former could only be effective in 1st person, and the latter is most effective in narration in 3rd person with a strong narrator presence. I confess, effective narration of stories fascinates me, primarily because even slight failures in delivery can disrupt the fictional dream that makes fiction writing so special. Anyway, thanks for bringing up this topic and again, thanks for taking the time to point out essential thoughts about point of view.
      References: Here is a link to an interview with Robin Olen Butler, who, with only one or two exceptions, has used only first person point of view throughout his career. If you have time, you might see how that contributed to his Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
      All the best for your writing career and your quest in building your collection. WHC