It should be obvious that a memoir would be written in the first-person, since the author is narrating something about his or her life. And epistolary novels are generally in the first-person, since they are written in the form of a diary, blog, letter, email, etc. I knew that when attempting these two formats that first-person was going to be how to write it.However, in the past, when I attempted to write stories, I nearly always chose the third-person, since I was attempting fiction. It seemed to me then like the first-person should only be used for autobiography, even though I had seen fiction books written in the first-person. One trouble I had at first when trying to written the first-person was how not to repeat the pronoun "I." In third-person narration, it's easy to vary noun and pronoun usage without repeating "he," "she," "it," or "they" or the name(s) of the character(s). But now that I have been writing in first-person, I have found it easier to do so.
One thing I immediately look for when reading first-person-narrated books is how and when the name of the protagonist is revealed, either in the narration by the protagonist himself, or or in dialog spoken by another person. Here was how I introduced the name of the protagonist in my diary novel:
I hate the fact that she [his mother] chose to use her maiden name Martin as my first name. She no doubt would have done the same thing if her last name had been Thomas or Douglas. Or God help me—Gordon. Oh, why couldn’t her name have been Cooper or Tyler? Jordan even. Any one of those would have sounded much cooler. I bet she’s glad she wasn’t named Smith or Jones—would she have named me either of those? My middle Charles came from my late father Charlie. I hate my last name because of the girl named Blair on the TV show Facts of Life and because of the actress Linda Blair from the movie The Exorcist.
Those who have written fiction in first-person, how do you introduce the name of your protagonist to the reader?
And who here has ever attempted the second-person narration? That one seems harder to do. Just as I originally had trouble not repeating the pronoun "I" when attempting to write in the first person, I likely would have had the same trouble not repeating "you." And it seems that second-person is mostly best for interactive books such as the Choose Your Own Adventure series. Neil Patrick Harris parodied the format of the CYOA books for his memoir, Choose Your Own Autobiography. I now feel like reading Bright Lights, Big City, to read something other than an interactive book. Goodreads has a list of popular second-person books, most of which I have never heard of.
What is your preferred post-of-view for fiction? I'm now seeing the first-person used in many fantasy and dystopia novels, such as The Hunger Games and Twilight book series. If I choose to ever attempt a book in these genres, I will have to decide hard on what point of view to choose.