Does anyone have thoughts on a novel where some chapters (Protagonist) are in 1st person P. O. V., others in 3rd person?

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James Patterson,'s Alex Cross. Switch at chapters. It works so well you really don't notice it. Or you stop noticing it once you see that the story is being told truthfully: there is a protagonist telling a story; there are things happening to other people in other places at the same time as the events she/he is narrating. 

I realise that other writers are technically good enough to make the switch between the two or to make a story work well in 1st.  My earlier comments were based solely on my personal belief in my own capabilities :)  As an aside, I am currently working on the final proofing of a novel where a series of current events and a series of flashbacks come together at the conclusion to explain the current and past events and (hopefully) pull the story together.  Technically, I find it very hard to make it seamless and consistent...but surely that is another strand of discussion...

As has been mentioned James Patterson, Robert Crais, and others do it. So there is not rule you can't do it. The key is to make sure the breaks are clear. I always start a new chapter when I switch. I think it adds a dimension to the story telling (the thrill of the reader knowing what the protagonist does not) that is not possible with a strict 1st person POV. 

David, you've done novels where you have switched chapters from 1st to 3rd person POV?  

Could I have a title?  I'd like to check it out.  I'm rereading both Cormac McCarthy and Patterson right now.  I've read them both before, and others I'm sure, but apparently never took note of the POV switch until I considered it for my own writing.

Also, thanks to everybody for the great feedback.



Hey Jed,

My first Grace deHaviland novel FATAL DESTINY uses both 1st and 3rd person as does my novella AMBER ALERT. Both are available as e-books. If you pick one or the other up, hopefully I did it well enough to demonstrate what you're looking for. Good luck. Would love to hear what you end up doing and what you think.


I switch from 3rd to 1st POV at certain points in my novel Natalie's Revenge. However, the 1st POV sections are separate chapters in purport to be Natalie's "diaries" as she grows up. The book opens with a prologue when she is ten, and a police office comes to her house to tell her that her mother has been murdered.

In the other chapters of the book, she appears in 3rd POV in the "present" time of the story. It seems to work. I've had more than 100 reviews on Amazon, no complaints about it. 

I've been thinknig about doing this in my comedy crime caper. i'm thinknig of doing some 1st pov at chapter beginings and then 3rd the rest. i like the intimacy of ist, but i have another main character who i dont want to leave out in the 3rd pov so she can have some adventure that the reader can know, but not the main protag.


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