When to use first-person minor in stories

Among the lesser used yet most powerful of point of views is first-person minor. This point of view occurs when the narrator is in the story but is not the protagonist. It can be identified by the use of I/me. It sometimes is referred to as first-person peripheral.

Several famous novels and stories have been told in first-person minor. Perhaps among the most famous of them are Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

First-person minor ought to be used whenever the author wants to:
• Provide a clear perspective about what has occurred because the protagonist is incapable of doing so. This usually is the case when the protagonist doesn’t grow or develop over the course of the story, though the narrator does or the reader will.
• Hide what’s going on inside the character’s head. This usually is done to keep some secret about him or to create an aura of coolness.
• Utilize a protagonist that is difficult for readers to relate to. This would be the case with an extremely alien character in a science fiction story.
• Kill the protagonist at the end of the story. Because of this, the main character can’t narrate what occurred as he’s dead, unless the story is written in present tense.

Of course, there are many instances when the author wouldn’t want to use first-person minor:
• When the protagonist grows and develops, getting inside his heads allows the reader to join him on that journey.
• If an intimate experience with the protagonist is required of the reader, then a minor viewpoint diminishes it. This is particularly true when the main character bucks society’s cherished values; intimacy can help the reader better understand why he takes that position and the resulting decisions he makes.
• Should the story be theme-oriented, then experiencing the world through the protagonist could help drive home that message. This sometimes is done in science fiction and fantasy tales.