• Amy Shannon

Point of View

When thinking about what you are going to write, and how you are going to write it, and what characters you are going to involve, one other step is to figure out the Point of View. Now, there are three POVs, first person, second person, and third person. In some stories, writers utilize multiple POVs in the story, but using the same category.

First Person point of view: This is the view point from one character in the story. Uses words like "I" or "me". Some authors use more than one character's POV in first person, and this is a good technique, but if not utilized properly, it can be confusing.

In first person, the writer has to remember that events can only be told if the character is witnessing or experiencing the events or action of the story.

If using multiple first person POV, there needs to be a way to inform the reader whose POV it is. Some writers label the section, others create a new chapter, and indicate it within the story. Make sure it is not confusing, and don't use too many in a story. If you are writing and find you want to use a lot of different POVs in the story, from different characters, you may want to use third person, but use a lot of internal thoughts or narratives.

Second person POV: The narrator is speaking directly to the reader or another character. This is rarely used in fiction. Uses words like "you" or "yours".

Third Person POV: The narrator of the story is not one of the characters involved in the story. It is the outside looking in. Uses words like "he/she", "they/them".

There are two forms of Third person, "limited" and "omniscient" . Third person limited follows one character's perspective, but not from a first person, but a third person point of view. For example, a mystery writer may only want to show the actions of the detective, and how they gather clues.

Third person omniscient is basically the story written in third person, but shows actions of others and not just one character. Given the example of the mystery writer, the storyline may show both actions of the detective and the killer.

How it changes the story?

A writer may want to test the different point of views before putting the story together.

1. Pick a character or characters.

2. Write a short scene in first person.

3. Write the same exact scene in third person

4. Compare the two

Some authors do both. They write an entire story in third person, and then, they write it in first person, using one or a few of the characters' POVS. Now, they have two stories that are similar but also different.

As i mentioned before, first person can only give you the perspective of that particular person. They are not privy to events they are not part of.

Look at your story through the eyes of your characters

, as a writer of the story and then, as the reader.



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