Authors choose the point of view (POV) that works best for their stories. Understand the POV issue and tell your story skillfully from the best point of view for its presentation. As a result, you will produce clear and understandable fiction.
Personally, I didn’t know anything about POV when I began writing my novel, Buddy for David. When I heard about this issue, I searched my manuscript diligently to determine what POV I had used, hoping I would not find confusion caused by flipping from one POV to another. I found that I had written in the Third Person Omniscient point of view.
Don’t feel there is no hope for a writer with a lot to learn about the craft of writing fiction. Learn as you write. Practice as you revise and rewrite.
BASIC EXPLANATION OF POINT OF VIEW (POV)
|Point of View||Example||Function|
|First Person||I watched my neighbor leave his doorway. I was convinced that he was headed to the same place I’d seen him go each morning for a week.||The protagonist, or another character, tells or reveals the story from his or her own perspective, limited by his or her own personal experience and possibly biased or erroneous knowledge. Notice use of the pronoun I.|
|Third Person Omniscient||Cindy’s neighbor left his doorway, feeling very insecure, headed for a secret meeting with seven dangerous conspirators at a little known restaurant in downtown Chicago.||Story told by an all-knowing narrator that may reveal anything or everything, including thoughts and feelings of any or all the characters. Notice that information flows in abundance from this omniscient perspective.|
|Third Person Limited||Cindy’s neighbor left his doorway. She assumed he was heading for the same place she had watched him go each morning for a week.||The story unfolds via the perspective of one, two, three, or several characters, each one limited by his or her own experience and possibly biased or erroneous personal knowledge.|
|Second Person||You watched your neighbor leave his doorway.||This point of view is rarely used in fiction.|
As a reader, is there one point of view that you prefer above others?
Is there a point of view that you prefer as a writer?
Each point of view has its advantages and disadvantages in developing a story. A point of view that suits an author’s writing style and supports a strong presentation of the story is a powerful combination for successful writing.
For more information on POV, here is a link to a blog entitled Men with Pens. Read this excellent post: Fiction Writing: What’s Your Point of View?