Point of View (POV) determines the person through whom the story is to be told, ie the narrator. The most common POVs in fiction are First Person, Third Person and Omniscient.
First Person means the story is told as "I". This creates an immediacy and intimacy between the narrator and the reader as the reader is right there inside the narrator's head, with access all the narrator's thoughts. There are, however, some disadvantages to using First Person:
you cannot include any scene at which your POV character is not present.
you cannot include any information your POV character would not naturally possess.
you must include all the information your POV character does have.
Third Person means the story is told as "he", "she" or "it". The advantages of Third Person are that you can still get into the POV character's head, but still see him/her from the outside. Third Person told from only one character's head is called Limited Third Party. Third Person using more than one POV is called Multiple Third Person.
Omniscient is a univeral POV which can get into the head of any character at any time. The author also injects himself into the story, commenting on the action and sometimes addressing the reader directly.
Pick a story you know well - whether one of your own, or someone else's. List the five or six major characters and then re-write the story from the POV of a character the author did not pick as the POV character. Does the story seem to change? Are some scenes emphasised more, or less? Does the meaning of the story seem to change? taken from Character, Emotion & Viewpoint (Writer's Digest Books, 2005)by Nancy Kress
Take a story you have previously written in First Person and rewrite it in Third Person. What freedoms do you now have using this narrator? Conversely, are there limitations in using Third Person? How has the mood of the piece changed?
- Fairfield Writers Group-Queensland
- Fairfield, Queensland, Australia
- Fairfield Writers Group is a mix of beginner and experienced writers who meet the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Brisbane City Council Library in Fairfield Gardens Shopping Centre, Fairfield road, Fairfield, Queensland. Our passion is writing and we work hard at our craft. Our aim is to encourage, support and help each other to reach new heights in our writing. New members are always made welcome and usually whisked off to the local coffee shop at the end of meetings for sustenance and socialisation with the rest of the crew.
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