Point of View (POV)

May 19, 2020

 Writers struggle with point of view (POV) all the time! I constantly struggle with it myself, especially in the first draft, I mean how do you decide which one to use? Here are a few tips to help you decide which is the best POV for your book. If this gets too confusing, don’t worry, your editor will have suggestions on the best style for your story and will point out when you are going off course.

 

First person

 

I, we, me, my, mine, us,

 

First person is the way most of us write. It feels natural to write in the first person through your character. It’s also the easiest because you are only dealing with one voice (the narrator’s). You can get very personal with this view and speak to your readers directly or through your character, but you are limiting your view to what this one character can see or experience.

 

Second person

 

You are the narrator

 

A nice option for self- help books where you want to make a connection directly with the reader.

But, it rarely works for another genre. Not that it never works, but you need to be careful your book doesn’t just come off as “weird.” Very few authors can pull this off.

 

Third person

 

He, she, it, they, them

 

Third person is the most common POV in fiction.  You can do so much with this POV that they call it “omniscience” as in your reader can experience things in the story that only you and the narrator know (it’s hidden from the other characters until it’s not).  A bit tricky at first but, once you get the hang of it, this POV is gold and will allow you to switch between characters and their viewpoints and settings (adds richness, interest, and detail to your story). Your editor will keep you from slipping back into the narrator’s POV here (it’s easy to do).

 

Third person omniscience

 

The author enters the mind of just a few characters, usually one per chapter or scene. (The YA book I just finished “The 5th Wave” does this well). You can go deep into the psyche of each major character but not usually in the same chapter.

 

I know it’s a lot but, as your editor I am here to help! The important thing is to just get that first draft down then worry about the rest later!

 

Happy Writing!

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