Who? From Where?

Francesco Petrungaro [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

What is the point of view (POV) and why does it matter?  POV is who is telling your story.  When you’re writing your story, you need to decide which POV you will use. 

This is an area where I want to make sure I’m giving you the right information and it’s already out there so here’s my source: https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-point-of-view.html

1st person The main character is telling the story.  You use words like I, me, my or we if you are doing plural. 

2nd person The writer has the narrator speak to the reader.  You use words like you, your, and yours.  This is commonly used in business writing, technical writing, speeches, song lyrics, and advertising

3rd person The writer has a narrator telling the story and uses words like he, she, it, or they.  The point of view can be either omniscient where the reader knows what all the characters are doing or it can be limited to having the reader only know what is happening to one specific character. 

No one can tell you what POV to write in.  It really depends on how all knowing you want your reader to be and how intimate you want your story to be.  First person tends to be up close and personal. The author has to be creative in gathering information because you can’t give any information except what the main character actually experiences.  If the main character isn’t part of the action scene, how do you inform your reader about it and how do you incorporate other action?  You have to come up with ways.  Is the character someone people will confide in?  Can they bump into another character to have that character say – did you know, see, hear?  This takes a lot of thought and care. 

Another thing to consider is how the person talks about themselves.  There are definitely drawbacks in how the character will talk and express themselves than if you have a little more distance like with third person.  Here’s an example of first person

            He touched my thigh while moving closer.  His arm slipped around my shoulders.  I leaned in to let him know I was interested.  His body heat hit me first. I felt my stomach tighten and my nipples harden with his arms around me.  His lips brushed against my cheek. Lame but then… oh hmmm, he found that spot.  Yup that did it.  Made my toes curl and my womanhood beg.  He found the spot behind my ear which turned me to putty.  Did I want him to know this?  We had been at odds but now, if he kept kissing me, touching me, I’d forget about it all and strip him naked to have my way or let him have his way with me.

In this section you get the female’s point of view and all the thoughts rushing through her head.  Only the author can decide if first person works for you.  For the sake of full disclosure, I am not a fan of first person.  I think you get too much of the one character and not enough of the other characters.  It has its place but I’m not a fan and struggle when I read first person books.

Third person puts a little distance between the reader and the characters.  It allows the author to offer up multiple perspectives.  You can get both the male and female’s POV in the scene above or someone else’s if they happen to be watching. 

As for 2nd person, I’ve never seen this in a fictional novel.  I have seen it in self-help books, articles, and other business writing.  I’m not sure you could write a love scene in second person but it would be an interesting to see a sample if someone did it. 

One thing you should consider doing – research in the genre you want to write in.  If the genre is strictly first person, you should probably write in first person.  If it varies, you get to pick.  In reality you get to pick but you may stand out in the genre.  Whether this is good or not, depends on the quality of the story and writing.

If you have a writing question you want answered or discussed, use the contact form to let me know.

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