Thompson on…Choosing a Point of View in a Novel!

How am I going to tell my story?

Which Point of View?

Choices? Choices? Choices?

When I sit in front of my computer and start to pound the letters on the keyboard, I must decide on the point of view to tell the story!

I swallow hard and try to figure out a “voice” in which to write my novel…so many choices!

What is the definition of point of view? Point of view is the way the author allows you to “see” and “hear” what’s going on in the novel.

Skillful authors can fix their readers’ attention on exactly the detail, opinion or emotion the author wants to emphasize by manipulating the point of view of the story.

Literature provides a lens through which readers look at the world.

****Point of view pertains to who tells the story and how it is told.

Point of View comes in three varieties: First-Person, Second Person and Third Person.

First Person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story with I-Me-Mine-Mine in his/her speech. The advantage of this point of view is that you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator and see the world depicted in the story through his/her eyes.

First Person Example: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Second-Person point of view, in which the author uses You and Your, is rare; authors seldom speak directly to the reader.  When you encounter this point of view, pay attention. Second-person point of view is distracting and hard to sustain in longer works of fiction.

Second Person Example: Bright Lights by Jay McInerney

Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. The writer may choose third-person omniscient, in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader…or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character’s mind, either throughout the entire work or in a specific section.

Third-person limited differs from first person because the author’s voice, not the character’s voice, is what you hear in the descriptive passages.

Third Person Example:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

When you’re reading a third-person selection, either limited or omniscient, you’re watching the story enfold an outsider. Most Writers choose this point of view.

When Choosing a point of view, the most important consideration is: “What serves   the story best.!”

 Hint To Pick Point Of View

If you are stuck in trying to pick a point f view, write a few paragraphs in  a FEW different point of views and see which works best!

I hope this helps you in your quest to find a voice for your novel.

Happy Writing!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s