How to Choose Your Story’s Point of View

How to Choose Your Story’s Point of View
March 15, 2016 No Comments » For Authors, Writing J.K. Allen

Which point of view (POV) you use affects every sentence in your story and how readers will interact with your story. So it’s important to give it some thought before you begin.

First thing to figure out is who can best tell your main character’s story? It isn’t necessarily your main character (think Great Gatsby). It could also be a god-like narrator like third person omniscient. Choosing these types of narrators can add tension and suspense to your story since you can feed the reader information your MC doesn’t know. It can also cause more intrigue as your reader figures out the MC’s story along with the narrator. But you don’t have to choose one of these POVs if you don’t feel it fits your story. There are other choices.

geralt / Pixabay

geralt / Pixabay

Let’s look at POV now. I’ll only discuss first person and third since second person isn’t commonly used in fiction.

~First person- “I” and “we” are used to tell the story (Hunger Games)

~Third person- “s/he” “they” or a name is used (Harry Potter)

Third person breaks down farther to third limited and third omniscient. Third limited is where the POV follows one character at a time and gives you access to their thoughts and feelings. Omniscient is the god-like POV where the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all characters.

First person vs. Third person

geralt / Pixabay

geralt / Pixabay

First person allows for easy reader immersion since it has the least distance between the character and the reader. Third person on the other hand allows for more complex world building and for more Showing rather than Telling. It also lets you switch POV between different characters more easily. For more pros and cons of each POV, read here.

So now it’s time to get started after choosing which POV works for you. Keep in mind what serves your story best and also which one you are comfortable writing in. Which will you choose? Do you have a favorite POV? Comment below, good luck, and happy writing!

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J.K. Allen Julia Allen received her BA in Creative Writing and English from Michigan State University. She did her senior thesis in poetry under the tutelage of Diane Wakoski, but has been focused primarily on fiction as of late. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. Julia is currently working on a Young Adult fantasy novel and can be found at local cafes in her hometown when writing, and painting, drawing, or reading when not.

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