Friday, July 2, 2010

Point of View

Don't forget to enter the title contest to win a Barnes & Noble gift card + a goodies basket from my local coffee shop, Village Coffee. Come on folks. Let's get lots of entries here.

Working with point of view has been the most challenging thing for me to learn (besides the DREADED punctuation)  as a writer. I slip out easy. Though now, I can immediately see it and most times I never leave the POV in my story anymore. Now I don't profess to understand it completely, so if you see something here that I missed, feel free to shout it out.

In a lot of manuscripts, First Person or Third Person Limited are the most useful because the reader can identify with one main character. The reader knows who the story is about, and who he/she will be following through the book. Then, you need to settle on how much info the readers need as they read your fabulous book.;)

With first person we really know the protag deeply, because we can experience what he/she is going through personally. The author is the character. You can add personality, because you are that person. It only gives the perspective of one character's world view. Limited viewpoint.

But don't you agree that YA books dealing with emotional topics are far more strong in first person, because the readers see what the narrator is going through and can identify with that? A lot of writers love using this. And it is super effective.

Second person is the hardest to write. I don't even read many books that use this style. Winnie the Pooh the exception. The author talks directly to the readers.

Third person writes about the character using names and he/she. Isn't this the most common style? It is very familiar. Easier to write. But harder to express emotion.

So which one do you like to use? And we didn't even get into discussing  past, present or future tense. Yikes! A lot to learn. Aren't we lucky? To have the chance to write and make money too?

Anything to add? Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends. Eat lots. I know Scott M. will. He's going to grill, I bet. ;)


  1. I'm a first-person writer, myself, for all those reasons!
    I'm going to enter your contest now...bye!~

  2. I write third person limited usually, but have written first person teen short stories. I haven't found third person easier to write yet! Maybe that comes in time.

  3. I've missed you, my friend!! How's it going??

    Great post. I use third, although sometimes I use first, becuase it's more natural for me, then change it to third, because I write romance and need to POVs and I don't like switching b/w first pov's.

    Hope you're enjoying your summer!

  4. Hi Robyn...I am a third person writer, but I am dying to write in the first person.
    Hope you have recovered completely by now.

  5. As a reader the first person, when well written, pulls the reader in close. The person is speaking and that gets my attention. Big time. They are speaking to me. :)

    Glad to see you back! Blessings!

  6. Hi, I tried the link above and it said it's broken. :) Thought you'd like to know.

  7. I'm thinking I prefer first person, but can see where it might change depending on what I am writing. Am waiting for you to get it all down pat and then you can coach me:)
    Happy 4th!

  8. Hi, Robyn! Mostly I write third-person, sticking pretty close to one person. I've written in first, as well. I guess I like stories that mimic how we all see life, only through our own perception. We have to listen to others, trust them, but can never know absolutely what they think. It would be challenging to try several POVs sometime, but I think to make it really good, you have to offer some very dynamic differences between the observations of the characters.

  9. Definitely first person, although I'm okay with third person. But in third person I tend to head hop with too rapid POV changes. It's so easy to slip into a subtle POV change without even realising it! My mainstream novel that I'm about to start revising for the nth time, is written in three different POV's - two first person, one third person. The interesting thing is that most beta readers have felt more for the third person POV character. Go figure.
    Judy Croome

  10. Thanks for the Independence Day good wishes! It's always a special day here.

  11. I've only written a couple of short stories. Nothing published, of course :) Anyway, I have both first person and third person stories. I tend to feel more complimentary towards my first person attempts. I guess it's the poet in me that likes the confessional, intimate feel of the first person perspective.


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