Writing Tips: Points of View (POV)

Article by: Mentis Cibum

Summary

Don't know what POVs are? Need help deciding on which to use for your story? Welcome!

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Submitted: June 06, 2013

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Content

Submitted: June 06, 2013

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What is point of view (POV)? To make it simple, it is the perspective from which you view the story. There are three most commonly used POVs: first person (I), third person limited (John), and third person omniscient (John, little boy, kid’s mom, etc.).

 

First person is by far the easiest POV in which to write.

For example:

I went to the candy store to buy a gumball, but a little boy cut in front of me. It made me angry, so I knocked him over and pretended he fell. I love a good little taste of revenge.

Third person limited is the second-easiest. In this style, you are writing in a sort of removed way. You tell the story like an omnipresent narrator that shows and follows the actions of one character—in this case, John.

John went to the candy store to buy a gumball, but a little boy cut in front of him. It made him angry, so he knocked him over and pretended he fell. He loves a good little taste of revenge.

Third person omniscient is next. This is almost the same as third limited, but can become confusing if used without control. Not only does it show and follows John’s actions and thoughts, but now you show the reader everybody else’s.

John went to the candy store to buy a gumball, but a little boy who felt it to be his rightful place in line cut in front of him. It made John angry, so he knocked the boy over and pretended that the boy had fallen. The little boy was startled so much that he instantly broke out in tears, calling attention from his mother, who was overprotective of her child. John covered his snicker as the woman tended to the kid; he loved a good little taste of revenge.

Now that’s a lot of character development, and usually can be a lot of work to keep it all in good pace and flow. I myself prefer to write in either first or third limited POV.

Second person is very seldom used, as it can feel very intrusive and strange for the reader:

You went to the candy store to buy a gumball, but a little boy cut in front of you. It made you angry, so you knocked him over and pretended he fell. You love a good little taste of revenge.

That might be tolerable for you, but imagine if an entire novel was written like that, informing you of what you supposedly did and said. You’d have that temptation to think, "No, I didn’t…I wouldn’t do that…"

Well, don’t look at me; I didn’t do it, and it must have been one of us!

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I will do my best to help you out! Thanks for reading!


© Copyright 2016 Mentis Cibum. All rights reserved.

Writing Tips: Points of View (POV) Writing Tips: Points of View (POV)

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Summary

Don't know what POVs are? Need help deciding on which to use for your story? Welcome!
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