One of the most important decisions you will make when planning your writing piece is what point of view you will write in. Your choices for point of view are many and powerful. It provides the means for how the readers enter your story and can change the depth and emotion of that story depending on how close the reader is to the action.
What is your point of view? Where are you standing when you write your sentence, your paragraph, and your story? Whose eyes are you looking out of? The characteristics of the person telling your story, and how close that teller is to the action can change your story completely. Consider the various points of view you can use carefully when planning your writing project in order to create the biggest impact.
These sites are a great resource for defining and explaining the different points of view available for your use when writing your project.
Consider their various advantages and disadvantages carefully when picking which point of view you would like to tell your story from.
First Person POV: This viewpoint is limited to your chosen narrator’s point of view. Your story is told from their perspective, therefore your written words must sound like them, what their character would think or feel or do. Typically the narrator writes using “I” when applying this point of view. The advantage of this viewpoint is the reader is close to the action, emotionally and physically. It will draw them in close to your narrator’s story and help build a solid rapport with the narrator. The disadvantage of this POV is you are limited to only what the narrator knows, senses and feels. You are stuck to one person’s perspective.
Third Person Limited POV: This viewpoint is similar to first person POV, however the character’s name, or third person pronouns such as he, she, they or them are used instead of I. The narrator is you, the writer. You tell the story from the characters POV. The advantages and disadvantages of this POV are the same for first person POV.
Third Person Multiple POV: This viewpoint allows you to write from several different characters points of view. The advantages of this is the reader will have knowledge of most aspects of the story, as opposed to being limited to only one person’s perspective, they will be able to see all parts of the story unfold. However, the disadvantage is it can create confusion in your readers if not handled carefully. You must ensure the transition from one character to another is distinct.
Omniscient POV: A “god-like” point of view. You write the story as if you are all-knowing and all-seeing. The advantages of this are the narrator knows the past, present, and future and can share with the reader at any time. The disadvantages of this are the reader is removed from the main character and may not be able to relate to the characters as well.
When you choose which point of view you would like to tell your story from, you typically need to stick to that viewpoint. If you chop and change it can be jarring and doesn’t make for nice reading. To keep your readers interested and invested in your story you must be consistent.
If you are finding it hard to choose there is a point of view exercise that can help you ascertain what viewpoint will be the best to tell your story from.