Writing Tips 12 (it’s been a while…)

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Today’s Tip: Point of View

The three most common POVs in novels are first person, third person, and third person omniscient. First person includes pronouns like “me, myself, and I”. Third person uses “he, she, him, her”. Third person omniscient means “the all knowing”, which is when you know every character’s thoughts and feelings, not just the MC.

Who: POV

What: the perspective the story is being told

When: throughout the story

Where: depends on what POV you’re using

Why: to let the reader know who is telling the story

How: First person POV is a common point of view used in books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Divergent by Veronica Roth. It uses pronouns like “I” and “me” and is told from the main character’s perspective. First person POV is usually the one that most readers can connect to because it feels as if everything is happening to you, not just the character. You feel what the main character feels.

Third person POV is another common point of view used in books such as Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. It uses pronouns like “he” and “she” and can sometimes be told by the main character’s perspective. Like first person, third person can also be relatable based on the character’s thoughts and actions. The reader feels like they are in the main character’s world, watching the main character’s every move.

Third person omniscient is, of course, the “all seeing” and “all knowing”. Books like Seekers by Erin Hunter are written in multiple perspectives with not one main character but several. Though it isn’t as commonly used as first or third person POV, third person omniscient is still quite effective as you sympathize and understand multiple characters’ thoughts, feelings, and actions, toward the world and maybe towards each other.

Activity: Write an excerpt from whatever novel you are working on or plan on working on in one POV. Then switch to another POV. Then switch to the remaining POV. Get a feel for each one and see which suits you most.

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