Write Better Fiction: Point Of View

Today on Write Better Fiction we’ll cover Point Of View. Write Better Fiction is a process to help you critique your own manuscript and give yourself feedback. This will help you improve your novel, so you’re ready to submit it to an editor.

What is Point of View?

I use the Point Of View (POV) in many of my spreadsheet columns and have been asked to describe what POV is.

POV is the perspective the story is told from. There are three main types of POV.

  • Omniscient
  • First Person
  • Third Person

There is also second person, but this doesn’t seem to be used much in commercial fiction, so I won’t spend any time on it.

OMNISCIENT is when the narrator of the story knows all. The narrator can get into the head of any character to drive the story forward.

An excellent of a novel written in omniscient POV is the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. One way to determine this is to notice that the narrator provides information that the characters are unaware of.

FIRST PERSON means the narrator is speaking directly to the reader. This comes in the form of ‘I’.

Janet Evanovich writes the Stephanie Plum novels in first person. Often, near the beginning, she’ll write something like: My name is Stephanie Plum. I work as a bond enforcer…

THIRD PERSON is written from the he said / she said narration.

Of course, I have to mention my novels for third person point of view narration. I wrote  DESCENTBLAZE,  and AVALANCHE in third person. I like to change points of view and get into the heads of more than one character, so this style suits me.

My favorite book on point of view is The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life by Alicia Rasley. If you want an in-depth description of all the points of view and their variations, this is a great book to read.

Please let me know in the comments below if you have any thoughts on POV. What form do you write in and why?

Thanks for reading…


11 thoughts on “Write Better Fiction: Point Of View

  1. I have only written one novel, with another on the way. They are both in third person, where I am more comfortable (There, I used first person!). My editor has accused me of switching POV more than once in a single chapter, but I felt the story flowed better, since my chapters are usually so short anyway. What are your thoughts on switching back and forth between two points of view in the same chapter?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to write in one character’s point of view per scene. I will change POV within a chapter, but I do so with a scene break. Even a line space will do. I’ve read other books that switch mid-scene, and as long as the transition is done well and the reader isn’t jarred from the story, I think it’s okay. I do think it takes practice to get the transition smooth. You could have others read the scene and ask for feedback. I’ve read that short chapters keep the story flowing faster and in today’s market, it’s popular.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The line break is enough to indicate to the reader the POV has changed. To me, that indicates a new scene, and I happy to read along. If you’re careful in the first paragraph after the line break to write in a way that the reader knows a new POV has started, you should be good.

          Liked by 1 person

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