Here on AOR this month we’re each looking at different elements that make up a great story. Point of view, or POV as it’s often referred to, is so important.
But first…. WHAT IS IT?
Simply, it’s the perspective from which the story is told.
This isn’t simply which character but rather the style/technique used. There are several common types of POV.
Here, the main character (usually) tells the story in the form of an ‘I’ narrator.
First person POV is used often in YA writing in particular because it has that sense of immediacy. however, it is important to note that the reader can’t know anything the character doesn’t see/hear/experience.
An example of a recent first person book I read and loved was ‘TRUST’ by Kylie Scott. It opens with a hold up in a convenience store and the POV makes the reader experience that drama along with Edie, the main character.
Single – here, the POV is limited to one character but uses ‘he’ or ‘she’ or ‘it’ form. Again the reader is limited by what that character knows. Can choose to be ‘deep’ where we’re right in that character’s head or further away.
Multiple – again ‘he’ or ‘she’ or ‘it’ but can follow multiple characters in the story. It works best to change view points at obvious scene/chapter breaks.
Omniscient – again ‘he’ or ‘she’ or ‘it’ but now the narrator knows everything. Kind of a narrator god.
In the Harry Potter series, which is written in the 3rd person, we see most of the action from Harry’s POV and often experience his emotions strongly however we sometimes see from other characters POV too (eg at the beginning of each book).
This is the ‘you’ for of narration and is the most unusual in fiction.
I actually can’t think of a book I’ve read in 2nd person POV. I’d love to know if you have?
I think that different POV work for different stories and the best way to work out what is best for you to read and write is to try them out.
I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.