Monday, June 14, 2010

Point Of View

When I first started to hang out on the net with other writers, I kept wondering what a POV was? Point of Venue? Practice of Verbs? Once, I found it stood for Point of View I realized I hadn’t a clue what it meant.

A little google search told me the definitions.

• a mental position from which things are viewed
• the spatial property of the position from which something is observed
• the narrative mode used by writers to convey the plot to the audience

Narrative mode? I did a little more digging.

-First person: is a point of view in which an "I" or "we" serves as the narrator of a piece of fiction. While first person point of view can allow a reader to feel very close to a specific character's point of view, it also limits the reader to that one perspective. The reader can only know what this character knows.
Example: “I loved the way he struggled to keep his eyes from wandering over my body as he lectured about the pros and cons of the insurance policy.”

-Second person: the narrator tells the story to another character using "you". The story is being told through the addressee's point of view. It is the least commonly used POV in fiction.
Example: “You opened the door to find an orange cat on your doorstep.”

Third person: uses third person pronouns such as "he" or "she." It’s the most versatile form of pov and can be sub-divided into omniscient and deep.
Example: “He ran around the corner, surprised to find the vampire waiting for him.”

Omniscient: in which both the reader and author observe the situation either through the senses and thoughts of more than one character, or through an overarching godlike perspective that sees and knows everything that happens and everything the characters are thinking.
Example: “He ran around the corner but he didn’t know a vampire had been waiting for him there all night.” (I find this the hardest pov to write in.)

Deep: is being so immersed in a character's head, his or her thoughts color everything in the story. It's got 1st person depth in 3rd person format.
Example: “He ran around the corner, his heart stopped as he came eye to eye with his worst nightmare, a vampire.”



So, point of view simply means where is your reader observing the story. If they ‘are’ the character then you want first or deep third. If you want them sitting on the characters shoulder as if watching then you want second or third. If you want them above as if on the ceiling or sky then third omniscient.



Once you chose a point of view, I recommend sticking with it throughout the story. I’ve read some experimental stories where the writer would switch from first to third depending on the character but it knocked me out of the story and I found it too distracting. The best writing allows the reader to get caught up in the story and not even notice what pov they are in.



Next week I’ll discuss deepening your point of view. Don’t forget we’re celebrating our first year anniversary at Paranormal Romantics and having daily give aways.

3 comments:

Barb said...

The design of your website is sooooooooooooo cool....I love it.

Barb

Annie Nicholas said...

Thanks! I got inspired.

AJ said...

I'm glad you posted this previous blog to group. When I first joined, I too had no idea what POV was. This is a perfect example for new writers! Thanks, lady :-)