Writing about Points of View


I’ve been struggling, without much success, to get the POV of one of my stories right.

I’ve re-written it twice, from two points of view, but I’m not convinced it works.

I’ve been trawling the net to find advice on choosing POVs, and here’s an excerpt from Alicia Rasley in her book, The Power of Point of View:

You don’t choose POV; it chooses you. Well, not exactly. But rather than conceiving a story with a desire to write in a particular POV, think instead about the story you want to write and then determine which POV will help you best tell this story.

You are important here. The sort of novels you like to read and want to write is probably reflective of some aspect of your character, and that’s going to affect which POV you find most comfortable for your story. I have a theory that visually oriented people tend to prefer multiple POV over single-third of first person POV. They might “see” a story as the braiding of the lives of several different characters.

Someone kinesthetically oriented, however, might prefer to narrate this same set of events in the more directly active first person. If you can’t imagine writing in the first person, don’t choose that POV just because you admire other first-person books similar to your project in style, tone, or theme. First and foremost, know yourself and get to know your story, and make your manner of writing the best way to tell that particular story.

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2 comments

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  1. Damyanti

    Wow, 20,000 words….that’s a load of writing. You are a champ to start off a re-write cos you thought a different POV would work better.

  2. Sarah Jensen

    She is right. I have written over 20k words to a story and realized the POV was wrong. I’ve been rewriting it the way the story needs to be told.
    Sometimes you have to write a lot before you know who the storyteller really is.
    Good luck, hon!