First Person vs Third Person
Point of View (POV). The point of view simply means from who’s eyes the story is being told. Point of view can sometimes be difficult, because we tend to want to speak from a first person point of view, meaning using I or we. However, when telling a story, the first person point of view is mostly reserved for biographical types of information, or occasional interjection.
Having said that, the first person point of view can be good for non-fiction and teaching. Using personal experience and letting people know what you experienced and how it made you feel can create a bond between the reader and the writer. Using personal stories with the “I” point of view can be an excellent way of writing non-fiction and creating teaching materials.
Who’s Going to Tell Your Story?
The whole concept of Point of View is about who is going to tell your story. Choosing who will tell your story will make a big difference when it comes to the story itself.
The Second Person Point of View
So often we talk about first person and third person that we can forget that there is a second person. What is the second person point of view? Well, second person is something that you use all the time. You use it when you say “you.” That second person can be used when an interactive feel in needed. When you want to place your readers in the story as the main character. It isn’t something that can really be used with a novel, but can work well with a video game or interactive story.
The Third Person Point of View
The third person point of view is characterized by he, she and they. It is the typical point of view of most novels. Usually you need a story teller. That can be a character in the story, where every event, every feeling, every decision is made from the point of view of that character. This is a typical story telling feature. The protagonist doesn’t necessarily need to be the narrator or story teller. The story can be told from one of the minor characters point of view. Where they tend to express their thoughts or feelings about the protagonist and the action in the story.
In larger volumes, there may be several main characters. Different chapters can be written from the view point of each of these characters. Each character takes his or her turn with narrating the story. This type of expression works well with larger stories that have many points of interaction.
Using a Narrator
Sometimes the story calls for a narrator that is not part of the story. A narrator is usually a third party and might have more knowledge or insight than any of the characters. This type of arrangement works well for stories that the main character is purposefully unknown or perhaps discovered as the story unfolds. The narrator may have his own motives and may not have all of the knowledge or may purposefully skew the information in favor of a character or group. This constitutes a condition known as the unreliable narrator, where the narrator tries to persuade the reader to some opinion that may not even be logical.
Point of view will color everything about the story. Telling the story from the main character’s point of view or from a secondary person’s point of view will determine how events will flow and what the outcomes will be. Choosing the point of view may limit what can be told or described because the character or narrator may not have all of the information or may have ulterior motives for telling the story in a less than truthful way. Choosing a point of view and who will be telling the story is an important part of the progression of a novel and shouldn’t be left to chance. Make that choice and let it be a strong part of your story.
Keep up the good work writing.