Different Points of View

Experimenting with different points of view can be great fun and hugely rewarding, but settling on a point of view for a long piece? A little scary.

How to Choose a POV CharacterCreative Writing Worksheet - Point of ViewCreative Writing Worksheet - Points of View
Creative Writing Worksheet - POVCreative Writing Worksheet - POVs

Download this Worksheet (PDF)

These four worksheets can help you weigh the pros and cons of various point of view techniques, and help you decide.

For a comprehensive overview of point of view (including voice, dialogue, and narrators) please refer to the section in the How to Be the Heroine of Your Own Story textbook titled, ‘Anatomy of a Narrator’.

Point of View Terms

1ST PERSON = in English, narrative using “I” or “we”.

2ND PERSON = in English, narrative using “you” (or a plural form in languages where this exists).

3RD PERSON = in English, narrative using “he”, “she”, “it”, or “they”. SINGULAR = in English, narrative using the singular pronouns “I”, “you”, “he”, “she” or “it”.

PLURAL = in English, narrative using the first person pronoun “we”.

OMNISCIENT = a narrator who can see into the thoughts of all characters. LIMITED = a narrator who can only see into the thoughts of one character.

DEEP = similar to Free Indirect Discourse, but the authorial voice is absent, and the narrator is Limited.

FREE INDIRECT DISCOURSE = narrative that elides speech tags and merges the character’s voice with the author’s.

PERIPHERAL – a narrator who is not the main character.

OBJECTIVE = a narrator who doesn’t look into the thoughts of the characters, but only describes action or relates direct speech.

OBSERVER = a narrator who doesn’t take part in the story but witnesses it as a character without any omniscient capacity.

EXTRADIEGETIC = a narrator who is not part of the story, such as an author- narrator.

RELATED:  Writing About Death

UNRELIABLE = a narrator who hides information, or isn’t in the best position to tell the story.

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS = stream of consciousness narration which attempts to mimic thought processes.


 

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