Thursday, April 28, 2011


What's your POV? Your Point of View?

Nope, I'm not asking what you think about Justin Bieber, Johnny Depp, or Miley Cyrus. I'm not wondering what your opinion is concerning war and peace, and I'm not thinking about your point of view on the latest hit comedy show on TV.

What POV have you chosen in your latest piece of writing?

Want choices? I've got 'em!

First Person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story. Your narrator will use I-me-my-mine in his or her speech. This is one of my favorite POVs because I get to hear the thoughts of the star of the story, and get to see how he/she views the world.

Example (taken from my book SAMANTHA HANSEN HAS ROCKS IN HER HEAD):  A few yawns later, I climb out of bed. To tell the truth, I don't mind going to school. Mrs. Montemore is my fourth-grade teacher at Centertown Elementary, and so far, I like her a lot. In first grade, I had old Mrs. Milkens. Everybody had to shout out answers because if Mrs. Milkens didn't hear you, you got a red check in the grade book. I never had much trouble with the shouting thing, but a couple of quiet, shy kids almost ended up repeating first grade.


With Second Person point of view, the writer uses you and your. This is a pretty rare POV. It's like having the writer speak directly to the reader. It can be sort of annoying and big time editors (and some teachers) aren't too fond of it.

Example: Carissa is the name of the dog that lives next door. You like this name, right? I bet you would name your cute dog Carissa, if you were allowed.


Third Person point of view means that someone is like an outsider looking in on the action. Third Person Omniscent means that you get to write about the thoughts of every character. Third Person Limited means you must choose to write the thoughts of only one character.

Example (taken from "Spend or Save," a story I wrote that appears in the July 2010 issue of Highlights Magazine): Jeremy was rich! His grandparents had given him twenty dollars for his birthday. He couldn't wait to get a Skater Rex video game. Mom took him to the toy store.


Nancy's big tip:
Pick a POV and stick with it!

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