Part 2: Point of View


Choosing what point of view (POV) from which you’ll write your story can be a tough choice. There are different reasons for choosing first person and third person POV.  I have been immersed mostly in fiction, specifically science fiction and fantasy, and I rarely if ever see stories written from the first person perspective. I can understand the probable reason behind this: first person POV can be very limiting; and tricky.

My feelings toward first person POV didn’t change when we began role-playing.  Role-playing is technically done in third person as it is easiest to determine who is talking/acting and to whom they are talking/acting.  The exception is, of course, if your character is in thought or speaking of themselves.  However, there is a feeling of first person POV because your character can only interact with that which has been said and/or done by another character. Thus, you must refer to your character in third person but always be acting as in first person POV.

I find a strong similarity in my novel-writing. The In-Between originally began as a first person POV. I quickly adapted it when I re-edited and re-imagined the story. First person was limiting and it was not fitting. It can be difficult to convey to the reader how different characters interact because you are only limited by one character’s perspective, as with role-playing. This is not to say you can have a character know exactly what another is going to do or think (unless in which they have such powers). Third person POV is more essential when it comes to wanting to convey various characters’ attitudes, behaviors and actions. It provides a diversity and movement of the story that cannot be achieved through first person. As with role-playing, your characters still can only interact according to the actions and behaviors delivered by others; and, as if you have other role-players pulling the strings of your other characters, you can shift the story to their thoughts and actions.

Despite its difficulties, first person POV has its purposes. It can be used to convey more mystery. Due to its limitations, though, we can only learn the story through one character’s eyes. We cannot possibly know what the antagonist may be thinking or plotting. We must wait until a catalyst has caused any interaction between the main character and antagonist. Thus, there exists some suspense and anticipation that may not be as strongly demonstrated through third person POV.  First person can also bring the reader (and writer) closer to the main character. You are, after all, being told by the writer to use the pronoun “I” and “me” while reading, ergo you are practically commanded to feel exactly as the main character does. This is no doubt a powerful, often emotional tool to force the reader into the character’s shoes. Whatever your preference may be, POV serves an important purpose in any type of storytelling. Keeping it consistent, however, is another matter entirely.

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Stay tuned for the next installment: Action Scenes! *cue the oooohs and aaahhhs*

 

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