As you may or may not have noticed, I do not have a schedule for my posts right now. But, c’est la vie, yeah?
Anyway, sorry for the wait for this post. Eh. I’m lazy and… honestly I procrastinate a lot. You know that, though. On to the post!
What brought this post on, was, honestly, a book. Shocking, right? A combination of books two and three of the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth. Insurgent and Allegiant respectively. If you get the chance you should read them. all of them. Preferably before the movie comes out later this year. Anyway, the books have little to do with the actual meat of the post, just wanted you to know how AWESOME the books are, and that you should totally read them.
What is Point of View?
Simply put, point of view is how you choose to tell the story. It’s the perspective you chose.
Now, what are the different Point of Views.
There’s First Person, Second Person, and Third Person.
First person is told as if the author is the Main Character. You use “I”, “Me”, and “We”. (This is what the Divergent Trilogy was written in.)
I’ve read that First Person is easiest for beginning writer’s because it’s how we view the world. We are each our own protagonist. I’ve never understood it. I’ve never gotten the hang of First Person. Yet. I’m working on it.
The pro’s of First Person, in my mind, are that it’s easier to get to know a character. As both a writer and a reader. You get in that character’s head. It’s easy to care about him/her, because, in a way, you are him/her. You experience the world the way that character does. You care.
The con’s of First Person, are that it’s limited. You see the world only through that character’s eyes. What they don’t see, you don’t see. Unless you’re telling from multiple first person perspectives. (As Veronica Roth did in the third book, Allegiant).
Also, this may be unique to me, but I doubt it, when I tried writing a first person narrative my senior year of high school, I had a teacher I respected look at it. Her comment was that the “I’s” were overwhelming. Too much “I”. I took that to mean that there was too much internal, not enough external. I may not be the only one to have that problem, and if you do, or did, if you have any tricks to solve it, let me know in the comments, yeah? On the other hand, if I find a solution, I will let you all know. Deal?
Bleh. Second person. My thoughts? Don’t do it. But, Second Person is written as “You”. As in “You moved down the steps cautiously.” The entire book, written like that. Cringe-worthy, no? However, I remember some old “Choose your own” adventure books that my dad had at one point when I was younger. Never read them, but I can’t think of any other kind of book that can be written in second person.
But I’m not the judge on what will go and won’t go in writing. If you can make a second person book work, go for it! Try anything!
Third person is written as if you’re outside the bod(y/ies) of the character(s). “He”, “She”, “They”, etc.
There are two different kinds of third person that I’m going to talk about. There may be more, but these are the two that I feel the most widely used and recognized.
Third Person (Limited)
The first kind, I call Third Person Limited. You have free range and can watch what any character is doing, but the narrative is limited to one character’s reactions and thoughts. You see the world as it is, but each scene you only have the intimate details of one character and his/her thoughts.
Generally, when using Third Person Limited, I try to stick to only a few different perspectives. Any more than two or three and it get’s confusing trying to keep track of characters.
Third Person (Omniscient)
The second kind, I call Third Person Omniscient. Again, you have free range and can watch what is going on any time and any place, but you are not limited. You can dip into minds and thoughts and feelings of any character present. Basically, the world is presented how it is, with no biases to distort it.
Personally, when I use Third Person Omniscient, I try to not dip into thoughts at all. Because to me, it gets confusing. When you’re dipping into the thoughts of multiple characters, it’s difficult, as a writer and as a reader, to remember who is thinking what.
Again, this is all opinion and you are free to do whatever you wish.
By the way, d’you know how hard it is to focus on a post and watch CSI: NY at the same time?