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POV Lesson


Renee Stevens

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In the POV lessons, we will be looking at the different points of views in writing and when writers might use each point of view to have more of an impact. Each point of view is unique and we'll be taking a closer look at each one. Feel free to ask any questions and if I don't know the answer, then I will find it.

 

 

POV

 

What is a Point of View (POV) in writing?

 

The Narrative Point of View is the description of who's perspective the story is being told from. The main types of POV are: 1st Person, 2nd Person, & 3rd Person.

 

What is 1st Person POV?

 

First Person POV is when the narrator of a story is a character from the story. First Person POV can be identified by the use of the pronouns "I" and "We" in the narrative.

 

Example:

I struggled against my bonds, wincing as the jagged edges of the crudely constructed manacles cut deeper into my skin. I had to get free and find where they were holding Becca, who knew what horrors the bastards had subjected my sister to. I didn't know how long it had been since we had been captured and separated.

What is 2nd Person POV?

 

Second Person POV is when the narrator of a story speaks to the readers of the story and makes them feel as though they are a character in the story. Second person is not commonly used but can be identified by the use of the pronoun "You" in the narrative.

 

Example:

You struggled against your bonds, wincing as the jagged edges of the crudely constructed manacles cut deeper into your skin. You had to get free and find where they were holding Becca, who knew what horrors the bastards had subjected your sister to. You didn't know how long it had been since you had been captured and separated.

What is 3rd Person POV?

 

Third Person POV provides the greatest flexibility for the Author and is the most commonly used form of narration of a story. Third person can be identified by the use of pronouns such as "he","she", "it", "they", etc… and from the lack of pronouns such as "I", "We", or "You".

 

Example:

Damian struggled against his bonds, wincing as the jagged edges of the crudely constructed manacles cut deeper into his skin. He had to get free and find where they were holding Becca, who knew what horrors the bastards had subjected his sister to. He didn’t know how long it had been since they had been captured and separated.

 

Questions for the Mentees:

  • Which POV do you most often find yourself using?
  • What about the POV in #1 appeals to you the most?
  • Have you attempted to step outside of your usual POV?
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1. I mostly use third person POV.

2. I typically like to write from the POV of several different characters in my stories and third person is the easiest way to do so. I've read books where there are several narrators using the first person POV, switching back and forth every few chapters and I personally find it a little bizarre and confusing.

3. I have written in first person POV, which is fine if the story focuses on one particular character, but I usually find it too limiting. I like jumping inside everybody's head. I used second person POV once. Just to try it. Never again.

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I have never written in 2nd person and it looks quite clumsy to me. As far as the other two are concerned I suppose I prefer first person, but only because my favourite stories are written that way. I like to experiment with POV's and tenses and my stories are a mix of all kinds.

 

I tend to 'see' my stories and I either describe them as 'I' see them through the main character's eyes or I like to switch POV's so I can get into the head of different characters.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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1. I mostly use third person POV.

2. I typically like to write from the POV of several different characters in my stories and third person is the easiest way to do so. I've read books where there are several narrators using the first person POV, switching back and forth every few chapters and I personally find it a little bizarre and confusing.

3. I have written in first person POV, which is fine if the story focuses on one particular character, but I usually find it too limiting. I like jumping inside everybody's head. I used second person POV once. Just to try it. Never again.

 

For what you are talking about, third person definitely works the best, in my opinion. I have written a story where it's changing POV's in first person and it does get very confusing during both the writing and the reading. I didn't realize how difficult it was to read until after I wrote it, but now that I've tried reading through it, I'm currently in the process of revising it so that it's either all in third person, or all from one point of view.

 

The only time I've ever personally used second person was in a writing prompt that called for using it, and I would have much rather done the story in 1st or 3rd.

 

I have never written in 2nd person and it looks quite clumsy to me. As far as the other two are concerned I suppose I prefer first person, but only because my favourite stories are written that way. I like to experiment with POV's and tenses and my stories are a mix of all kinds.

 

I tend to 'see' my stories and I either describe them as 'I' see them through the main character's eyes or I like to switch POV's so I can get into the head of different characters.

I agree with you on the clumsiness of 2nd person POV. It's also a really hard point of view to get into, in my personal opinion.

 

I think that 3rd person gives a lot of leeway to the author. I like how you don't really have to stick with one characters point of view when using 3rd person.

 

1st person, I like this when I am writing a really emotional piece.

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