Point of View

Point Of View – A Guide to First, Second and Third Person

No matter what story you write, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. The one very important thing is that the story must be written from a point of view. It makes the reader fit themselves in the shoe of the narrator from whose perspective the story is written.

Point of View is the standpoint or viewpoint the narrator use to convey the story. The POV can be from any perspective to let the reader observe the story in a better way.

There are primarily three types of point of view which are known and used in the novels and short stories.

  1. First Person Point of View
  2. Second Person Point of View
  3. Third Person Point of View

Each point of view is used by the writer and has its own importance, depending on what viewpoint does the writer wants to convey the story to the reader.

First Person Point of View

The First Person Point of View is used by writers to show the story from the viewpoint of a character. In the first-person, the story is told by using pronouns “I” and “Me”. The narrator can be any of the characters from the story and is limited only to show only his/her thoughts and standpoint. So, the story will have a biased perspective towards the character.

First Person Point of View

In most of the stories, the protagonist is the narrator.

First Person POV makes the reader understand the character’s belief and desire. The reader understands, why the character has made the decision? what actually matters to the character?

Many writers use first person to see the world from a character’s perspective.

Example: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Second Person Point of View

In the Second Person Point of View, the narrator is speaking to the reader or another character. In the second person, use pronouns such as “You”, “Your” and “Yourself”.

Second Person Point of View

This is the least used point of view as it is difficult to use a second-person perspective, especially in a long writing novel.

Yet, if you want to read some stories that use the second-person perspective, you can check the below examples.

Examples: A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman & The Girl Who’s Scared of Water.

Third Person Point of View

The Third Person Point of View is used by when the story is narrated by the third person who is not in the story, which means neither the person is the protagonist nor any other character. The story is narrated through pronouns “He”, “She”, “It”, and “They”.

Third Person Point of View

Third-person POV is the most used perspective in novels and short stories, depending on which third person POV writer wants to use. Yes, you heard it right, there are even types of third-person point of view.

Omniscient Point of View

Omniscient Point of View is a narrating standpoint that knows the perspective of each and every character all the time. In Omniscient third person, the narrator can jump from the thoughts of one character to the thoughts of other characters as he knew what each character thinks and feels.

However, an Omniscient POV does have some consequences, if not used properly. It can be difficult for the reader to understand which character perspective the story is getting narrated through.

Close Point of View

Close Point of View is also known as Limited Point of View. The narrator in Close Third Person POV can only see inside one character, who is usually the main character ‘Protagonist’.

In this Third Person POV, the narrator has to stay true to his one character perspective. Close Third Person POV is widely used in modern-day novels and Short Stories.

Examples: Where are you going? where have you been? by Joyce Carol Oates.

Multiple Point of View

Multiple Point of View is used by the writer for telling the story from multiple character’s perspectives. Here, the narrator does not work as Omniscient POV. The narrator has to stay true to one character standpoint when narrating the story at a time.

This can be done by telling the first chapter from one character standpoint and the second chapter from another character standpoint. Multiple POV can be used in Third Person and First Person. It depends on the writer.

Example: Boys of Summer by Jessica Brody (Multiple POV First Person) & The Professor’s wives club by Joanne Rendell (Multiple POV Third Person)

Objective Point of View

The Objective Point of View is the most difficult type of viewpoint. Objective POV is used when the writer does not want to get into the head of any of the characters. In this, the narrator shows what can only be seen, heard, touched, or smelled and does not expose character thoughts.

Many stories are written from this viewpoint especially suspense and thriller stories.

Example: Lottery written by Shirley Jackson.

Each Point of View has its own benefits and consequences, its use depends on the way the writer wants to convey the story.

What do you think about it? Do you think have we miss any other type of point of view? Please let us know by commenting below.

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