Do you have a favorite Point of View? Do you find yourself writing better in one or another? Or are you like lots of writers and you aren’t sure which one to pick. Here are a few thoughts.
Third Person Omniscient: The narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters, and usually jumps from character to character to tell the story. I like to think of this kind of like God’s POV—I hope that didn’t sound blasphemous.
Pro: Because you are not limited to one character this POV works well for epic stories or stories that need to be told from multiple POV’s. It is also the only POV where you can foreshadow with phrases like, “Little did they know what grave events were about to transpire.”
Cons: With so many characters in the mix sometimes it is hard to pin point the Protagonist, and your story can feel unfocused. Because you aren’t tightly into one characters head this POV will often feel more “told” than the others. And if the narrative is too distant it can make readers feel disconnected—telling of feelings instead to making readers live them.
Something to think about: Remember that every character you use to tell the POV needs to have a character arch. That gets tricky. I’ve heard NEVER to use more than four.
Examples: Lord of the Rings, Anna Karenina, The Westing Game
Third Person Limited: The story is told from one—maybe two—characters POV. Usually you are in one character’s head and only see the other characters externally.
Pros: With third person limited you have more freedom that first person. You can write scenes that the protagonist isn’t in. It can give you a more complete story view.
Cons: It is easy to POV shift in this POV. You have to remember that you can’t know any feelings or information that the current POV doesn’t know.
Something to think about: You CANNOT head jump in this POV. You can only switch POV at a scene break or chapter break.
Examples: Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, For Whom the Bell Tolls
First Person: The protagonist is the narrator. The story is told as “I”.
Pros: This POV has a very immediate feel. The reader is right in the action, and. you actually “live” the story.
Cons: Sometimes it can be hard to remember that you can’t “tell” how a character feels in this POV. For example a character would never think, “I feel sad” they would just cry. You MUST show thoughts through actions.
Something to think about: Your story is limited you what the main character knows and that is all! You can’t let them have more knowledge than they would naturally have.
Examples: Twilight, The Hunger Games, Matched
What is your WIP and why did you choose it?