What impact does your POV choice have on your story?
Choosing the right POV is essential to writing an engaging story.
POV determines how your readers relate to the narrative, and plays a massive role in setting pacing and creating narrative tension in your story.
Let’s look at the three most common types of POV:
With this type of POV, the narrator is also a character; usually the protagonist. The writing relies on first person pronouns: I, me, myself.
Pros: This type of POV is an excellent way to connect directly to your reader. They are privy to your main character’s innermost thoughts and feelings, and as a result, is more empathetic and feel invested in the narrative.
Cons: The disadvantage of using this POV is the limitations is imposes on telling your story. You can only write from one perspective, making it trickier to weave an intricate plot than it would be with a third person narrator.
Third person omniscient
With this type of POV, the narrator knows everything about everything. All events, thoughts, feelings and actions are fair game when using this POV, giving the reader insight into as many characters and perspectives as the action requires.
Pros: This POV is great for intricate plots that are action packed or rely on many different, even independent, events and characters.
Cons: The reader is not as connected to or invested in the narrative as in the case of first person POV. Plots can also become very convoluted or confusing if executed poorly.
Third person limited
Similar to third person omniscient, the narrator has insight into the thoughts and feelings of one character only. The narrator sticks close to this character and observes all event through this his/her observations and reflections.
Pros: This POV is a good balance between first person and third person omniscient. The reader is close enough to one character to feel invested, and the limited perspective ensures that the story does not become too convoluted.
Cons: The narrative is limited to only one person’s POV, which limits the actions, experiences and feelings that the narrator can convey to the reader.
So how do you choose which POV is best for your story? Check back next week for our follow-up post on How to choose the right POV for your story.