Point of view (POV) keeps me reading a text. Most of us know the basics of POV from school. We may recognize 1st and 3rd person, but our knowledge might be limited to these terms.
First person is when the author writes from the perspective of a character in the story. Usually, you’ll notice pronouns, like I, me, my, us, or ours. Third person is when a writer uses the perspective of a narrator. With 3rd person, you’ll see pronouns like he, she, they, him, her, or them.There’s also second person, but it tends to be more uncommon in novels.
Inside third person, we find limited or omniscient. Limited means the narrator only knows what’s inside one character’s head. Omniscient means the narrator has unlimited knowledge from the mind of multiple novel characters.
When writing omniscient, the writer must consider her reader. If the writer chooses to bounce from the head of one character to that of another, she risks losing the reader. The writing becomes choppy, and the reader will likely find the text confusing. For this reason, it is best to focus on one character per scene.
Scenes keep a novel moving. The reader pushes through scenes to return to a character’s head. It is a great way to engage your readers.
Prior to writing a novel, determine your POV. It will save you editing later. If you choose third person omniscient, limit yourself to one character per scene. Focus on only the things this character would know or see. Leave out the intentions of others. Your character wouldn’t know these…on the otherhand, you can have your character analyze another’s motives.
POV takes time. Be patient. Reread scenes and practice. Best wishes on your writing and editing this week!