Friday, May 6, 2011

Point Of View

Choosing the point of view (pov) for a novel can involve some difficult choices. Almost everything I've written has been in third-person omniscent; it gives you so much more lattitude. Limited third-person omniscent can give you quite a bit of room to maneuver, too. But nothing beats first-person--for the writer as well as for the reader--for immediately identifying with a character. But the limitations of first-person are many.

What are the advantages of third-person omniscient? The story can be seen through the eyes of any of the characters at any time. In first person, you can't very well see the story from any other character's pov, not without many limitations.

To some degree, plot determines pov. For example, a story I'm working on right now, started out in first-person, but I've come to realize that it won't work for the plot of the novel. Other people's povs, without the protagonist in the chapter, must occur later in the novel. Now I've got to rewrite what I've done. Fortunately, I'm very early in the story, so it's not a problem. But, I hate to change the pov, because I'm losing the instant identification with the protagonist that I've felt. But a writer does what he has to do. The overall story comes first. I'll try to figure out a way to keep it in first person before making the change, but keeping it may be too difficult.


Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

It's sticky changing point of view, but you are so right: as an author you do what you have do in order to "get it right". My current WIP is in first person (a new p.o.v. for me, but one I'm coming to like.) I actually had to change the p.o.v. character, though, and I remember thinking "Sigh, all that work, and now I have to jump heads?" Still, it was a good decision. The book is moving better.

Tanya Reimer said...

I've had to do this also, change POV. I went from third to first; in my adult fiction, and from 1st to third limited in my mid-grade.

I find it depends on the type of book you're writing. I love historicals in omniscient. But Fantasy... 1st person all the way babe.

As for the process of making this change, enjoy it. You're about to discover your character in a whole new light!! It's thrilling. All the best.