Point of view ponderings.

First person. Third person deep. Third person distant. Third person limited. Third person express. Second person. Omniscient. Future tense. Past tense.

Yikes. Stop the rollercoaster I want to get off. And I was just kidding there is no third person express pov. I made that one up. But it sounds like it could be one. Doesn’t it?

We have so many choices. Different writers prefer different point of views. I thought I liked 3rd person deep pov. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just the one I started with and old habits die hard. But my past few manuscripts, after starting in 3rd person, I ended up switching over to first person. And once I did that, the story came alive for me. All of a sudden I had freedom to add in the type of narration that I enjoy writing and reading the most.

But I’m tackling a new story. And I realized that first person was just not going to work. (I don’t think.) Not with what I wanted to do. There were certain sides to the story that had to be told. But I still wanted the freedom that first person narration offered.

So, I discovered third person distant pov. I’m only revealing one character’s thoughts (no head hopping), but I’m taking advantage of the narration to add in my style and my humor. And I’m finding the freedom to reveal important clues and pieces of the story without constantly worrying about breaking that 3rd person deep pov.

Will it work? Will I do it right? Heck, I don’t know. Ask my crit partners in about a month when I start submitting. But I do feel great about one thing. I’m growing. I’m stretching my writing abilities, which means I’m going to learn. And that is the place I want to be.

What p.o.v do you prefer? And why?

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16 Responses to Point of view ponderings.

  1. The Alliterative Allomorph April 7, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    LOL it can get a bit overwhelming. My first book was in first person present tense. I love writing in first person and present tense. Ir feels like it’s happening right now and the reader is the person in the book. I like feeling like that when I read and therefore chose it.

    But. My current endeavor has two protagonists. And I’m writing it in third person distant, present tense, for both so we can get two different sides of their mutual story. I’m finding it a challenge. But challenges always make us grow!

    Nice post. Hits home 🙂

  2. The Alliterative Allomorph April 7, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    oh yeah, you figured out how I can get comment updates in my email yet?

  3. Tina Lee April 7, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I want to learn how to do the third person express. It sounds faster and easier.

  4. Laura April 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    AA – I’m devoting a portion of my day today to add some plugins – I always get kind of nervous because I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong and my blog will detonate. 🙂

    Tina – With third person express, your story is written in one month and revised in 2 weeks. That’s how goog it is. 🙂

  5. Laura Pauling April 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Just trying out a new plugin so any of you can suscribe to comments through email. Testing. Testing. Testing. 🙂

  6. Karen Strong April 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Hi Laura:

    For the life of me I cannot master 3rd Person POV — but it is a goal of mine to do so.

    But I think as writers, you should always try all of them out and see which ones speaks to you.

    P.S. — That comment update plug-in should work. This is the same one that I have for my blog.

  7. Laura April 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Thanks Karen. Some writers find first person harder. Other writers find 3rd person hard. It’s interesting. I’m not going past the first couple chapters and if I can’t figure it out, I’ll switch over to first. I don’t want to rewrite a whole ms again!

  8. Anna April 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    I was the same way: started with 3rd person and slowly switched over to 1st. My fairy tale retelling, however, is in third, which feels very natural. I still tend to gravitate towards 3rd person, but I’m glad that I’m comfortable with 1st too. It’s nice to have options, isn’t it?

  9. The Alliterative Allomorph April 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    yay! Testing plug in 🙂

  10. Laura April 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    Anna – I would think a fairytale retelling would need a 3rd person pov. I guess it depends on what we want for style and mood. B/c each of those are affected by pov.

    AA – Thanks for reminding me! Not that I like to spend all day adding widgets. But there were things I wanted to do and I have a slow learning curve when it comes to blogs.

  11. Heather Kelly April 7, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I write 3rd for mg and 1st for YA. But there are places in my MS labeled POV switch when I wanted to get cute, and haven’t figured out a way around the POV in that one spot. I don’t know how much latitude there is for POV. Sometimes you can get away with some breaches, and other times, not.

  12. Terry Lynn Johnson April 8, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    I wrote 3rd for my mg and first in ya and found I liked first much better. It stopped the passive voice.

  13. Laura April 8, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Heather – I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to get around those spots!

    Terry – I think we all enjoy our favorite pov for a reason. I’d never heard it stopped the passive voice. But that’s great! Passive voice can be sneaky.

  14. Kris April 8, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Hey Laura – can’t wait to dig into your new WIP! As you know, my WIP is supposed to be Third Person Deep POV — but it’s all too easy to slip and throw in a narrator comment or something that the protag wouldn’t know. Yikes!

  15. sally apokedak April 9, 2010 at 3:45 am #

    oh, you had me for a minute. I was like, “Third person express? What’s that?” I thought there was a whole new POV that had been birthed when I wasn’t looking.

    I have always called third person deep, close third person.

    I can’t say I’ve ever heard of third distant, either. It sounds like omniscient almost but you only go into one character’s thoughts? Very interesting.

  16. The Alliterative Allomorph April 9, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Weird. I didn’t receive any emails after subscribing … hmmm

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