Friday Forum: Point of View

It’s our heroine’s opinion that as each novel is different, dear Reader, each cries out to be told in a certain way. Point of view (POV) is an integral part of how each is told. Knowing the difference between each of the points of view available will help you recognize which is appropriate to your novel.

Sometimes, genre locks in the choice of POV, as you will read in some of the sites below. Cross-genres are more forgiving. Agents and editors sometimes are not and may well decide that a novel written in one POV would be better in another. It’s not easy to rewrite in a different POV. One of my fears is that when I am blessed by an agent who clicks with me, that agent will require me to change the POV of my novels.

Retrofitting a novel’s POV can be more difficult that writing it in the first place. If you write genre fiction, do your research. Be sure your POV is appropriate straight away. The links below will help with that.

Killer Hobbies has an article posted by Linda O. Johnston titled Lesson Four – Point of View. As you may have guessed, it’s part of a series regarding writing fiction. This article addresses the genre question specifically and gives some examples based on the author’s writing. Take a look at the series as well to see if you can garner any little nuggets of wisdom that help you on your journey.

Hubpages post How to Use First Person, Second Person or Third Person in Novel Writing is an interesting read on the subject. Take a look at this one for examples which will help you not only choose your POV but keep it fresh. It’s too easy to become repetitive and hit a rut in a POV, especially if it’s the wrong one.

The article Another Perspective on POV posted on the Wylie-Merrick Literary Agency blog is a terrific post if you’re looking for information about point of view. I love the tone of the article and the suggestion that the writer stretch and learn to write new points of view to expand talent. Please take a look at this article and bookmark it if need be so that you can come back to it on occasion. While it may not inspire you right now, I suspect there may come a time when it could.

I’ve heard various opinions regarding which POV is desired by agents. Having been told at one point that third is the only appropriate POV, I began to doubt my instinct to write my current series in first. I gave it a long, hard look and wondered if I should change it. My conclusion was that the stories were each best told from first person with a different narrator in each book.

Was I nervous for having chosen that? You bet I was. I felt better when I was told repeatedly that it’s the story itself that counts. If the novel is well written and the POV appropriate to that story, it’s golden. Isn’t that always the case? Learning more about such things as POV allows the author to choose the details of a novel wisely when beginning a project. I strongly suggest you be open to all the possibilities. Only then can you choose among the options available.


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One thought on “Friday Forum: Point of View

  1. […] Friday Forum- Point of View Jessica Rosen is full of good links as usual. I haven’t the time to read them this week (since I’m not here), so I will come back later and catch up. […]


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