Understanding ViewPoint in Fiction

A lot of my students say they’re confused about View Point in fiction. Others never have any trouble. POV (Point of View) is important. It’s never unbiased or objective.
The POV character is the one whose eyes we see out of, whose thoughts and emotions we are privy to, the one who is like a camera to us, the readers. As your POV character interacts with others in scenes, it becomes like life–you know your own thoughts and feelings, what you decide to say and not say, and your evaluation of others in your environment. Unless you have good ESP, you probably don’t know: what others are thinking or feeling, deciding and saying or withholding. You might be able to guess these things (He looks happy. She seems confused.) but unless they tell you or let you know, it’s a guess. Your POV character should be the same: sure of his/her own thoughts but guessing about others unless told by body language or other means.
Writing Tip for Today:
As you write, refrain from jumping out of your POV character’s head and into another character’s head. It’s confusing and usually the benefits gained are minor. Try writing the same scene from two different character’s view points. How does the story change?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *