How to find the right Point Of View (POV) \\ Writing with Marrill 001

Hello Book Ravens! 

Starting a story is hard. There’s no way to really get around it; in order to write a story, you have to start somewhere. Including, but not limited to, finding the right point of view.

I know a lot of my writer friends don’t stress about this – they usually choose which POV they prefer – but for me, it’s an essential part of the story and not so easy to figure it out.

I’m assuming some of you agree, so I have for you all a list of different POV options and how to decide which fits your story juuuuust write (get it? Write? Like right?).

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1st person \\ Example: I read a book.

First person is excellent for getting in your MC’s head! A lot of my friends have told me it’s hard for them to connect to a character without that “I am\I said” narration.

It’s not great for when you have more than two main characters. When you’re switching heads every chapter, it can be confusing and you end up taking an even bigger step back from the story.

 

2nd person \\ Example: You read a book.

You don’t really see Second Person in fiction and mostly in those Choose Your Own Adventure books (did any of you read those books as a kid??). 

You’re speaking directly to the reader. This might be cool for a mystery, thriller or horror book. Or maybe the story is told through a series of notes that addresses an anonymous “you”…? It could be really cool.

 

3rd person \\ Example: She read a book.

This a pretty common one. It makes it easier to switch between characters and what the characters are thinking. Either switching every chapter (like in Heroes of Olympus) or in different paragraphs (like School for Good and Evil); it can be a good tool for seeing your complete surrounding.

It’s also great for world-building since you’re not depending on the knowledge of the protagonist and can just give general information.

 

Narrator (my favorite!) \\ Example: She read a book. I’m not sure why – seeing as she had much better things to do – but she did.

This could be classified as First Person or Third Person, technically, but it’s my personal favorite and not a POV I see very often??

Basically, you have a narrator telling you the story, BUT he\she\they are not the main character. They may not even be a direct part of the story. They’re just the bard.

So it could be a descendant of the character the story is about or a friend of the character or someone like that who is recounting the tale.

The only book I know that does this omniscient narrator thing is Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I have not personally read this book, but it does have an anonymous storyteller that is retelling these stories.


How to pick a POV

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^ presumably you at this point in the post

DO NOT DO AN INSTAGRAM POLL.

I see a lot of people ask their followers what they think, for a lot of different reasons but mostly for POvs, and hear me when I say:

THEY CANNOT HELP.

Only you can decide what fits your story best. Because it is your story. And a lot of times, what they choose probably doesn’t feel right. And how to know what does work? Well, I’ve got a few suggestions:

Do you need to know everyone? Whose story is this, and whose perspective do we need? Do we really need the BFFs POV or can we keep that as a short story? If you don’t switch POVs until halfway through the story and we’ve known both characters from the beginning, it means that the second POV isn’t necessary. Think Breaking Dawn.

Try a few sentences. Test out the first chapter or so. Maybe rewrite it a few times and try out some different POVs. I personally don’t do this, but I have a few writer friends who find this helpful.

Think ahead. Do you want a lot of world building? Do you have a lot of information to give? Then maybe you’d better go with a Third Person POV. That, or your MC needs to know EVERYTHING, which I guess is possible, but also could affect your planned character arc.

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I hope that helped! Which POV is your favorite? Have you decided what you’re going to use for your story? As a reader, do you connect with characters more with Third Person or First?

 

Have a delightfully thoughtful day, Book Ravens ❥

 Marrill

5 thoughts on “How to find the right Point Of View (POV) \\ Writing with Marrill 001

  1. I tend to write in 3rd person or with a narrator, because that’s what usually works best for me as a writer, but I’ve dabbled with first person too when I need to really get in someone’s head. It just doesn’t feel natural to me sometimes. Also, I totally agree with not using first person when you have a bunch of characters! I just finished reading Children of Blood and Bone, and while I loved the story, the fact that it was in first person when there were 3 characters drove me bonkers. It was so hard to figure out who was talking and the characters all sounded the same

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean – I didn’t write in 3rd person for the LONGEST time because I was so used to 1st person, but it does have it’s uses.

      I’ve been meaning to read CBB. I didn’t know it had three POVs? I’ll keep that in mind as I’m reading it. I find the hardest part for the reader is either keeping the names straight or knowing who is starting the chapter 😅 Sometimes it’ll have their name under the chapter number, but I usually just end up subliminally ignoring it 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it has 3 POV’s and though the author did put the names under the chapter headings, it still got a bit confusing when you were a few pages into the chapter sometimes. I felt like the personalities weren’t distinct enough to really tell who was who if you didn’t pay attention to the header

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not a writer, but this was super interesting. I always get the different POVs mixed up so your explanations were very helpful! Right now I am listening to Night Circus on audiobook and it seems to be Narrator, 2nd and 3rd person. Or maybe its just 2nd and 3rd and not narrator? But it seems like there is a narrator, but that could be because its being read to me? Anyway my main point was that its the only 2nd person story I can thing of and its pretty cool! The whole thing isn’t that way but there are sections where its like you are the one attending the circus and I am super curious to see how it plays out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you liked it!

      I have never read the Night Circus, but of itsi partially told in 2nd person that might be cool to check out. And it also might be the reason why I’ve heard so many people say it’s very atmospheric 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

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