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?).
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
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.
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 ❥