This is the last of the ‘Point of View’ series. We’ve discussed first person and third person, both limited and omniscient. Now, we’re on to the wild, wacky and experimental second person.
Second person attempts to incorporate the reader into the story through the use of ‘you’ — as if the reader were guiding the action. Possibly, the most familiar series written in second person are the Adventures of You series and the Choose Your Own Adventure books of our childhood. Remember the books that allowed you to decide where to go at the end of each page or chapter?
However, second person isn’t limited to interactive children’s books. There are adult novels written in the second person as well, such as Tom Robbins’ Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas.
When done carefully and with precision, a second person narration can be interesting and unique. But, be warned. If attention to detail, a well structured story, and a fast-paced plot are not part of the agenda then second person can seem amateurish and unnecessary. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a try and see how it works with your piece — just be prepared to get some interesting feedback from your readers.
POV: First Person
POV: Third Person Limited
POV: Third Person Omniscient
A quick notice to anyone who’s interested. I’ll be reading the short story ‘Ruth’s Spazmagorical Lick-Box’ at a Smallpetitklein event called SPeaK on 2 May. I believe it’s at the Tasting Rooms in Dundee at 7.30.
Also, don’t forget that I’m teaching in Pitlochry the weekend of 27-28 April if you’d like to come along.
We’ve been talking about Point of View, and thus far we’ve discussed first person and third person limited. This week we’re going to have a look at third person omniscient.
This is a POV in which the narrator can see into the mind of any character. The story can jump from place to place and from person to person, and the author has complete control of the scene and the freedom to move through the story at his/her own discretion. Continue reading
The last blog post began a discussion about Point of View (POV) and focused primarily on first person (‘I walked into the cemetery.’), and now is time for third person. But before we get started, it should be noted that third person Point of View is a bit trickier than ‘He walked into a cemetery’, because this POV can broken down further: limited third and omniscient. Continue reading
This post was originally written for the ShortbreadStories e-newsletter, ‘The Shortbread Writer’.
Today’s newsletter is dedicated to a fairly fundamental writing principle: point of view (POV). For those that are not familiar with the term ‘POV’, it is the use of the first, second and third person point of view in writing:
*First person is when the story is told from the point of view of a character, for example, ‘I discarded the knife.’
*Second person is when the story is told from the reader’s point of view. (A very rare way of telling a story, so don’t worry if you can’t recall having seen this method before.) An example of second person point of view is, ‘You discard the knife.’
*Third person uses a narrator who is outside of the story. For example, ‘Sally discarded the knife.’ Continue reading
This is yet another post written for ShortbreadStories.
My mother spent over a quarter of a century as an elementary school science teacher. She had the respect of every child, and when a kid’s tooth became loose it became customary to ask her to yank it out, which she always did, quickly and without pain. She was above the teacher’s lounge gossip but still had the ear of the entire faculty. Sensible in dress and personality, she was puritanical in many ways, yet despite her subtle floral prints and flat-soled Keds, she had a secret love for the creative and the cultural. She was an avid reader, especially of horror and detective fiction, and devoured daily papers from cover to cover. I have fond memories of her sitting at the kitchen table in the sunlight with the broadsheets spread out, or in her living room chair with a rumpled and tattered novel from the book exchange. On Sundays after church, she and I would head downtown to see a children’s play, visit the natural history museum, or attend the local ballet. Since I was the youngest by twelve years, my life resembled that of an only child, and Sundays were days just for my mother and me. Continue reading