I’m back! So, Friday, I managed to tank both my websites and this weekend was an absolute mess. Thank God for the nice guy named Connor for getting both my websites back up and running. I lost a lot of content over on Ginger & Co., but I managed to get everything back over here! So, hopefully, I don’t ever play with my stupid website again and it’ll all be nice and dandy.
Either way, today, we’re going to talk about POV. If you’re new to the writer lingo world (check out She’s Novel’s post about writer lingo), POV stands for point of view. Which basically means, what perspective are we reading this story from? Real quick, I’m going to go over these in case you’re unfamiliar.
First Person POV
This is my personal favorite, but first person is when you’re inside the mind of a character. If you open up a book and you see sentences that sound like “I opened the door,” or “he looked at me funny,” you’re in first person. First person is a lot like being in your own brain, which is why I like it. I feel like I can make a better flow out of it.
First person usually appears in Young Adult novels, some mystery novels, and chick-lits.
Third Person POV
Third person is being outside of someone’s mind. There’s third person limited, where you follow one character throughout the whole story, and then there’s third person omniscient, where you can follow different characters. Third person omniscient is hard, because you have to be able to transition smoothly between one character to another, and trust me, I’ve seen many ways on how to mess up that transition.
Third person usually appears in fantasy and sci-fi novels (I think – not familiar with those), romance books, and some mystery novels.
Picking Your POV
So, when picking your POV, there’s a few things you need to think about. One is the industry standard. Different genres are usually written in different POVs. Obviously, you don’t have to stick to what’s the standard, but it’s good information to know. You never know when someone may ask you why you decided to be different (read my post here about defining your genre).
The bigger thing you need to think about is what you’re comfortable with. If you’re looking for a challenge, you can always pick the POV you’re not familiar with, but here’s my take on it. Writing a book is already a big enough challenge, why make it even harder on yourself, especially your first time around?
For me, I always pick first person because I find it easier. For a person who talks to herself all the time (Seriously, I need a recorder in my car) and is constantly blogging in the first person, it only seems natural to take my first person writing skills and apply them to a character. I feel like you get a better sense of the character (especially one with dry humor like Cassie) in a first person POV.
Also, think about what kind of books you read. Do you read a lot of first person books? I know I do, in fact, I’m a snob and don’t read books sometimes if they’re in third person. Even though the last book I read was in third person, but I read it because I’m familiar with the work the author has done and most of her other stuff is in first person.
So, my two rules are, pick with what you’re comfortable with, but make sure you do your research. Especially if you’re planning to go the traditional route, know your genre standards, because you can never know too much information.
Tell me, what POV are you most comfortable with?