Point of View Now that you have your story idea
and have worked out who your main
characters will be, you need to ask
yourself the following…
1) Who is going to tell the story? (POV)
2) What tense will your story be told in?
So, who is going to tell the story?
Will it be told in the first person or the
third person – and what does that mean?
Writing in the first person, is when
you tell a story from your own point
of view… “I said, I did, I went, I thought...”
Writing in the third person, is when
you tell the story from someone else’s
point of view…
“He said, she said, Tommy did,
Mary went…”
What makes first person POV effective? - It creates an immediate relationship
between the reader and the writer.
- It allows the reader
to put him/herself
in the writer’s shoes.
- It allows the writer to get lost in the
world he/she is creating and also,
to immerse him/herself fully in the story.
Remember that when you are writing
in the first person it is not actually YOU!
You are assuming the voice of a fictional
character – the fictional character
you created!
Remember that when you use first
person your whole story has to be told
from your POV, so you need to be
clever with dialogue (see lesson 3) to
get others’ opinions across.
Remember to remain in the
first person POV! If your main
character’s name is
Matthew Jones – don’t suddenly
switch in the story from
“I couldn’t believe my
eyes…” to “Matthew was
always a shy child…”
Keep it consistent.
Third person POV –
what’s it all about?
The benefit of third person
POV is that you can tell a story
from a range of angles.
You can set a scene and bring more
than one person’s POV or feelings in.
For example: Mary threw a chair across
the room in a fit of rage. “What did you
do that for?” asked Martin, visibly shaken
by his sister’s sudden outburst…
Relationships can also be clearly
defined using the third person POV,
as all characters are on a level
playing field.
Remember to use your characters
when telling a story in the third person.
Remember also, to use description
wisely – set scenes.
Now, decide what point of view you
will use to tell the story of your
protagonist (your lead/main character)
and/or antagonist (the bad guy) if
you feature one.
What is a title?
The title of the book is its name.
It should be clever and simple with a
minimum amount of words.
It should make you think but not be too
random and it should suit the story that
you are telling but not give it away.
What do we need to know about
tenses?
The tense you choose will determine
whether your story is being told as it
happened or as it is happening…
What TENSE is your story
being told in?
PAST – telling the story
as it happened…
It was a cold, dark night and Jamie sat
shivering in the doorway of a
well-known shop.
PRESENT –
Telling the story as
it is happening… It’s a cold,
dark night as Jamie
sits shivering in the doorway of
a well-known shop.
EXERCISE
To practice your tenses go to
Week 2/Exercise Sheet 1. This will help
you to decide whether you are more
comfortable writing your story in the
past or present tense.
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