Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What is point of view

When a hurricane rages on the coast, wreaking havoc on the lives of the people who live there, the most dangerous threat in the winds and crashing waves may not come from nature. Clayton Ackerman has made a life chasing the hurricanes, storms and blizzards that at times ravage virtually every part of the nation. While covering a tropical storm that was battering the Gulf Coast, Ackerman has an altercation with a young woman that turns deadly and opens his eyes to the potential he’d overlooked for years.

Question from the e-mail:  What is Point of View?

Answer: All stories are told from someone's point of view.  Usually, the main character's or the person the story is about.  The reader should identify with the viewpoint character, should think with his or her mind, see with his or her  eyes and feel with his or her heart.

There are several kinds of pov.

"First Person" is written with an "I" narrator, as if the story happened to the main character. The reader can know nothing that is outside the main character's experience.

"Third Person" limited, is written in third person, with a "she" or "he" character designation, but limited to a single point of view. This is the pov chosen for most fiction

"Limited Omniscient," is written in third person, and limited to a single viewpoint in any one scene, but is considered omniscient, because it shifts from one character's viewpont to another's at scene changes.

True "Omniscient" is the godlike viewpoint, a story told by a narrator who knows all, including all the characters innermost thoughts. This is the familiar viewpont of fable and fairy tale.

Finally, there is the "Camera-eye" or what is sometimes called the "Exterior Dramatic" viewpont, in which no single character's thoughts are revealed and every part of the story is told only with action. This is the most difficult pov in which to write, but it forces the writer to produce images. It's a good learning viewpoint for writers who are poor at description, but can produce cold and "unfeeling" stories.

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