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Short Course on Literature – Getting to Square 1

Understanding the Different Points of View in Storytelling

The point of view applied in a story flow determines who interesting readers shall find the story to be. This aspect carries an even bigger load when it comes to the works of fiction. The point of view dictates the tone of the book. It gives the readers the vantage point from which they shall observe the story as it goes on. You therefore need to know about what points of view you are at liberty to use in your story. It also pays to know hoe shifts in these point of view work.

There shall be the first person point of view, a view that relies on the main character’s emotions, senses and internal thoughts. There is an application of specific pronouns and verbs. There is the extensive use of the pronoun I. All verbs shall also be in present tense.

In the second person point of view, the pronoun, You shall be extensively used. This gives readers a challenge in getting into the groove of the story, since there is the feeling of distance between the story and them.

The third persons point of view makes great use of the pronouns He and She. All verbs are in the past tense. If used alone, a reader may feel detached from the flow of the story. This can be seen where you get all our information through the author’s eyes, with little coming from the character.

In the third person limited point of view, there is a bit of the third person, and a bit of the first person. The author will therefore rely on the first person’s five senses, emotions and internal thoughts to tell the story from their perspective. In this style, the author’s narration gets its meat and juice through the main characters; view of the world.

You shall also find the shifting points of view phenomena which has some wonderful application. It will tell you of all the emotions five senses and thoughts of those who happen to be weeing through it. You can see it in the example of the description of what is happening at a party. You get to see different people having a nice time. Then something tragic happens, where a person has a seizure and collapses. We then see the main character, a police officer near the party, rush to the scene. We now start seeing the following events through their eyes. We can feel their emotions and reactions to the tragedy. We can also see their resolve to find out what happened. Works of fiction would not survive without such shifts. We get a deeper level of understanding through them.

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