Every story has a beating pulse, and is told through the eyes of the character’s heart. Deciding which point of view best fits your writing project is critical. There are two basic point of views in creative writing: First-Person and Third-Person.
Strengths of First-Person:
- Widely considered to be easier to write than Third-Person.
- Traditionally, the entire story is told through the eyes of one character.
- Readers become a “friend” of the character.
- It is possible to capture the character’s unique voice.
Weaknesses of First-Person:
- Limited perspective
- No intimate and internal look at other characters in the story. The reader can only guess at their motives and thoughts.
- If you think in terms of camera (POV), there is no way to move perspective to the other characters.
I prefer to write Third-Person.
Strengths of Third-Person:
- Story is told through the eyes of several characters.
- It is much easier to find depth and intimacy.
- Complete freedom of storytelling.
- Because the story can be told through several characters, it is possible to get a deep internal look at several different motives and thoughts.
Weaknesses of Third-Person:
- This is a big weakness: Limited time allowed with any one character.
Building character is part of the magic in the creative process.
POV is critical. Whichever one you elect to use; you must stick with it throughout the story. You cannot bounce between First and Third-Persons. That is the kind of writing editors burn and never bother to respond to your manuscript.
If you are writing Third-Person, and the scene you are in comes from character A’s POV, then you cannot relay what character B feels or thinks.
I will provide you an elementary example:
Wrong: Jason glared at his boyfriend across the table. Pierre hated spaghetti.
Correct: Jason glared at his boyfriend across the table. Pierre looked like he hated the spaghetti.
Notice how the first example bounced between characters? That is bad writing, but the second sentence, does it right, keeps the scene being told by Jason.
How well a writer weaves all four together, is the difference between a great and terrible book.
A great deal of writing style is subjective, but this is one rule that cannot be violated. No matter what POV you choose to tell your story, you have to stick with it.
To my followers,
I am expecting, any day now, the arrival of our new baby girl. The due date is fast approaching. I would be grateful for good vibes and prayers. If my daughter is indeed born within the next few days, please do not be surprised if I do not post next week. We are excited to welcome her whenever she decides to come, lol.
Fortunately, school does not start back till January 18th, so by grace I have an adjustment period. If anyone thinks going to school full-time, watching a child all day, and keeping up the house, inside and out, is easy, they are insane. I have never been so busy, and once our second is born, I will be even more pressed, but I love it and very much would not wish for a different life. I am happy.
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- On Writing: Stopping and Noticing