What is Point of View?
What is point of view (POV)? A simple way to explain it may be to say that POV is being in a
character's mind, knowing their thoughts and feelings. It lets your readers in too.
Sue stared at John, but didn't say a word. He made her so angry! And worse, he hurt her with his
coldness. She dropped the rake and turned to walk out of the barn. There were other jobs around.
"You still have work to do," John called after her, his voice as hard and unyielding as always.
She spun around to face him. "Why? Why should I finish any of it? You'll just complain about the
sorry way I did it. Then you'll redo it yourself."
There was a flash of something in his eyes, but she couldn't read him well enough to figure it out.
That bothered her too. She liked to think that she was a great people reader.
John hated the way he acting around Sue, but for some reason he didn't seem able to stop
himself. If he were being honest with himself, he'd have to admit that she tried hard. But she knew
so little about farm life. And maybe she reminded him too much of Pam. Sue had been Pam's best
friend. That was the only reason John had given Sue the job here. His wife had been dead for
three years now, and yet her influence still had him taking in strays.
"Look, never mind. Just do the best you can. Let me know if you need a ride home when you're
done." John grabbed a rope and halter from the nearest stall on his way out of the barn.
You can use the POV of one, two, or more characters from your story. Most romance books use at
least the hero and heroine's. I prefer to use other important characters' POV also. Like the villain,
or villainess, the sister who is always there helping, the grandmother who is a natural born match
maker, or even the neighbor who butts in the hero's life from page fifteen to the end of the book.
In other words, any character that holds a important role in the story can share his or her POV with
the reader -- if they have something to share. But remember, if you are in Sue's pov she can't know
for sure what anyone else is thinking, and if John has talked about Sue to anyone else, unless Sue
was in the room, or is told by someone else, she has no way of knowing about it.
Point of view should not be that of the fly on the wall thing. POV is you in that one character's mind.
Also, while in Sue's POV, she shouldn't be thinking about her beautiful long blond hair or her
sexy-firm body. Though John can think about it all he wants when you are writing in his POV. In
other words, if you are in a character's pov, you have their ears, their eyes, their memory, and no
one else's. Just like in real life.
By the way, since you are going to try and stick to one POV character at a time, how do you decide
which one is best to use? Look at the scene you are writing. In that scene, who has the most to lose
or gain or share? Which important character's POV will make that scene the strongest? Once you
know the answers to those questions, you'll know which POV you should write that scene in.
Charlotte Dillon ~ www.charlottedillon.com
Copyrighted in 2001 by Charlotte Dillon
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