Critique Group

Who Tells the Story?

In Natasha Hanova on April 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Choosing which point of view to use is a tough decision. Sometimes, first person point of view (POV) stories are the trend. Other times, agents, editors, and/or publishers are swamped with first person POV stories and are hungry for something different. Deciding which POV to use based on current trends is an exercise in futility because it fluctuates too much.

First person stories use “I”, “me” and “my”. This is sometimes the easiest POV to write because it lends itself to a certain intimacy with the main character. The  character’s style of telling the story reveals his disposition. Though, this POV can be difficult because it limits the writer to one character’s perspective.

Third person uses “he” or “she”, and can be limited or omniscient. This POV allows more flexibility in the way a story is told. Third person omniscient offers even more creative options for story telling. For example, it can be used to heighten the tension and/or conflict by using a juxtaposition of POVs of the protagonist and antagonist.

The most uncommon POV is second person. These stories use “you,”making the reader feel as if she is a character in a story.

When starting a new story, try using different POVs to test which one feels the most natural to the main character’s voice. Switching points of view on a particularly hard to write scene may get the words flowing again, and if it does, the POV may need to be re-examined.

What POV do you gravitate toward when writing/reading? Are you hesitant to read/write in an uncommon POV?

Happy Reading & Writing!


  1. […] It’s my turn on the Novel Clique blog today. Please pop on over to read my post on Point of View. […]

  2. […] Who Tells the Story? ( […]

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