One of the first things you need to do when you start to write a novel is decide on what point of view you’re going to use.
Here is a quick rundown of the four main points of view used in novels to help you decide.
First person– It’s all about the ‘I’s.’ I sat, I thought, I walked. We are constantly in your protagonist’s head. We go where they go, feel what they feel and experience everything that they do.
Second person– It’s all about the ‘you’s.’ You go, you see, you ask. This makes the story more personal, as ‘you,’ becomes the ‘reader.’ It pulls the reader into the story.
Third person– It’s all about the ‘they’s.’ The ‘he’s,’ and the ‘she’s.’ They watched, he said, she jumped. Third Person usually focuses on the protagonist. We get their perspective on the story. We know what they know, even if other character’s know something more.
Omniscient– It’s all about knowing it all. We aren’t restricted to the perspective of our protagonist. You dip into the minds of different characters at a whim, depending on the story you want to tell, and the knowledge you want the readers to know.
If you’re unsure of what POV you want to use, try writing the same paragraph in each style. See which one you find easiest to write, or fits your protagonist best. Which do you think would be the best one to tell your story?
Good thoughts and happy writing!