writing

Point of View

Hi, everyone!

I’m here today with a short writing tidbit for you, which I strongly hope you will employ in your fictional writing!

Character POV or Character Perspective.  Whose in charge of the chapter or scene?

I learned this lesson a while ago, and it has bolstered my writing life in wonderful ways!  This short writing idea is vital to giving life and a more professional style to any of your fictional writing.  I encourage you to try what I’m going to talk about whenever you sit down to write a chapter or a scene of your story or book.

——————

Kassandra was thrilled.  This moment was the culmination of twelve long years of hard work.  Ever since entering high school four years ago, she had dreamed of this moment.  Walking down the center of the auditorium, her navy blue gown making soft swishing sounds, and her cap starting to slip off.

She tightened her hand around her speech, excited butterflies in her stomach.  Valedictorian.  She couldn’t believe she had been chosen.  It only added to the pure bliss of this moment.

Frank, the school principal smiled.  Kassandra had come a long way since starting high school.  This is what happens when you apply yourself.  He thought.

Kassandra stepped up on the stage and went to the podium.  She cleared her throat, suddenly nervous.

Six-year-old Tim wanted to clap and cheer.  His sister was graduating, whatever that really meant.  Everyone should be celebrating, not sitting here in stuffy dress clothes.  When would it be time to have the cake his mom bought specially for Kassandra.  How long is this going to be?

She found her voice after several moments and began her speech.

Kassandra’s mother smiled.  Her daughter had grown up so fast.


Oookay.  Can anyone tell me what was wrong with that?

This was Kassandra’s scene.  Not Frank’s, not Tim’s, not Kassandra’s mother.  Unless you are going to break up the different POV with little separator lines to create a multi-point-of-view chapter like I often did in Echoes of Honor, you should try really hard not to change points of view in the middle of the story.  If I had really wanted to have more than one point of view in this story, I would have done this.

Kassandra was thrilled.  This moment was the culmination of twelve long years of hard work.  Ever since entering high school four years ago, she had dreamed of this moment.  Walking down the center of the auditorium, her navy blue gown making soft swishing sounds, and her cap starting to slip off.

She tightened her hand around her speech, excited butterflies in her stomach.  Valedictorian.  She couldn’t believe she had been chosen.  It only added to the pure bliss of this moment.

——————-

Frank, the school principal smiled.  Kassandra had come a long way since starting high school.  This is what happens when you apply yourself.  He thought.

——————-

Kassandra stepped up on the stage and went to the podium.  She cleared her throat, suddenly nervous.

——————

Six-year-old Tim wanted to clap and cheer.  His sister was graduating, whatever that really meant.  Everyone should be celebrating, not sitting here in stuffy dress clothes.  When would it be time to have the cake his mom bought specially for Kassandra.  How long is this going to be?

——————

Kassandra found her voice after several moments and began her speech.

——————

Kassandra’s mother smiled.  Her daughter had grown up so fast.


Even then I don’t encourage writing your book like this.  It looks funny and reads weird.  If Kassandra is the one doing in this scene, we shouldn’t have Frank, Tim, and mother voicing their thoughts.  They may show action, like smiling, or nodding, or squirming in their seats, but it needs to be from Kassandra’s point of view.  Like this…

Kassandra was thrilled.  This moment was the culmination of twelve long years of hard work.  Ever since entering high school four years ago, she had dreamed of this moment.  Walking down the center of the auditorium, her navy blue gown making soft swishing sounds, and her cap starting to slip off.

She tightened her hand around her speech, excited butterflies in her stomach.  Valedictorian.  She couldn’t believe she had been chosen.  It only added to the pure bliss of this moment.

She glanced over at Mr. Frank the school principle.  He broke into a smile.  Kassandra would always remember his words to her on the last day of school. “You’ve come a long way, Kassandra.  I’m so proud of you!  You’re going to go far in life.”

She smiled back at him as she stepped up on the stage.  She moved toward the podium, clearing her throat.  The nerves were finally kicking in.  Oh, please.  Not here, not now.

She looked down at her family sitting in the front row and caught eye of her six-year-old brother Tim.  He was already squirming in his seat.  It was hard not to smile.  She could just imagine what he was thinking.  He didn’t want to be sitting here in his stuffy dress clothes, but he was doing it for her.  Kassandra would make sure mom gave him an extra big piece of the graduation cake he’d tried to get into this morning.

Tim shot her a crooked smile and Kassandra relaxed.  She softly cleared her throat and spoke into the microphone.  As she began, she saw her mom already wiping happy tears away.


Did that read better?  Could you see the difference?

Since Kassandra was the main person in this scene, we should really only hear from Kassandra.  It can be so easy when we’re not thinking about it to jump from one character’s POV to another within a chapter or scene.  I really encourage you to not do that.  If you want to have multiple POV in a chapter, I hope you check out my previous Echoes of Honor series to see how I do it.  I’m not a professional by any means, but I’ve been learning a lot recently about how to write a story.

When you try to jump from one character’s POV to the other, it’s hard to emotionally invest in the story.  It’s confusing, feels unprofessional, and just doesn’t work.  I’m not going to mention any titles, but I’ve read a few books recently where the author loved to do this, and sadly, I just couldn’t finish the books.  I could never focus on one character at a time and I found myself wishing the author would’ve stuck to one character per scene.

If I had wanted Frank to do the thinking and doing I would have made him the main POV.  Same with Tom and Kassandra’s mother.

Writing in a clear and concise way is the mark of a skilled author.  You want to be really careful about technique.  I know it’s super fun to just write, and please take time to do that, but try to find new ways to enhance your stories!  It’s so important and may make all the difference in how people respond to your work!

I hope this post was of some help to you and if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them!

Purple Laura Name - Shutterstock 3:4:20

5 thoughts on “Point of View”

  1. Wow, Laura! I’ve been having trouble with POV in my own writing and this post clarified so much for me. Thanks for the new perspective on writing point of view.

  2. Now I can read through all my old stories, and laugh at the terrible POV blunders I have made in recent years. XD Thanks for clearing this up… though I still might have a problem with this if I’m writing a scene with my favorite character, but from another character’s POV.

  3. This is something I learned about last year I believe?? It seems so simple, but you know, it’s actually more difficult than one expects. I’m certainly not arrived, but I look forward to improving this area of my writing!

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