037: What's Your Point of View?

What's Your Point of View

A First, Second, and Third Person Primer

February 3, 2017

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A PRIMER ON POINT OF VIEW

The designations for Point of View are dependent upon how the main character is presented. In first person, the book is told directly by the main character, such as Barbara Park does in the Junie B. Jones books: “My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice, except I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all.” First person point of view offers an up-close connection with your main character but can result in too much “telling” instead of “showing.” Also, first person point of view can create difficulties in introducing physical description of the main character. Try to avoid the “look into a mirror” method of description since most editors consider that method clichéd.

Many character driven stories: the Amber Brown series and the Junie B. Jones series, for example, rely upon first person to clearly present the nuances of the main character. Many first person novels also include humor based on the main character’s unusual perceptions of people and events.

For best uses of second and third person point of views, click above to listen to the full episode.

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