When one writes stories, there are many things to consider. There is the obvious plot. There are the characters. There is the dialogue and narrative. And there is the point of view (POV).
What is point of view? What does it have to do with the story? Let’s investigate.
Defining Point of View
What is point of view? According to Webster, POV is “a position or perspective from which something is considered or evaluated”. The point of view a story is written is described which character the perspective is seen.
In the Twilight series the entire story is told from Bella’s point of view. In the Harry Potter books, it is told from Harry’s point of view. We are in their minds. Other people’s thoughts are revealed through their actions and not by letting inside their heads. Murder on the Orient Express is told through the point of view of Hercule Poirot.
Some stories can be told from multiple points of view. I would say that The Lord of the Rings is one such example. As the reader, we can see into Frodo’s mind at times as well as Gandalf’s mind. There is no one person we see the story through. No one person is telling the story.
How It is Used in Stories
Point of view can be very powerful in a story. It can drive the opinion of the reader. Through the point of view, the writer can have the reader cheering for one character or denouncing another.
I think one of the greatest examples of this is in The Angry Woman Suite. This book should be the poster child for perception and point of view. I use it as an example of perception all the time. The author did an excellent job with it. In this book, the author takes a section and has it through one person’s perception. Then he goes through another person’s point of view. Suddenly the reader doesn’t feel as strongly about one person as they did. They see them through different eyes. The one girl I was championing for. When I saw her through her step-father’s eyes I realized that I would have hated her if the story had only been through his perspective. Point of view helps drive the reactions of the reader.
Point of view is very powerful. Depending on the story, the author could have it presented through one point of view or through many. One would have more power than the other. Write yoru story from different ones and see which stands out to be the strongest.