Point of View is the perspective from which a narrative is designed and told. Point of view is considered to be the pivotal component in creative writing and literature especially in the work of fiction. In this creative writing lesson, we will learn the following:
- What is “Point of View” in Creative Writing?
- Terms related to Point of View
- Importance of Point of View in Creative Writing
- Types of Point of View in Literature
- Other Examples of Point of View in Creative Writing
What is “Point of View” in Creative Writing?
The Point of view is said to be the “eyes” of the narratives. It describes the perspective which the author wants to pass on to the readers or the audiences through their creative work. Authors hold the prime hold of how he wants to shape the story so that a particular mindset of the reader is shaped through the work of literature. Various famous writers have re-told stories in such a manner that their point of view to the readers have got completely changed in comparison to the original text.
Point of view adds to the innovation and attractiveness of literature. Change in the viewpoint of a story may affect the readers to a great extent. It gives them an entirely new experience to read the text.
Point of view changes according to the character, their background, the boldness of the character, and also according to the situations that the characters of the story face throughout the narrative. There is also a possibility that the protagonist of the story represents the author himself.
Point of View is a big weapon in the hands of the author to make it appealing and interesting enough for the readers. In simple terms point of view is the process in which a writer expresses his intentions to the readers.
Terms related to Point of View
It is extremely important to understand the terms which are related to the concept of Point of View. Two such terms are the narrator and the viewpoint.
The narrator is the one who tells the story. There are various types of narrators like that of the external narrator or internal narrator.
Viewpoint is something that explains how a particular thing is looked at or how a certain situation is judged in literature. A single event can result in varied viewpoints which are possessed by different individuals.
Importance of Point of View in Creative Writing
Point of view makes the readers understand the emotions and feelings which the characters in a narrative are going through. Moreover, each character of a story gives a different and unique perspective to the story. Adding to this if we read a story from a character’s point of view and the perspective externally as a character is two different things. These perspectives gradually unfold the story in a better way.
A story may be given a different point of view by the author but it can be revealed in a much different way by the readers and the audiences. This is how point of view is significant to literature.
Types of Point of View in Literature
There are three types of point of view in the literature that is the first-person point of view, second-person point of view and third-person point of view. Although, the first and third-person point of view is more commonly used in literature. The usage of a second-person point of view is less.
First-person point of view
The first-person point of view means that one of the characters of the story is narrating the work of literature. The viewpoint of the story is explained by using the pronoun ‘I’. The reader in the first person gets a close look and gets a very intimate perspective regarding the character of the story. Also, this helps us to understand the feelings and thoughts of the character better. But the only drawback in this is there is a limited perspective of only what the character depicts.
For example, first person point of view was used in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”.
Second-person point of view
In the second-person point of view the pronoun ‘you’ is used. Using this pronoun, the author wants to attract the reader and involve them in the story in a better way. This is a rarely used point of view in literature. The second-person point of view is quite a confusing point of view for the writer and may also alienate the readers from reading the text. This is also less used in novels because of the various drawbacks attached to this point of view.
‘The Dark’ by Carol Ann Duffy’ is a great example of second-person point of view.
Third-person point of view
In the third person of pronouns like ‘he’, ‘she’, and ‘it’ is used to depict the narrative. This point of view is further divided into two types. The first one is Omniscient which means that the narrator is fully aware of the complete story and its happenings. The second type is limited where the narrator does not know every detail of how the story goes about.
Examples which are included in third person point of view are ‘Beloved’, ‘Lord of the Flies’, and ‘Little Women’.
It is not necessary for authors to only choose one particular type of point of view but it can be an amalgamation of all three types or two of them.
Other Examples of Point of View in Creative Writing
- “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison uses the first-person point of view in narration. The protagonist gives a very close but limited thought by expressing himself in the story. It gives the reader to understand the point of view only according to what the narrator expresses about himself.
- “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin uses a third-person point of view in the short story. It involves a relationship that is built between the narrator of the story and the reader to understand the character of the story that is Louise Mallard.
- “The Death of Ivan Ilych” by Leo Tolstoy uses an omniscient point of view which the author uses to relay the messages to its readers.
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