Last night my writers’ group had a class in point of view. In case my loyal readers are not aware or have forgotten what they learned Junior High and High school English, point of view is the perspective of how the writer want to present his characters, such as first person: me, myself, or I, second person: you, or third person: he, she, them, they.
It isn’t a hard and fast rule on which genre point of view should or shouldn’t be used. They all work. As an example, I used a second person point of view story I wrote recently that was related to a larger book called A Case of Mistaken Identity. In this book are two different characters who are identical in appearance and age. I used one character in the second person and the other in the third person. Both meet each other briefly before one of the characters dies. But that too is a ruse.
One of the main points of using any point of view method, like anything concerning plot or character development, is consistency. You can’t just suddenly switch from first person to third without warning the reader first either through a break or chapter change. It would confuse the reader and force him or her to just give up on the book entirely.
I personally prefer third person omniscient where the narrator actually is more god-like being able to manipulate the characters and get inside their heads to bring their own thoughts out for the reader. But I have also used Third person limits such as I did in A Man’s Passion. This next book that is set to be published, I Albert Peabody, is in first person because it reads more like a memoir. This life: My Life after my Stroke, was also done in first person because it too was a memoir based on my life experiences though I used a fictitious name for the protagonist.
Point of view is a necessary element in drafting any story to engage the reader and make him or her feel something toward that character, be he the protagonist or antagonist, point of view helps the reader define an emotional feeling toward that particular character. This is so that in the end of the story we either cheer for the good guy or weep over his demise. That is what good story telling is all about.