Short Course on Literature – What You Need To Know

The Point of View in Storytelling

When you read any story, you will note that there is someone telling the story. One or more fictional voices are involved in every work of writing. Voice and point of view shape the frame through which the reader experiences the story. When a narrator relates the story, then he is telling the story from his own point of view. The novel is told in this particular perspective.

There are four main point of view. The first is the all-knowing or omniscient narrator. This point of view is when the narrator can assume that he knows everything the character knows and things that they do not know as well. He can enter into the character’s mind and analyze their thoughts and emotions. When it comes to perspective, the narrator has an unlimited one. This kind of point of view is the third person point of view or third person perspective.

He and she are the pronouns mostly used in a narrative that uses a third person perspective. The narrator does not participate in the events and he is not a character in the story that is being told. The story concerns a third person and the narrator is simply a spectator of what happened to other people. When an author chooses omniscient point of view, he must choose whether this point of view is limited to one, two, or multiple characters will be used.

When the narrator uses the words I or we in the story he tells, then this is a clear indication of a first person point of view. For first person point of view, the narrator is one of the characters is the story and for readers, they will know what this character knows, and only that. The story is seen through the eyes of only one person although the first person narrator may not be the main character. It is also possible that first person narrative can be told as a story within a story.
When the author of the story uses limited omniscient point of view, the story is told using third person narration but it also follows one or two characters closely when it comes to their emotions, thoughts, and backstory. The first person point of view and the omniscient point of view are combined to make the limited omniscient point of view. The distinction omniscient or limited omniscient is the knowledge available to the narrator.

An objective point of view is usually told where the writer does not enter into the mind of any character. When one writes a play the objective point of view is used and not any of the other three which is only used by fiction writers.

Writers can use any of these four types of points of views which best gives the reader a wonderful experience of the story or whatever experience you want the reader to have.

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