Point of View

  • Perhaps the most important thing to understand about point of view is that point of view is not the same thing as a viewpoint.

    An author's viewpoint is his or her opinion about the subject matter.  Point of view refers to the narrator of the story--whose voice is it the reader hears?

    • First Person Point of View - "I did it." - In first person point of view, the narrator is telling us a story that they are a part of.  It's important to keep in mind that authors sometimes play tricks on readers when writing in first person.  Just because someone is the narrator does not make them a good guy! :)
    • Third Person Point of View - "She did it." - Third person point of view is much more common than first person.  The narrator is a commentator, but not a participant.
    • Limited Point of View - A limited point of view means that the narrator only has intimate knowledge of one character.
    • Omniscient Point of View - Omniscient means "all-knowing."  Omniscient narrators can tell us the internal thought processes of every character, not just one.
    • Objective Point of View - The objective point of view sticks to the facts; the narrator never provides insight to a character's thoughts or feelings.