Novel Point of View is NOT Camera Angle

POV mixups for authorsI think the reason we have so much trouble nowadays with slippery POV (Point of View) in novels is that so many new writers were brought up on film and TV. And many of these people mix up POV with camera angle. They think that because the film camera jumps all over and shows us the action from different angles, the writer can jump all over and show the action from the point of view of different characters. But these two concepts are not the same, even in film. When you move to a novel, it’s a different technique altogether. Because POV is not about what anyone sees. It’s about feeling what the character feels.

Most camera shots, in literary terms, are omniscient. Fly on the wall. The director chooses the shot to be from the best position to reveal what the director wants us to see. There is no pretense that the viewer is actually in that position. Continue reading “Novel Point of View is NOT Camera Angle”

For Beginners: How to Choose a Point of View

author kat stiles headshotGuest Post
by Kat Stiles

Point of View (POV) is one of the most important aspects to consider when writing a novel. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read a book and wished the author had chosen a different POV. Yet so many newer authors I’ve spoken with hardly give it a second thought. One of them even gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look. It was that look that prompted this article – a simple exploration of POV, from an author who rewrote an entire novel to get it in the correct POV. Continue reading “For Beginners: How to Choose a Point of View”

Holy Head-Hopping!

2009.06.08.treefrogMy name is Lois and I am a head-hopper. Admitting that I am afflicted with this ‘disease of the pen’ is the only way I can begin the healing process.

The truth is, there is quite a bit about the craft of writing that I don’t know. I was not a creative writing major in college. While in college I filled blue book after blue book in English and French, analyzing politics and the literature of others. Point of View was a concept as foreign to me as the book Plunkett of Tammany Hall may be to you.

Before I go any further I would like to reference an excellent post here written by IU author Chris James. When I read it the first time, and the second and third time, I tried very hard to understand all of it. Unfortunately, the way that I learn is by doing. I need to practice something over and over again until I get it right. Continue reading “Holy Head-Hopping!”

Choice of Perspectives

How many different perspectives are there to write from? Most novels are written in ‘first’ or ‘third person’ narrative, with a split of the third person narrative between third person omniscient and third person limited. It is of course possible to write in variations of and, or combinations of each of these points of view in the same book and, although some do it quite successfully, I would suggest that it takes an author who is relatively skilled and confident in their craft. Continue reading “Choice of Perspectives”