Whether you are writing memoir or fiction, your reader is introduced to your story through one of your character’s eyes. This is called the point-of-view character–we see the world being created with words through this point of view. We know the thoughts and feelings of this character, but not the others who populate the story. For people who are just beginning to write, I encourage writing with only one point-of-view character. The next task is learning to control your writing so the story is told through one set of eyes alone. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Notice as you reread your scene:
- Are you, as the reader, privy to the thoughts of more than one character?
- Can you look through more than one characters’ eyes?
- Do you know the inner feelings of more than one character?
If the answer is yes, you have not successfully contained the point of view. Return to your writing with a different eye. Reread the scene, and mark each place you find a POV shift from one character to another. This will make your rewrite easier.
There are many seasoned authors who write from multiple points-of-view successfully, but tackling a first manuscript with more than one POV is like trying to control a team of horses before you even learn to ride.
I learned the hard way. You don’t have to!
© Skye Blaine, 2015