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Definition from Oxford English Dictionary

The position from which something is seen or viewed; (figurative) the perspective from which a subject or event is perceived, or a story, etc., narrated. OED

What is POV?

Point of view (or POV) tells us a couple of things about a novel:

  1. Perspective. Whose head are we in when we read the story? Who are we following on this ride? This is your viewpoint character. You might choose to have multiple viewpoint characters.
  2. Narration. How is the story being told? If your viewpoint character narrates the story using ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘my’ personal pronouns, you’ve got a first-person POV. If an external narrator is telling the story, referring to your protagonist (and other characters) with ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘they’, it’s third-person POV. If the narrator uses ‘you’ throughout the story, speaking to the reader as though they are the viewpoint character, this is second-person POV, which is relatively rare in fiction although often pops up in Choose Your Own Adventure stories.

Read more about POV and the advantages of each narrative choice on the Writers’ Digest website.

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Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.

All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes