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Understanding Point of View

For the novice writer, controlling point of view in fiction is one of the most difficult and essential aspects of the writer's craft. Beginning writers will frequently switch points of view without realizing they are doing it. But when a writer shows that he or she understands point of view, then the narrative becomes that much clearer to the reader. This is one aspect of fiction that readers, either consciously or subconsciously, want when they read; it is a way for readers to connect with significant, complex, and interesting characters.

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Though controlling point of view appears to be difficult for beginning writers, it really is quite simple. I like to think of the Henry James analogy, where he talks about P.O.V. as being a camera. It is a lot like looking through a view finder, and the analogy works even better now that we have digital cameras with wide viewing capabilities!

Think of your story as being perceived by your reader through ...

Solution Summary

Changing points of view is a common mistake novice writers make when they craft stories, but it can easily be corrected by noticing a few phrases that signal how to control point of view to avoid confusing your readers.