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Point of view is how the story-teller views the story.

What do they see? How? Why?

Common Points of View:

  •     First Person (a character is telling the story, and you only know what they know). Uses I, me, my a lot.
  •     Second Person (written as though the reader is the main character: you jump out of bed, and suddenly realized that you aren’t in Kansas anymore). Uses you.
  •     Third Person (written from a character or narrator or some other observer’s point of view). Uses he, she, they, it.
  •    Omniscient and Limited Omniscient: the person telling the story is all-knowing. They know what everyone is thinking, and feeling, and what they have done or are going to do. Uses person’s names.

[quote]For example, if Tommy drops a glass, and it shatters, how do we know what Mother is thinking? In first person, second person, and third person, we can’t read her mind, but we can read her mood by her words, her actions, and her facial expressions! In omniscient POV, we can jump over to Mother, and read her thoughts, and her feelings, and her mood from her own point of view.

Writing Exercise:

Just for fun, take a common nursery rhyme, and retell it from a different point of view in less than 300 or 400 words. Use the selected example of Humpty Dumpty, or pick another one you like– maybe Jack and Jill, or Alice in Wonderland, or Mary had a little lamb.

Example:  Humpty Dumpty is told from third person (they couldn’t put him back together again). Try writing it from another point of view.

  • First person: I was sitting on a wall, and the wind began to blow, and I began to totter, and. . .
  • Second person: You’re sitting on a wall, and suddenly you’re not. Suddenly you realize you have egg on your face. . .
  • Third person: Try writing this from the perspective of a bystander, or one of the king’s men. “Hey, does anyone have any superglue?” one of the men called out, as he knelt beside the wall. . .
  • Omniscient: There was a loud crack as the egg splatted on the ground. Meanwhile, in the castle, the king’s men were putting on their armor. . .

After you finish your point of view writing exercise, try writing from another point of view. Then go to your bookshelf and see if you have an old nursery rhyme book, and identify all the points of view in the rhymes. It’s good practice!

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