Point of View

Writing

Five Essentials of Omniscient Narration

What do Discworld, Alice in Wonderland, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Lord of the Rings have in common? If you guessed “omniscient narration,” then you’re right, but you also cheated by reading my title. No matter – I will still share the secrets of this powerful but challenging … read more »

Writing

Five Perspective Mistakes to Avoid

Narrative perspective comes in many forms. In first-person limited, the narrator and the protagonist are one and the same, and the audience knows only what the character knows. In third-person omniscient, the narrator is free to rain down information from on high and use whatever voice … read more »

Writing

Choosing Your Story’s Perspective

A large sculpture mimicking a scene with distance

The choice of perspective has important ramifications for a story. The best perspective will be the one that reinforces the goals of the story, matches the writer’s skill set, and feels invisible to the audience. I’ll describe the different factors involved in a story’s perspective and how they are likely to … read more »

Writing

Breaking the Curse of Distant Perspective

Vast literary realms are afflicted by a writing perspective with dull personality and chafing restraints. This perspective is called distant limited, and it is pervasive because it goes unexamined by many writers. Once you recognize this malady, you can choose the writing style your work … read more »

Writing

The Why & How of Second Person

Second person point of view has a bad reputation. For some reason, using “you” as the personal pronoun in a narrative (as opposed to “I” or “he/she/they” in first and third person) is an underutilized form that is looked down upon. Critics say the protagonist … read more »

Storytelling

The Problem With Multiple Viewpoints

Many storytellers enjoy looking through the lens of more than one character. In speculative fiction, multiple viewpoint characters are often used to show different places in the world, or illustrate a conflict that is epic in scale. Unless the story involves a device that is … read more »