Different Points of View

The job of an author is not only to tell his story, but for his readers to be able to understand what he is trying to show in his writing. One way that authors do this is by using the tool of point of view. Point of view is the position from which a story is narrated or observed. It is the position of where a reader is reading the story. Let’s break down the several different types of point of view:

  • First person point of view: When a character is narrating (telling) the story. The character will use words such as: I, me, my, mind, and myself. You get to hear from the character himself, so it is an advantage. An example of a story using first person point of view is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

Example: “I was walking to the park when suddenly, I heard a dog barking.”

  • Second person point of view: When a narrator is talking to you from the story as if you are part of the story. The author will use words such as you, your, yours, and yourself. This type of point of view is rare and is used to make the reader part of the action in the story. It is seen in non-fiction, but not so much in fiction writing.

Example: “Did you know that powerlifting consists of bench pressing, squats, and deadlifts?”

  • Third person point of view: When an outsider (the reader) is looking into the action of the story. The reader is not a part of the story like with second person point of view. Words used in the third person point of view are he, she, his, her(s), himself, herself, it, and itself. An example using third person point of view would be the Harry Potter series.

Example: “Leslie wanted to meet Bryan, but she wasn’t sure if she felt ready to meet him.”

I want to add that these points of view are singular, or referring to one person or thing. He, she, it, me, and other words like I have mentioned above are singular pronouns. I will now list the first person, second person, and third person plural points of view. Plural means more than one.

  • First person plural: When a character is narrating and telling the story of himself (or herself) and other people. Words used include our, ours, ourselves, and us.

Example: “Our mother wanted to see the project we have made for Science class.”

  • Second person plural: When a narrator is talking to more than one reader as if they are part of the story. Words used for second person plural are: you, your, yours, and yourselves. Now, I think it’s best for a beginner to avoid this point of view until they have developed singular points of view and first person and third person plural forms. I wanted to point out that this kind of point of view exists.
  • Third person plural: Same thing as third person point of view, but instead of he, she, his, etc., it is referring to more than one character. Words used in third person plural include they, them, themselves, and their(s).

Example: “They decided to go to the movie theatre tonight.”

Writing Prompt

Write a story using any one of the points of view. Afterwards, underline the word or words used to show which point of view you have chosen.