…in Fiction Point of View…
What is Point of View? • It is the position from which a story is told. • You have four major choices: • The first-person POV • The third-person limited POV • The third person objective POV • The third person omniscient POV
First-Person POV: Me, Myself, & I • The narrator is one of the characters in the narrative and explains the events in his or her own eyes. • Uses the pronouns: I, me, my, and mine. • The narrator generally does not know the other characters’ thought and feelings…unless they are divine. • Example: “It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me to.” • Ben Franklin
Third-Person Limited POV • The narrator tells the story though the eyes of only one character. • Uses the pronouns: he, she, him, her, they, and them. • The narrator knows what one person thinks and feels, but only what the others say and do. • Allows the writer to achieve distance and some measure of objectivity. • Example: “As the boy grew up to ten or twelve years old, his father gave him a writing-table in one of the alcoves of his Boston library, and there, winter after winter, Henry worked over his Latin Grammar and listened to these four gentlemen discussing politics.” • Henry Adams
Third-Person Objective POV • Like a camera, the narrator reports only what can be seen and heard. • No thoughts of characters are given except as spoken. • A story told in the objective point of view is totally undistorted by any emotion or personal bias. Unlike third person omniscient, the narrator does not jump in and interpret events. • Few fiction novels are written in third person objective because it distances the characters from the reader.
Third-Person Omniscient POV • The narrator looks through the eyes of all of the characters and is not a character in the novel. • The narrator is “all knowing”. • The narrator uses the pronouns: he, she, him, her, them, and they. • This POV gives the narrator the greatest distance from the events in the story. • Example: “The old woman and her daughter were sitting on their porch when Mr. Shiftlet came up their road for the first time. The old woman slid to the edge of her chair and leaned forward, shading her eyes from the piercing sunset with her hand. The daughter could not see him in front of her and continued to play with her fingers.” • Flannery O’Connor
Stream of Consciousness • A narrative technique that presents thoughts as if they were coming from a character’s mind. • Since thought is not linear, the words in stream-of-consciousness narration are not arranged in time order. • Instead the events of the story jump around , mixing with the character’s emotions and memories just as they might spontaneously occur in real life. • Example: “Granny felt easy about her soul. Cornelia, where are your manners? Give Father Connolly a chair. She had her secret comfortable understanding with a few favorite saints who cleared a straight road to God for her. All as surely signed and sealed as the papers for the new Forty Acres. Since the day the wedding cake was not cut, but thrown out and wasted.” • Katherine Anne Porter
Multiple Points of View • The author chooses two or three characters from whom readers learn what is happening. • Each character can only know what he or she learns by witnessing something or being told.
Choosing a Point of View • Each POV has its advantages: • Purpose • Audience • Topic
Narration • An objective narrator presents the facts and allows the readers to draw their own conclusions. • A subjective narrator presents his or her own opinions along with the facts. The reader must be careful to separate the two.
Dialogue • Dialogue is the conversation in fiction or drama, the exact words a character says. • Quotation marks are used to point out dialogue. • Dialogue helps you show your characters’: • Educational level • Geographic background • Ethnic background • Emotional state • Motives * You reveal these characteristics by level of diction, slang, accent, euphemisms, jargon, and punctuation you use.
Dialect • The way people speak in a certain area or region. • In a dialect, certain words are spelled and pronounced differently. • Dialects help you to describe your characters and setting more fully. • Example: “Smash ‘im, Jimmie, kick deh damn guts out of ‘im,” yelled Pete.