What’s POV….

Hi, my name is Lynn, and I didn’t know what Point of View (POV) was when I started writing.

There. I admitted it.

With that admission, it dawned a whole new outlook on writing for me. I mean, when I penned my first novel, Light of Truth,  I had no clue what I was doing.

Heck, I hadn’t even planned on writing anything, let alone becoming a writer with a debut novel releasing soon.

But hey, I just did what I learned from a dear friend –> “Just take the next step.”

And that next step was to learn what POV was. My dear first critique partner ever, Diana Sharples, bless her heart, was the one to ask me, “Um, have you heard of POV?” after reading some of my story.

I was like, “Uh, nope. What’s that?”

She told me, and I took the next step. Since I’ve learned it, written a few more novels and grown in the craft, I’ve gone back to that very first novel and re-written it.

Holy moly, I was all over the place. In one person’s head one minute, then another person’s head the next minute.

So not good.

The thing that stuck with me in learning POV was when someone told me to think of it as the main character having a camera on her head. I could only write what she saw, thought, felt, smelled, touched, tasted, etc.

That really hit home with me. I know cameras can’t smell and taste and such, but the point was made. Only what the main character is experiencing.

I can’t stand when POVs shift randomly. I’m really not even fond of multiple POVs within a chapter, even if they’re clearly marked. I’d rather have chapter breaks between POVs. Or, just the POVs of the main characters—one each per chapter.

What’s your favorite to write/read –>third person or first person POV?

Have a great day, everyone.

Your Friday Fox,

Lynn Rush

About Lynn Rush

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author, chocolate addict & ultra runner. Agent: Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency
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10 Responses to What’s POV….

  1. danicaavet says:

    That’s a great way to put it, Lynn. I kind of think of it as if I was sinking into the character’s brain. I learn through their senses, but I’m still me. I prefer 3rd person POV for reading and writing. 1st person is good if the author can carry it off…me? I can’t write 1st person to save my life, LOL


  2. I love your camera suggestion, Lynn! Can’t get any more explicit than that. About the only time I ‘bounce’ between POV is during fights (characters, not mine! lol) when my Werewolves have to act as individuals yet remain a cohesive pack.

    I’m comfortable with most changes in POV as long as the current character concludes their ‘business’, and that may take an entire chapter, as you say. But then I could be considered easy. lol I DON’T like to be left hanging over simple things that can be wrapped up (contrived tension; makes me crazy). Well constructed tension builders aside, of course.


  3. Jillian says:

    This was great, Lynn. I think you’ve nailed it. I like 3rd person when I read. Seems more rich in scope.


  4. jeff7salter says:

    I like that camera image also.
    Like you, Lynn, my earlier fiction was ‘all over the place’ with POV.
    I told myself it was 3rd person ‘omniscient’ — which I’d studied in H.S. and college literature. But none of the contest judges wee impressed.
    I think I broke myself by writing my 6th novel ms. entire in first person. So, the ‘camera’ was strapped to the heroine’s head the entire time. It kept me ‘honest’. Good exercise, even if nobody wants first person anymore.


    • Lynn Rush says:

      I’m not a fan of omniscient. Feels too “all over the place” but it can be done (just not by me! LOL) I think first person is a good exercise, indeed. I like writing and reading first person POV 🙂


  5. Lavada Dee says:

    I did the same thing with POV’s when I started. I’m not a POV purist so I can do multi POV’s but they have to transition smoothly. I’ve seen a lot of authors do it and if I don’t have my critique hat on I don’t notice.

    I prefer 3rd person but again it depends on the author. I’ve read great 1st person stories.


    • Lynn Rush says:

      Smooth, yet obvious, transitions are important to me. If I have to go “wait, when did we switch POVs” that’s not a good thing.

      Thanks for stoppin’ by, Lavada!


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