A POV Tip I Picked up Somewhere

When one begins to write a novel, one of the first things one has to decide is which point of view one should use. (And how to avoid ever having to use “one” because you can see how awkward that quickly becomes.)

I struggle with this, too. In Brand-New Emily, I used first person point of view, and I think it worked out nicely. In Jump, I used third, which I think ended up being the better choice for that particular novel (I’ll explain why in a minute). And with my new book Tig Ripley, Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel, I used third again, but for a different reason than in Jump

Somewhere along the line, I heard this piece of advice about point of view, and I thought it was pretty good: never use first person for a character you wouldn’t want to be trapped in an elevator with for a few hours. I don’t know who came up with this (I wish I did so I could give proper credit), but I thought it was good advice. That’s why I went with third person in Jump: my protagonist was a pretty despicable person on the road to becoming more empathetic. She was completely self-absorbed and would’ve been a drag to be trapped with in an elevator (at least at the novel’s beginning and middle).

For Tig Ripley, I once again went with third person, even though I think Tig is pretty dang likable. (I would totally hang out with her.) But this book had an ensemble cast, so to speak–five girls in a rock band–and I thought if I ever wanted to play around with whose point of view the story is told from in future books, I might ought to start out in the first book with third person POV.

At least for me, there’s really no “correct” answer to which point of view to use. Sometimes you have to try different ones and see which one works. That, of course, consumes a lot of time and leaves you with a lot of work you can’t use…but all I can say to that is, welcome to writing.

If you have any great tips for choosing POV, I’d love to hear them.

 

 

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