Point of View – Who is telling the story?

Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

First Person

When the story is told in first person it is like a camera is in the head of the main character.  The character refers to him/her self as “I” and may talk to the reader as “you.”

You don’t know me, but after hearing my story you will.  It all started when I found the ring.

Pretend you are sitting around the campfire telling a story.  It should feel natural.  Use humor and simply tell what the person is thinking and feeling.

The hard part of first person is describing yourself, what do you look like, what is your name.  You cannot say, my face turned red. You cannot see yourself!  Chocolate icing covered my lips. How do you know without looking in a mirror.  You can use that mirror though in a helpful way.

When I looked in the mirror and saw chocolate all over my lips, I wiped it away with my sleeve. (Yuck!)

Try, My little brother called me Mickey, but I like Mike much better.

or:  “Michael Brown,” shouted Mrs. Tingle, “are you paying attention?”

Also, YOU CANNOT REVEAL WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE THINKING!  You may only describe their actions when they are around the main character.


Third Person

1.  This is how most stories are told.The writer describes the main character, calls him/her by name and can tell the reader what he/she is thinking and feeling.

Karen was tall and thin with brilliant red hair and freckles.  Basketball was her favorite thing, and she loved playing on the school team, but today she was having a horrible game.  She felt like she had never played before.

But cannot say what other characters are thinking and feeling.  The writer can only describe what they look like or what they are doing when the main character is around.

2.     Or, the storyteller can get inside EVERYONE’S head and move around from scene to scene describing what everyone is doing.  This is a little harder as it can become confusing.

YOU MUST STICK WITH ONE OR THE OTHER!

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