Sixty second writing tips: points of view in 171 words

Earlier this year I noticed a lot of tweets advertising ‘deep point of view’. I had a look. It was sophistry – relabelling an old Writing 101 style lesson about basic character viewpoints.

There’s no secret. If you want your audience to identify with your character,  the trick is not to describe what they see – but how they react to what they see. What does a scene, or an event, or something that advances the plot (such as interaction with another character) do to your protagonist?

The answer to that question is what your readers want to know. That’s not ‘deep point of view’ – it’s what ‘point of view’ means in the first place. It is what makes your character compelling – and carries your reader forward into the story.

That’s it. ‘Deep point of view’? No, actually this is what point of view is all about, anyway. It’s not rocket science. It’s a basic writing skill we all need to have to get ahead. And you got the message in 171 words.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013


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