Saturday, December 24, 2011

Technical Topics -- Advice on POV, the Collected Set

In the Comment Trail, Catherine says,

"Now, do you have a post on Point of View? That is something that really, really confuses me.

Obviously I'm okay writing in first person cos there is only one POV, but when I get to third person I get very confused about whose POV I'm looking from.

Can you help, dear Joanna?"

I have written a fair amount about POV.   What I'll do is give you lotsa links to where I'm nattering on about it.
But I'll do it in random order.  And probably repeat myself.
Just to make it challenging.

I hope this is of some use to you.

Here is me talking about POV and language.  This is An Overview on Building POV 

There's an exercise on POV techniques here and here, with the examples here, here, and some further comments here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And we got an exercise on visualization here, which is a writing technique helpful on getting into POV. Talking about visualization, see here, here and here.

Then there are the POV exercises,  here, here and here  See here for more links. The message tells you how to track down the discussion and writing of those exercises.   

Here's me talking about how we use character names when we're in various folk's POVs.   I make a couple other comments in that thread.  Then there's  Here, herehere, and here where I'm looking at a particular bit of someone else's writing and giving advice, trying to bring the snippet deeper into POV.

Look here, where Claire is talking about an exercise on stream-of-consciousness.

Here and here and here is an exercise on stream-of-consciousness which may people find useful for slipping into POV. Example from great writers can be found here, here, and here.

Leesee . . . more delights lie ahead.

Here's me analyzing a scene, which is not so much about POV.  Here I talk about POV and pacing.  Here is some of me talking about visualizing story from a POV starting point.  Here's more on character development, which is, again, not so much on POV.  Here  Omniscient POV.  Here  defining how POV works.  And here's some thoughts on the use of 'I' in 1st person POV.

Going over to Absolute Write . . .  This is a set of random posts where I touch upon POV in some way.  If you want to see the the other messages in the thread so you can figure out what is going on -- and, who knows, you might want to  --  click on the upper right hand corner where it says, 'thread'.  That will give you the entire thread where you can even read what other folks have to say.
multiple POVs

Ready?  Steady.  Go!

Here, herehere, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and finally at long last here.

I get to contradict myself, by the way.  I get to talk nonsense.  I get to be just plain wrong, okay?

Oh.  And  Here's Doris Egan on POV which will doubtless be useful .  And more from her, here.


  1. Dear Jo,

    Merry Christmas, and many, many thanks for your excellent instruction on writing fiction. I am toiling away (actually, I'm having a wonderful time) on my novel, and if it ever is done well when it is finished (this next year, if I keep to my schedule), you will have been a major factor in that.

    Here's to an excellent 2012!


  2. Hi Martha --

    Oh most excellent. I'm so glad you're working forward in the ms.

    I wish I could say I'm making similar progress. I tell myself my subconscious is making lots of progress. I don't really believe it though.

    Next year, even in a couple months, you'll be done. Hang in there.

  3. Oh thanks Jo! I've just surfaced from the Christmas sea of turkey and mince pies and seen this. Very useful, I am only just getting to grips with POV. I shall make a start on your 'here's at once :-)))

  4. As I say -- there are many aspects of POV. The more you learn about it, the less you understand it, says I.

  5. Christine12:23 PM

    This doesn't relate to POV but I wanted to share it because it reminded me of Maggie's friend in TFR. It's all about 18th century monkey fashion!

  6. Hi Christine --

    When I'm doing research, I'll come across these monkey pictures from time to time. It's a sort of satire that feels very comfortable in the period. Thanks so much for the link.

  7. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Thank you for this. I love your books and just started a project of my own. This post clarified some POV issues I'm having. You are the bomb.

  8. Could I post a tiny niggle? Can you make your links change colour dramatically after I've clicked them? At the moment they seem to go from brown to brown, so I found it hard to see which 'here's I'd already clicked on.

    But a wonderfully helpful post anyway, I am determined to become a better writer in 2012 :-)

  9. Hmmm .... I'm sure there is some way to achieve that. Let me poke around a bit.

  10. I've put up a different combination of colors. Maybe this will work better . . .

  11. Hi Anon -

    I do indeed hope some of the many screeds referenced above are useful to you. Good luck with the project. *g*

  12. Yes, those colours work better, Jo. I'm long sighted and short sighted so have trouble with colours too similar...

  13. Glad this selection works better for you.

    The business of changing font colors is a little confusing. The template means well, I think, but every time I make a change there are little unintended changes elsewhere.

    Me and technology ...

  14. ah, the almighty template. Last night, just before going to bed, I thought: I'll change my blog header colour. Then realised all this would entail and from bitter experience I know its not good to do technical things late at night, so I left it as it was. Phew! A lucky escape!

  15. Ron A Sewell10:33 AM