Point-of-view is basically a writing style that dictates who your narrator is, how close your reader is to your story, and how much information your reader has access to.
There are three basic points-of-view:
- first person is the I/we perspective
- second person is the you perspective
- third person is the he/she/it/they perspective
When we talk about ourselves, our opinions, and the things that happen to us, we generally speak in the first person. It is characterized by the use of “I” which is a first-person pronoun. When you are writing your story in the first person, your character is narrating the story. It puts your reader closest to the story and right inside your character’s head, watching the story unfold through that character’s eyes.
Example: I laid down on the floor, watching the ceiling, thinking of what to do next but came up empty.
The second-person point-of-view belongs to the person (or people) being addressed. This is the “you” perspective. The use of second-person pronouns: you, your, yours, yourself, yourselves, is what tells a reader that the writer is narrating in the second person.
There are not many books use the second person in the narrative unless the ‘you’ is coming from the first person, who is either talking to another character or their audience. This technique attempts to be informal and bring conversation in a story.
Example: You passed the bar! You should be proud of yourself.
Many stories are written in the third person. Here, a narrator describes what happens to the character and what they are thinking. You cannot see directly through the characters eyes. This point of view makes the readers feel like they are part of an audience as compared to the first person narration.
The third-person pronouns include he, him, his, himself, she, her, hers, herself, it, its, itself, they, them, their, theirs, and themselves.
Example: Gabby decided to stay late at the party and got herself into trouble with her parents.
Speaking in the Third Person
Most of the time when people talk about themselves, they speak in the first person. It would be weird if you speak about yourself in the third person all the time. I am not calling anyone who does so a weirdo, okay I am, but the point is, doing it once in a while is acceptable, especially in an informal setting, to grab someone’s attention or to just be cheeky.
Janine: Lolita is going shopping. Monique, wanna come?
Monique: No, she doesn’t like going shopping. Lolita prefers swimming.
Lolita: Sorry, Lolita is not going anywhere.