Tips on Point of View

You have completed your manuscript and now is the time for you to edit and rewrite. One of the things you should look at is your point of view. Did you choose the right perspective from which to tell your story? And is it consistent? Here are a few guidelines.

First of all, point of view refers to who is telling the story. Generally three points of view are used. First person - where the "I" voice is used and it is a character who is telling the story. This provides a level of intimacy, a closeness to the story teller.  Omniscient - which is where the author is telling the story and generally provides a more distant perspective. And third person - which is almost a mix of the two, where you can tell the story from several different perspectives and move easily from one character's head to another. 

Tips for editing POV:

1. Determine how much intimacy you want to create between the reader and your characters.

2. After deciding the level of closeness you want, check to see if the point of view you chose also allows you to easily tell the story in the way you want.

3. If you have chosen first person, is your character someone readers will want to spend time with? Are they likable, but flawed? Not annoyingly perfect.

4. If you chose to write in third person, review each scene and determine who's head you will be showing the scene through and make sure you are consistent in only sharing with the reader those things that particular character would know.

5. When using third person, check each passage and determine how soon you clue the reader into who's head they are in. You may want to make sure readers can quickly identify who's perspective they've stepped into. 

6. To continue to create consistency in your POV, look to ensure when you are writing from a particular character's perspective you are using the words, terms and emotions that are most likely to be used by your character. 


D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at

You can also follower her at or on Facebook


Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great tips Jean. There are times I've re-written a manuscript trying different POVs.

Heidiwriter said...

POV is so important! A reader wants to experience everything the character is experiencing and to have someone to root for!

Karen Cioffi said...

Jean, these are great tips and reminders. It's essential to proof your story for POV, otherwise you'll end up confusing and losing the reader.

Magdalena Ball said...

It's easy for writers to slip up with POV and you've provided some very practical suggestions for working with it.

Debbie A Byrne said...

Very helpful Jean!

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