First person, second person, third person, and all of their variations—so many point-of-view options present themselves, yet the power of point of view is often overlooked, with point of view becoming an afterthought. And that’s something you want to avoid.

Your point-of-view choice impacts every aspect of what you write. It impacts who tells the story, a narrator or a character. It impacts whose “eyes” readers view the story through, whose thoughts are revealed to readers, and what tone is used. It impacts what background information you can reveal, which events you can describe, and how much detail you can go into. And it impacts who your readers identify with and have sympathy for. So, it’s important to get it right.It all depends on whose eyes you're seeing through.

After you’ve brainstormed and mapped out your story, take the time to reflect on whose story it is that you’re telling and what aspects of the story you want to focus on. You must select a narrator who is capable of relaying the story you want to tell in a believable manner. Do you want to have your main character narrate the story, or a minor one? Or do you want to use a nonparticipant narrator, one who isn’t a character in your story? Should your narrator be omniscient (all-knowing) or limited in knowledge, reliable or unreliable? Would one narrator work best, or would several be better?

Consider the benefits and drawbacks of your different point-of-view options, and select the one that you believe will work best for what you are trying to achieve. Once you’ve given point of view some thought, see how your story shapes up using your selected point of view. If it works, great; if it doesn’t, you can always try a different point of view. Since so much depends on your point-of-view selection, keep at it until you’ve found the best one.

What do you consider when selecting a point of view to write from? Please leave a comment!