The phrase “That’s my point of view,” is often used in the English language and sometimes stands in for an opinion. When we talk about writing or telling a story, point of view (POV) means something a little different.
POV is the eyes through which we see a story.
When you tell a story that happened to you, you’re telling it from your perspective. It’s very intimate, because you know how you felt, what you said, what you did, etc. But when you tell a story about something that happened to another person, you’re telling it as an outsider. You may know details (because the person may have shared them with you), but you aren’t as close as if it had happened to you.
At the same time, we should be aware that just because something happened to us doesn’t mean that we know everything. Our age, gender, race, religion (or lack thereof), economic situation, sexual orientation, past/present relationships all shade the way we see everything.
Read the quote below.
We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.Anaïs Nin
Think about the story we read: “The First Day.”
- What is the age of the narrator at the time of the story?
- When is the story shared: Soon after it happened or years later?
- How do you know these things? Scribble down the details that support your answers.
- Imagine that the narrator is the mother, rather than the daughter. All the actions shared by the mother and daughter are the same. How would the story be told differently? Why do you think these things?
Once we realize that the same story could be shared with all the actions remaining the same, but that the story would be incredibly different because of WHO is telling the story, we’re well on the way of understanding the importance of POV.
The WHO is very important.
It doesn’t mean the narrator is lying, but the narrator is seeing the story through their lens.
Again, point of view is the eyes through which we see a story.
Whether you’re reading literature, watching/reading/hearing the news, or listening to someone speak, ask yourself:
- Who is telling this story?
- What does this character (or characters) see and know?
- How does this character’s perspective shape my understanding of events?
There are multiple POV in the literary world. We’re going to examine two: First Person and Third Person.
Like the activity we completed as a group for Character, we’re going to share one document and comment on it. Check your email and the Assignment page for more details.
Writing Your First Short Fiction
For our first short story, you are going to take a real-life event and retell it in a fictionalized Third Person. If you’re not sure what Third Person is, then do the activity first. It can be anything–something from your Journal entries, a depiction of your first day of school, anything–the only REQUIREMENT is that you tell it in the Third Person!
Have fun! Reimagine an experience! Some suggestions:
- Consider how someone else might’ve experienced something you thought was a horrible/wonderful day.
- Set it in the future (perhaps a Sci-Fi story) or in the long ago past (maybe in the Ming Dynasty).
Again, the only requirement is that it’s Third Person!
So, go to the Assignment page, and if you have questions, you know where I’m at!
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