11 Points of View & What to Do with Them – Part 2 by Janine M. Donoho

Change your point-of-view

Since my last post, I’ve had several writers asking for the final six POVs. It turns out you’re a voracious crew needing little time to digest what you learn. Since withholding wasn’t my intent, here they are:

6. Detached autobiography = writing about past events with a change in perspective

Up until I learned my lesson in a very bitter way, I never had more than one friend at a time, and my friendships, though ardent, were short….After the scandal died down, I got into the Campfire Girls. It was through pull, of course, since Stella had been a respected member for two years and my mother was a friend of the leader….Even Muff did not miss our periods of companionship, because about that time she grew up and started having literally millions of kittens. (From “Bad Characters” by Jean Stafford)

7 . Memoir (observer narration) = imitation of first hand reporting

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. (From “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe)

8. Biography/anonymous narration via single POV = physical vantage point & personal perception of events

As soon as he and Patricia and Edith set off for the park, it began to snow. Big flakes unexpectedly fell on the rocky hill, and the sky grew dark as dusk though it was only three in the afternoon. (From “Patricia, Edith, and Arnold” by Dylan Thomas)

9. Anonymous narration via dual POV = inner life of two characters

The thoughtful serious state of mind in which Mary found herself had been induced in her by a conversation had with her father on the evening before….In the road stood Duke Yetter…‘She doesn’t want to be seen walking with me,’ he had told himself, ‘that’s all right. She knows well enough I’ll follow…’ (From “Unlighted Lamps” by Sherwood Anderson)

 10. Anonymous narration via multiple POVs = POVs as framed by the author’s

Mrs. Mooney: counted all her cards again before sending Mary up to Mr. Doran’s room to say that she wished to speak with him…..Polly knew that she was being watched, but still her mother’s persistent silence could not be misunderstood….Mr. Doran: All his long years of service gone for nothing! (From “The Boarding House” by James Joyce)

 11. Anonymous narration via no character POV = no inner life presented (e.g. fairytales, legends, myths)

The sexton stood in the porch of Milford meetinghouse, pulling busily at the bell rope. The old people of the village came stooping along the street. Children, with bright faces, tripped merrily beside their parents, or mimicked a graver gait, in the conspicuous dignity of their Sunday clothes. (From “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Now go play with POV, you wild creatives. Allow me to wish you joy in your journey.

Point of View (1)

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Soundings, Water Elemental

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