Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Tips: POV -- A Problem? Part 2

So last week I blogged the first part of this two part series. You can read that post here.
This week I'm going to be covering the last Point of View. This one is (in my opinion) the most complicated.
Now the third POV is called . . . How did you guess? Third Person.
I've read that this is the most common POV, but I think it just about ties with first person.

What is third person POV?
It's when the narrator is outside the story telling about something that is happening inside the story. It uses the pronouns he, she or they.

Two examples are Harry Potter by JK Rowling and Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan.
Here's my own example:

Aaron wasn't having the best of days. So far he'd been shot at, handcuffed, threatened, and done a lot of running. So yeah, defiantly not the best day, but not the worst either. That award must be given to the day before. . .

So what's so hard, you might be asking. Well, I'm about to tell you.
See, there are three parts of Third Person.
Wait a second? Three POVs, but the last one has three parts? Is that what I'm saying? Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.
What are the parts of third person?
Are you ready? Here we go.
First part: Objective.
The Third Person Objective point of view doesn't have an opinion. When writing this way, the events of the story are related to you just as they happen, with out any input from the author. Also, in Objective Third Person you never hear other characters thoughts. Objective 3rd is basically like TV, except you're reading it.
My example? Alright if you insist.
Amanda walked up to John and handed him a pen. "Thanks for letting me borrow this."
"No problem" John said.
Amanda walked away and sat down with her friends.
John turned to Ed. "Did you see that? Amanda Walker talked to me. Me!"

Do you see? We don't know what either Amanda or John are thinking.

Second Part: Omniscient.
In 3rd Omniscient the narrator is privy to the thoughts of everyone at all times.
Here's an Omniscient re-take of the scene above.
Amanda took in the greasy hair and wrinkled shirt of the boy with mild abhorrence. Of all the boys in class, why did he have to loan her a pen. She walked up to him. "Thanks for letting me borrow this" she muttered.
John didn't notice the way Amanda looked at him. He was too busy looking at her, with her long blond hair, and seemingly longer high heels. Too late he realized she'd spoken to him. "No problem," he said.
Amanda retreated to her table, thankful she'd been able to escape so easily.
He's so ridiculous, Ed thought, as John turned back to him, looking slightly drunk.
"Did you see that?" John demanded. "Amanda Walker talked to me. Me!"

This switching back and forth. from head to head, is sometimes called head hopping.

Third Part: Limited
In limited 3rd person POV is the most common. In any particular scene, the narrator only knows the thought of one person in the scene. That person can change from scene to scene, but that's it.
Here's the limited POV of the story snippet:
Amanda took in the greasy hair and wrinkled shirt of the boy with mild abhorrence. Of all the boys in class, why did he have to loan her a pen. She walked up to him. "Thanks for letting me borrow this" she muttered.
She had already turned and gotten half way to her table when she heard him say "No problem."
As she took her seat with the rest of the cheerleaders, she heard the boy say to his friend, "Did you see that? Amanda Walker talked to me. Me!"
Mentally, she shuddered, then turned to her friend Mary and didn't think about the incident again. "Did you hear that Josh and Sophie broke up?"

You see how it's done? If not, please leave me a comment so I can try to do better.
Tune in next week to read all about another common beginners problem.

Thanks for reading!
~Sarah F.

2 comments:

  1. Great tips/examples here, Sarah! Personally, third person POV gives me a headache...still, despite that, I thought your examples were particularly clear and helpful. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Sienna! Writing the examples is always really fun
    ~Sarah F.

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