all blog now

September 12, 2023

What is a Point of View?

A point of view is a literary technique that impacts how readers experience stories. Knowing what different points of view are allows homeschool students to choose purposefully the narrative technique they want to use when writing imaginative fiction. It's what gives stories their voice, research its serious tone, and poems and persuasive works their personal touch.

There are three primary points of view: first person, where the narrator uses "I" pronouns; second person, where the narrator tells you about yourself; and third person, where the narrator can be either omniscient or limited in their knowledge of characters and events. These points of view are what give novels their vantage into an unfolding story and can impact how a reader reacts to the events described in those stories.

Omniscient narrators, who can see and hear anything that a character in a story does or says, are favored in epic and fairy tales that detail how societies came to be organized, or how natural phenomena caused certain events. This narrative style is also used in history books to provide an objective view of the events in a story.

Limited third person narrators have access to a particular character's thoughts, feelings, and experiences, but are not able to share those with other characters. Writers like to use this narrative style when they want to build a stronger bond between the reader and a single character in a story. You'll find this point of view in novels like Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo or Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.