Inventing Reality: A Guide to Writing Science Fiction
Point of View
From which character's point of view should a story be told? What if an alien tells the tale? The topics on this page address these and many other questions.
What is point of view?
Every story has an angle or perspective from which it is told. This perspective is called point of view.
Every story is told from someone’s perspective. This someone is known as the viewpoint character.
Arguably the most important "character” in your story isn’t its hero but the narrator – the person who tells the tale.
A story can be told from several viewpoints. When the main character narrates his own experiences and observations, the author is using “first person limited”.
When the main character narrates your story, you’ve selected the first-person point of view. But when the narrator gives only the cold, hard facts as telling us what people said and did, you have a specific kind of first-person, known as first-person objective.
When a story is told from the perspective of what the main character can observe and think but is filtered through the author’s eyes, third-person limited is used.
In the omniscient pointof view, the author is an all-knowing, God-like narrator.