Point Of View: Understanding Which P.O.V. is Best for Your Story and Using it Effectively

By Alfie Thompson

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Point of view is one of the most powerful tools in a writer’s arsenal. It’s also one of the most misunderstood. Poorly executed ‘viewpoint’ can make what could be a memorable story unreadable. Skillful use of the right point-of-view can make a so-so story a ‘keeper’ that the reader can hardly wait to share or read again.
Many books and classes on Point of View tell you, “You MUST do this,” or “You MUST do that.” This book tells you there isn’t a right or wrong point of view. There is a ‘best’ point of view for the story you are telling. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of using various points of view—with examples of each–helps the author choose the POV that will enhance and make the most of his or her story. The material also includes a General Rules for Effective Use of ANY POV. Deciding on points of view in fiction as an author can be a key factor in determining the tone of a novel and can drastically alter the overall feel of the story you’re telling, depending on which is selected.
Author Alfie Thompson has presented her Point of View workshop numerous times over the past 20 years and has never presented it for any group or conference where she wasn’t asked back to give the same presentation again (and sometimes again and again and again). New York Times Bestselling authors have praised the material with comments like “the best POV information ever.” After Thompson’s POV presentation at a regional conference some years ago, master teacher and author Alicia Rasley asked if Thompson would mind if Rasley used the material she’d heard in the workshop. It was a pleasant surprise and personal compliment when several years later, Rasley sold the book, The Power of Point of View: Make Your Story Come to Life to Writer’s Digest Books. If you want a detailed book with all the ins and outs, Thompson highly recommends this one. If you’d like to understand why different points of view serve different purposes in telling a story and the role each POV plays—along with tips for properly using whatever POV you choose–you will love and learn from this small but informative overview.

Author Alfie Thompson

With over 5 million books in print, Alfie Thompson’s 10 novels have been published under the pseudonym Val Daniels by Harlequin and Silhouette in 29 languages and in 33 countries. They’ve earned Write Touch Reader’s Awards and reached #8 on Ingram’s most requested authors list.
Alfie has presented writing workshops from New York City to Hawaii, for local, regional and national groups and conferences. She has presented day-long workshops based on her non-fiction book, Lights, Camera, Fiction: A Movie Lovers Guide to Writing a Novel to writing groups of all sizes.
During her five years on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America, she initiated the first ever RWA “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing, which has raised over $700,000 for literacy since its inception.

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