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Viewpoint when writing fiction by ed2go instructor Steve Alcorn

Viewpoint-by Steve Alcorn

One of the common questions I receive when teaching fiction writing classes goes something like this: “I’m writing a story, and I’d like to know the best way to tell it. I’ve heard about viewpoint, but I don’t really know what my choices are. Can you explain?”

There are three particularly useful viewpoints: first person, third-person limited, and omniscient. First person is the most intimate because you tell the story yourself, using “I” for the main character and sticking to that character’s story. Third-person limited is similar, but you’re telling the story about someone else; you call them by name or “he” or “she.” In omniscient viewpoint, you are all-knowing—you can write about anything!

Choose your viewpoint based on your preference and also which one best serves the story. For example, a very emotional story might work best in first person, while a complex adventure with many characters would be easiest in omniscient. A great way to find the perfect viewpoint is to write the same scene three times, once for each viewpoint, and see which you like best.

ed2go online courses by Steve Alcorn:

Write Like a Pro
Advanced Fiction Writing
Mystery Writing
Writing Young Adult Fiction