A few years ago, I created a miniseries that attempts to simplify viewpoint. It’s the one thing most writers struggle with – but it really doesn’t have to be difficult.
Viewpoint, quite simply, is about time and distance. How long ago did the events in your story happen? How close do you want your reader to be to your narrator and to the narrative? More important, who is our guide into the story?
1. Give it voice: Viewpoint Is Your Voice
For me, viewpoint comes down to voice – it is about the authenticity and individualism you as the writer bring to the narrative, whether you are using a first person or third person technique. It must have your voice.
2. Give it distance: Viewpoint Is About Distance
And, as I mentioned earlier, viewpoint is about distance – typically, a first person narrator brings the reader closer to the story, while third-person techniques keeps the reader at a safe middle distance, which is probably why it is the most popular viewpoint. The reader enters the story with the least amount of risk.
3. And have something compelling to say: Viewpoint Is About Judgement
And I always believe you must have a strong message or theme to convey through your viewpoint, a sense of judgement. Having different points of view on the same incident gives your story context and complexity or richness. This post makes a case for multiple viewpoints in a story.
Why these are my personal favourites …
Viewpoint is tricky, yes, but if you understand that yours is the only voice in the story, you will grow more confident in your writing. You will trust your narrative instincts.
If you enjoyed this post, read:
- My Top 3 Favourite Blogs On Character
- Never Get Stuck For A Plot Point Or Story Twist Again
- Give Light The Time Of Day In Your Story
- 5 Visual Techniques To Bring Your Story To Life