Which POV am I Using Today?

One of the harder skills of writing for me is learning to keep in one POV. (point of view)

There are different types of POV's -

As an author, I have an omniscient POV. I know what each character is thinking. I know the reasoning behind each action. I know what's happening around the corner. I know how the story ends. (but a smart author doesn't reveal everything - she adds interest by letting the reader wonder)

In life, I am not omniscienct - only God is omniscient. He knows my thoughts and motives. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows all of it, but He doesn't reveal it to me all at once. I have to trust Him as I "read" my life, page by page.

(Psalm 139) "O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off..."

1st person POV is writing as if you are one of the characters - using words such as "I" and "me." The reader only knows what the main character knows: his thoughts, his senses, and his reaction to situations.

This is how most people view the world. Everything is seen through their own circumstances. We are selfish creatures.
"What's in it for me?"
"I want things to revolve around my schedule."
"Listen to my problems."
"Look at what I did."
"Does anybody care how I feel?"

(I Timothy 3:2) "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful..."

There is also 2nd person POV. This is usually a non-fiction demonstrative writing. It tells the reader how to do something. It may explain how to cook, how to raise children, how to act, or how to think, using terms such as "you" and "your" throughout it.

I can get in a 2nd POV frame of mind sometimes. I think I know the right way to do things, and I want to tell everyone else. I can get rather bossy about it. I'm sure others don't like me poking my nose in their affairs and telling them how to do it better. If my opinion is asked, I should give it in love and kindness.

(Philippians 2:3)
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

The best type of POV is 3rd person. The author chooses to stand beside (or within the mind) of one character in that scene. The reader only knows what that character can see or hear or feel (or think). She must interpret the emotions and thoughts of other characters through their expressions and words.

This is also the best POV for my life. I must observe life from a limited percpective. I can't assume the motives of others' actions and words. I can't read their thoughts. I don't know their past. I must read life only as I see it and react with a humble attitude.

(I Samuel 16:7) "For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."

So, what POV am I using today?

Lord, give me a humble attitude. Give me eyes to see others with a loving and unselfish heart. Amen


Joanne Sher said...

Oh Vonnie - what an AWESOME post - and awesome perspective. I'm going to remember this for a long time. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Good post to nibble on. Thanks!

Mid Stutsman said...

Love it, Vonnie...never thought of those POV's like that, but will now!!

I think the best author is one who is omniscient, but writes in 3rd person... we need to know our characters that well...and it will show to the readers!

Hugs! linked to you on my new website: http://midspoint.com

Lynda Schab said...

Great post and nice descriptions of each POV. Loved the verses included, too. :-)


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