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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Overview Voice: Third Person Point of View

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

The third person point of view, sometimes referred to as limited omniscient, chooses a central character and tells the story through her thoughts, feelings, and experience.

One advantage of this focus is the ability to give some distance for general information and also become a close-up for personal insight. For example, here’s an excerpt from my MG novel Betta’s Song.

“The sun was descending when Jael began to fuss again. After the song she rested quietly all afternoon on Narah’s back, even when the sun beat down on them hot and fierce. The hills had gradually been growing steeper. Narah’s whole body hurt.

“Look Jael, see the hill ahead. On the other side must be the village. It is a day’s walk and we have walked all day. Soon we will have food and water.”

Narah angled her body into the climb to balance Jael’s weight and slowly pushed upward eagerly. Finally the top! Then she slumped to her knees in disbelief. No village, no people, nothing, but instead miles of rolling hills with a heavy veil hanging over them. It was the Valley of Shimmering Heat.”

Hopefully, in this episode, I’ve connected the readers to the danger the girls are now in as well as Narah’s sense of responsibility and emotional exhaustion. And raised the question, what will happen next?

Nancy Lamb, Crafting Stories for Children, considers that the advantages for third person, single point of view, offer the advantages that the reader identifies with a specific character, and “your narrative horizons are expanded.” She adds that the “opportunity to interpret events is enlarged.”

This advantage became a strong factor in this novel as not only did Narah need to go deep emotionally, but also had to follow several relational threads and a mystery. It would not have been possible to track the perceptions she needed to identify and experience in her upheaval. in  a different point of view.

Action Steps:

            One disadvantage considered for this point of view is the same as for first person in that the story is limited to one character. However, when you do use multiple third person you can also risk losing a focal point with too many opinions.

1.     Choose a short story or scene that is told in a limited pov and expand it to be told from another’s viewpoint as well.
2.     Then take a chapter or scene that is using third person for two or three character and rewrite from only one.

            Share: What got lost or gained in each variation?

Read deep, marcy

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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