Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Point of View

First person. Third person.

First person is easier to write (imho).

However, with a single first person point of view, you run the chance of missing a lot of important information. For example:

My dog Sabbath is a huge ball of loveable fur. He weighs nearly eighty pounds, but the cuddly long haired beast is halarious. I believe he is actually a happy playful human toddler rolling around in a dog's body. His tongue hangs out of the side of his mouth and his tail knocks items off the table. I crack up laughing in the morning when he comes bounding into my room to say, "Hello." He tries so hard to get up on the bed (remember, he's so big, his wagging tail knocks items off the table), and yet the big dog still can't figure out how to lift himself up. He'll get his front two paws up on the bed and look at me. He wags his tail and uses all of his strength to pull himself up. I have snags on my bed covers to prove it. Sometimes, he'll leave the room and come back with a running start and jump full speed onto the bed. I duck and cover. He lands on me and licks my face and cuddles into me. I laugh more and he licks more. It's a great way to start the day. I can't say he's so gentle he wouldn't hurt a fly, because he does hurt flies. HA. If a fly gets into the house, Sabbath becomes single minded until he has caught (ate) that fly. :)

Change in point of view:

I was standing at the reception desk in my chiropracter's office when the U.P.S. man came in. Same U.P.S. man that has come to my house for years. Since before we got Sabbath. We made small talk and explained to the receptionist how we knew each other. I commented that he was awesome because he always sets the heavy packages inside for me. "Not anymore," he said. I asked, "What do you mean?" "Not since you got that huge mean dog." I thought for a second and realized he hadn't brought a package inside my house in a long time. "I drop the box and run, now," he said. "That dog looks like he'll come right through the window at me." I felt a little embarrased as I realized he had a different point of view of Sabbath than I did.

Writing exercise:
Utilize the U.P.S. man's point of view delivering a package to a house with a large black eighty pound dog. The dog barks and presses against the window. What does the man do and think? What does the dog do? U.P.S. man says he's been bitten several times and ONLY by the dogs whose owner said, "Oh, he's so gentle. He'd never bite anyone." Yah, right! The U.P.S. man has strong legs, because he's learn to run. Fast.


  1. Interesting take on your dog. My book is written from six different POVs, all third person. Sometimes I tell the same event from more than one perspective, sometimes I just go along sequentially in the story. But I do this for the reason that you stated, I think with first person you tend to miss things. what better way to get to know the characters then through the eyes of the people closest to them...

  2. Thanks. I agree, it's nice to see the story from different perspectives. :)