Whether you’re a beginning writer or just starting a new project, one of the first things you must do is decide which point of view to use. Readers want to connect with the main character in a story, and one of the best ways is to reveal his/her thoughts and feelings. You want to create a character they’ll want to follow through an entire novel or series.
First person POV is used when the main character is telling the story. This is the kind that uses the “I” narrator. As a reader, you can only experience the story through this person’s eyes, so you won’t know anything about the people or events that this character hasn’t personally experienced.
Third person POV is most commonly used, the one I am most comfortable with, and the one I usually prefer reading. It uses the “he/she/it” narrator and flows naturally for me. This is where the narrator only knows what the character knows and can see right inside her/his head. It’s who’s eyes we see the action through, who’s head we’re inside of, and who’s feelings we experience as that character feels them. This is why it’s so important to choose the right POV character for your story. It will determine what you tell, how you tell it, and even what the action means.
When I started my Shakespeare in the Vineyard series, I knew it would take place in Livermore, California, where I live. I wanted Cait Pepper, my protagonist, to share what she sees and how she feels living in wine country. As an outdoor enthusiast, she jogs, runs marathons, and hikes, while at the same time she’s learning about the wildflowers that cover the hills surrounding her new home. But Cait is also an ex-cop, all her senses on alert for danger. She recognizes smells and sounds the ordinary person might dismiss. For example, the sound of a gun as it’s pulled from a leather shoulder holster, a rustling noise as if something had been removed from a paperbag, or a sudden change in the air. With third person POV, the readers share Cait’s thoughts and fears and keep turning the page to learn what is going through her mind.
Third Person Multiple POV is still in the “he/she/it” category, but now the narrator can follow multiple characters in the story. The challenge is making sure that the reader knows when you are switching from one character to another. This is done with chapter or section breaks. I think it would be fun to use this POV in another series or a stand-alone. I would be interested knowing which POV the readers prefer reading.