POV Tips and Giveaway Opportunity with Traci Sanders


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Hey folks, today award-winning author and editor Traci Sanders is here with a tip derived from her new book Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing, which is now available in digital and paperback format.

If you’d like to purchase a copy click here!

TIP 161: First person or third person (pros and cons)

This tip is all about POV (point of view). There are about as many authors who prefer to write in first person as do third person. It’s all about writing styles and comfort zones.

My first book was written in third person, and even though I received good reviews for it, I didn’t get the compelling reactions that I’d expected. After reading several other books in my genre, which were written in first person, and the reviews for those books, I realized what a difference first-person POV made. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried it.

I fell in love with this writing style, and the reviews that derived from it.
The reactions were so much stronger for my second book than my first, and I think it had a lot to do with me writing it in first person.

Some authors despise writing and reading books written in first person.
First person refers to the immediate – I, me, we, mine, and our. Third person uses words like he, she, they, it, and them.
There are two types of third-person POV:

Unlimited omniscient – a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters in the story.

Limited omniscient – a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of a single character, while other characters are presented only externally.

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding what POV you want to use:
Your book’s genre.

Your characters’ personalities.
Who do you want to tell the story? Do you want it to sound as if you (the narrator) or your characters are telling it?
Do you want to be able to tell the stories of various characters from their own heads or from the perspective of another character?
Do you want to keep some elements of your story/characters hidden? How much do you want to reveal?

There are some advantages to both first person and third person POV:
FIRST PERSON: (Example: Footsteps sound on my front steps. The room around me spins as my heart races. Is he finally home? I open the door and a lump forms in the back of my throat. A smile paints my face and I kiss him with every ounce of energy I can muster. My love is home.)

The writer only has to deal with one character’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.
It feels comfortable for some writers – to “tell it like I see it, feel it, hear it…”
This style can pull readers closer to the personal thoughts, feelings, and actions of the character.

It can be a challenge to find various ways to start sentences without “I” each time.
You can’t get inside the heads of other characters. You only tell it from one character’s POV.
You (the writer) are constantly in the middle of the action and must describe it without letting the reader know who you are.

THIRD PERSON UNLIMITED OMNISCIENT: (Example: Drake didn’t remember much about the night before, but the soreness in his cheek warned him to choose his words very carefully around Amber for the next few moments.
Occasionally during dinner, Amber glanced over at him subtly and noticed a few small welts on his face. She smiled a little guilty, but satisfied, smile inside for a moment.)
{This style tells the actions and thoughts of each character in a way that doesn’t allow us to step inside their heads, but we know how they are both feeling by their actions or reactions.}

You (the writer) can offer varying viewpoints in depth.
You can allow the reader to live “another life” so to speak, through varying characters.
You don’t have to step inside the head of every character.

You run the risk of head-hopping – moving from the POV of one character to the next without a smooth transition for the reader.
Your writing can become lazy – not enough description, or too much description and not enough action. You must learn to balance the two.
You can fall into the trap of too much narration.

THIRD-PERSON LIMITED OMNISCIENT: Example: Without Janie in yoga class today, as much as she missed her friend’s company, she was able to focus on each move completely.
Amber thought she noticed Paul deliberately make eye contact a few times. He’s just probably wondering where Janie is.
{We don’t know what Paul is feeling or thinking, but we can guess by how Amber is perceiving him.}

This POV basically has all the same advantages of third-person POV.
You can keep the story interesting and flowing well by focusing on just the main characters’ thoughts, feelings, and actions.

*There aren’t many disadvantages to this style. If you choose to write in third person, this is the way to go.

No matter which style you choose to write your novel in, be sure to write with authenticity. If you choose first person, incorporate as many senses as possible to let readers step inside the character’s head—since we can’t “know” what the other characters or this person is feeling, we need to see, hear, feel their reactions. If you choose any type of third-person POV, make sure you don’t jump from one character’s head to another without creating a smooth bridge between them. Readers should never have to guess who the speaker is. And remember, you don’t have to describe every single character’s thoughts or feelings. You can simply use action/reaction to tell their stories.

About Traci SandersDSC_0055.JPG

Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

For more about Traci, her books, and editing services visit AWordWithTraci.com 

Enter the Giveaway

*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish– Volume I
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book –Volume II
To enter, all you have to do is email Traci a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.
Traci will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.
Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to tsanderspublishing@yahoo.com.

What’s your favorite point of view to read from? Write from? Join the discussion below 🙂


6 thoughts on “POV Tips and Giveaway Opportunity with Traci Sanders

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