Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Point of View = Perspective and Technique

When you write for children it is best to stick to a simple point of view but is it really that simple? In other words, point of view has two parts: 1) the perspective of the story or character and 2) how the story or character is articulated.

First things first. Before you begin to write your story you need to determine Who you want to tell the story. Lots of people can tell the same story but each time a new narrator is introduced, the story will change. What if you are writing a story about Louise who is learning to ride her bike without training wheels for the first time?

Louise falls off her bike and breaks a leg. Who is going to tell this story? Is it going to be Louise, her friends’ point of view or other people’s point of view?

Louise’s point of view will depend on her age. If she is very young there will not be much depth to her viewpoint. She will do a lot of crying and dialogue will be sparse.

A friend’s point of view may be exciting because this friend may be the one to run for help and when the paramedics come Louise’s friend gets to ride in the ambulance. Obviously the experiences of the two characters are quite different from a particular perspective.

Multiple points of view can open up a whole new set of complex issues. For example what are you trying to accomplish with this story? Are you making it clear who is thinking, feeling and speaking?

So you see, it is critical to familiarize yourself with the range of choices available as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each choice. How will you tell your story? When is point of view changed?

Questions on character point of view and other questions are explored in depth when you join the Children’s Writer’s Coaching Club led by Suzanne Lieurance. Click Here write for children ">Every week you are invited to attend a teleclass on a variety of topics relevant to children’s writing and publishing by a team of professional authors. In addition you can have your manuscript critiqued by a group of peers and professionals every week. All of this for the fabulous price of $27.00 per month. This is what I am doing. Come and join me.

Write it down,


  1. POV can be everything. Good subject to bring up. And very well versed, graph by graph. I wondered, though, if the little injured told the story it might not have stimulating dialogue, but it sure would have enlightening commentary that would be a worthy challenge for the writer. Imagine getting into the mind of a kid? Hey, if I get a gig on writing up the festa, can I quote you and your participants?

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Good point about the injured character having enlightening commentary. I hadn't thought of that. Children's writers just like all writers need to learn how to get inside the head of their character(s)

    If you write about the festa I would love to read it.