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Character Points of View

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Basics on the topic Character Points of View

Character Point of View: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the vast realm of storytelling, one of the most essential elements to master is the character point of view. A subtle, yet powerful tool, it shapes the reader's experience, guiding their emotions, judgments and comprehension.

Introduction to Character Point of View – Definition

Character point of view refers to the perspective through which a narrative unfolds. It's the lens determining how events are portrayed, making it indispensable in storytelling.

A story's point of view not only informs the reader who is "speaking" or "thinking" but also influences the reader's relationship with the story's characters and events.


Different Types of Character Point of View – Examples

There are several different types of narrating stories from specific points of view. Let’s have a look at the overview of possible characters’ points of view:

Character Points of View
first-person point of view
third-person limited point of view
third-person omniscient point of view

These three different points of view will be explained in detail in the sections below.

First-Person Point of View

This narration style uses the narrator as a character in the story, often using pronouns like "I" or "we". Advantages include a direct engagement with readers.

For an effective first-person point of view, the writer should immerse themselves in the character's emotions, experiences and voice.

Third-Person Limited Point of View

Here, the narrator is outside the actions and events story, focusing on one character's perspective, using "he" or "she". This point of view offers a balance of personal insight and objective distance. Its limitation? Potentially missing out on multiple character insights. Writers should hone in on their chosen character's emotions while retaining some narrative distance.

Third-Person Omniscient Point of View

Third person omniscient point of view means that the narrator knows everything that has happened, is happening and will ever happen. Sounds difficult?

The all-knowing narrator sees and knows all, offering multiple character insights. This omniscient stance provides vast narrative flexibility but risks overwhelming or confusing readers. To employ this effectively, writers must seamlessly transition between perspectives, maintaining clear distinctions.

Exploring the Impact of Character Point of View on Readers

Let’s examine the impacts that character points of view may have on the reader:

Impact Explanation
Connecting readers with protagonists Crafting empathetic and relatable protagonists enables readers to
step into the character's shoes, fostering deep emotional connections.
Shaping readers' perception of events and other characters The chosen point of view can sway readers' judgments and
introduce elements of suspense, offering surprising revelations.
Providing insight into characters' thoughts and feelings Delving into a character's psyche enriches the narrative,
allowing readers a front-row seat to motivations and emotions,
enhancing their overall storytelling immersion.

Character Point of View – Summary

In storytelling, mastering the character point of view is pivotal, influencing readers' emotions, judgments and understanding of the narrative. Character point of view determines the narrative lens, defining how readers perceive characters and events.

The three primary perspectives are the first-person, offering direct engagement by having the narrator as part of the story; the third-person limited, which focuses on one character from an external standpoint; and the third-person omniscient, granting a broad, all-knowing view but requiring careful navigation to avoid overwhelming readers.

Effective use of point of view can connect readers deeply to protagonists, shape their perceptions and immerse them in characters' inner worlds. Essential techniques for engaging point of view writing include maintaining narrative consistency and embracing the "show, don't tell" principle, encouraging readers to actively experience the story rather than passively consuming it.

Further Information on Character Points of View

Character Point of View – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common point of view used in storytelling?
Can I switch between different character point of views in the same story?
Are there any disadvantages to using first-person point of view?
Can I combine different types of character point of view in a single narrative?
How do I maintain consistency in character point of view throughout the story?
Can character point of view influence the readers' perception of the story's events?
How do I balance internal character thoughts with external actions and dialogues?

Character Points of View exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Character Points of View.
  • Different points of view.


    Here is an example of a different point of view:

    Zeke enjoys skateboarding and could do it all day. Jenna dislikes skateboarding and prefers football.

    Both Ari and Zayd enjoy swinging high, but are their favourite pieces of equipment different or the same?


    The final sentence shows the difference between Ari and Zayd's points of view:

    The swings are Zayd's favourite but Ari prefers the slide.

  • Character points of view.


    Read closely to understand the character's feelings about the event.

    How is each character feeling? What are their preferences and dislikes?

    Ari didn't mind getting wet but Zayd didn't like it very much.


    Ari's point of view:

    • Ari loves to go fast.
    • Ari was excited about the trick.
    • Ari laughed when they got wet.
    Zayd's point of view:
    • Zayd enjoyed jet skiing more.
    • Zayd doesn't like to get wet.
    • Zayd was upset that he got splashed.

  • Zayd and Ari run in a race.


    Did Ari and Zayd feel different or similar at the start of the race? Why?

    Did Ari and Zayd feel different or similar at the end of the race?



    • Ari was upset because they fell over.
    • Zayd celebrated.
    • They were both looking forward to the race because...
    • ...they were both fast.

  • Ari and Zayd go to the cinema.


    Each character has a different opinion of the same event.

    Use the words to help you know their position and feelings of the event.

    One of the characters is upset about the sweets but one loves popcorn!

    Can you find out which point of view belongs to which character?


    Ari's point of view:

    • Ari was upset about sweets
    • Ari was scared in the dark.
    • Ari was bored of the film.
    Zayd's point of view:
    • Zayd loves the cinema.
    • Zayd was excited for popcorn.
    • Zayd thought that the film was fun.

  • Picture clues.


    Look at the characters' facial expressions to understand how they are feeling

    It is a hot day. Some people like hot weather and some don't. Do the boys feel the same or differently about being outside?


    The characters' points of views are different. The boy in the yellow t-shirt is happy and content while gardening; the boy in the blue t-shirt is tired and hot. You can tell by looking at the picture clues.

  • Different and similar points of view.


    Here is an example of a different point of view:

    Ari likes cheese and eats it everyday. Zayd is allergic to cheese and doesn't eat it.

    These two sentences are about cheese but we can see the characters have different opinions, so we would assign these to different.

    Here is an example of a similar point of view:

    Zayd is a fast runner and plays football at playtime. Ari likes to play football to get their energy out.



    • Sleepover: Zayd is excited to have a sleepover. Ari is nervous to have a sleepover.
    Here we can see that the characters' opinions about sleepovers are different.
    • Reading: Zayd thinks reading is boring. Ari can't wait to read their book.
    The characters' opinions about reading are different.


    • Concert: Ari had fun at the concert. Zayd enjoyed singing in the concert.
    The characters' opinions about the concert are similar.
    • Ice skating: Ari is scared to go ice skating. Zayd does not like ice skating.
    The characters' opinions about ice skating are similar.