Whose point of view is it, anyway?

On 11th April, sixteen writers attended the circle’s writing craft session led by author Kate Evans. Her most recently published books are A Wake of Crows and Drowning Not Waving, the first two crime novels in what will be a series of three. The third, No Justice, is due to be published in hardback in June 2023.

Members were informed that ‘the point of view in writing is the perspective from which the story is being told’ and that ‘having a compelling point of view hooks the reader and keeps them coming back for more’.

Kate set three short writing exercises as an opener. Members were invited to write the same paragraph in 1st person (I), then 3rd person (she/he/them) and, finally, 2nd person (you). An interesting discussion ensued regarding the different effects these had on the writing, the writer and the reader.

Further guidance was offered in choosing povs for particular types of writing, depending on what the writer wanted the reader to experience. The pros and cons of each pov were elaborated on by Kate and she suggested experimenting with different povs when approaching a piece of writing.  For example, if a writer usually uses 1st person, she suggested trying it in 3rd person to gauge the best fit for the effect the writer was trying to achieve. A lively discussion ensued around this.

After the break, Kate answered numerous questions from the group about using pov and writing in general until the meeting closed with her reiterating that, in short, the choices for pov perspective are single character viewpoint; multiple viewpoint; second person singular and omniscient. She distributed a handout to remind us of the evening’s content.  

It was a buzzing session enjoyed by all.

The next session will be held on Tuesday 9th May, 7.15 pm (to approx. 9.30pm) at Scalby Library, 450 Scalby Road Scarborough, YO126EE. Dorinda Cass will take the lead on ‘Romance’. Do come along to learn more about this interesting theme. If you think you don’t write romance, you’re in for a surprise. There’s a lot more to the genre than you think!

Report submitted by Julie Fairweather, SWC Member

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