The Story Teller

POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Story Teller

By Nandy Ekle

Last Friday I promised to carry on with the subject of point of view. And this certainly goes along with that. In researching exactly what I want to say I came to realize that for your story to be effective, you have to make some decisions before you ever put a word on paper. One one the most important decisions to be made is who is telling this story. This is a very important choice because it can make or break your story.

Last week I defined the different point of view. And I really think some genres work better with certain types of viewpoint better.

the romance genre works better with a third person POV, which is the female character and the male character. If you love romance stories, you probably want to know what she thinks and perceives, and you probably want to know the same about the male character. Because you know what the two main characters are seeing, thinking, feeling, wanting, you can understand their dilemmas, and why they fight against their relationship, even though everything in the world says they should be together. However, if there are more points of view than those two, you might get lost in who the main characters are and what their goals are.

Thrillers and suspense are two other genres you might want to limit your number of points of view. These two types of stories work on building up a mystery and then the answer explodes. Sometimes the reader knows what’s going on, sometimes they are as surprised as the characters. And that “punched in the gut” feeling is what this audience of readers crave. So if this is what you’re writing, more than a couple of heads becomes too much to deal with while also trying to hold on the chain of events and the list of characters.

Mysteries are a little different from the thriller/suspense genre. And sometimes the main character (and the reader by proxy), experience the events at the same time. This creates a very satisfying puzzle for the readers. This is why the first person, and the limited third person POV work best in this genre.

Next week we’ll look at a few of the other genres and points of view.

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