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Character Points of View


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Character Points of View

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's "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?

Transcript Character Points of View

Zayd and Ari are spending the day at a lake, where the sun is shining brightly, and the trees provide a cooling shade to hide in. However, their points of view, or opinions, are different about what's happening today. Let's join in and learn all about character point of view. A point of view is a speaker's opinion or feelings about the events happening in the story. Today, we'll compare differences in the characters' point of view for the same event. In stories, a character's point of view is often different from other characters. This is why we read, or listen, closely to what characters say, so we can understand their position or feelings. You can compare differences in point of view using an organizer like this. We can label the boxes with our characters, Ari and Zayd! Let's listen closely to Ari's point of view, and listen for what we notice. "I love being in the water! I feel so relaxed." "I could stay here all day long. In fact, maybe I will!" Ari has shared their point of view about going in the lake today, so let's write down some things we noticed! Ari said they love being in the water. They also said they feel relaxed. What else did Ari share? Ari also said that they could stay in the lake all day! Now, let's listen closely to Zayd's point of view, and see what we notice. "I am scared of water! I feel so anxious." "I would rather go home than stay here!" Zayd has also shared his point of view about going in the lake today, so let's write down some things we noticed! Zayd said he is scared of water. He also said he feels anxious. What else did Zayd share? Zayd said that he would rather go home! Now that we have heard each characters point of view, let's compare the differences. Ari loves being in the water, but Zayd does not. Ari said they felt relaxed, but Zayd said he felt anxious. What other difference do you notice? Ari could stay in the water all day, but Zayd wants to go home! You see, even though the same event was happening to both characters, their point of view was different. This is why it is very important to read, or listen, closely to what characters are saying! "Hey Zayd. Do you see that?" "Yes, I do. I wonder." While they investigate, let's remember! Today, we learned about differences in characters point of view. A point of view is a speaker's opinion or feelings about the events happening in the story. You can compare differences in characters point of view using an organizer, and listening closely to what the characters are saying. Well, it looks like they found a way for Zayd to enjoy himself without being in the water! "This is much more like it!" "Yes! Faster Zayd! Weeeeee!"

Character Points of View exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? 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 soccer.

    What is the same and what is different from their point of view?


    Ari's point of view is different from Zayd's, when he wanted to go on the slide and Zayd wanted to stay on the swings. Their points of view are similar because they both love the park and swinging high.

  • Character points of view.


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

    How is each character feeling?

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


    Ari loves to go fast. Ari was excited about the trick. Ari laughed when they got wet.

    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 by the end of the race?

    What happened to make them feel this way about the event?


    Zayd and Ari had similar points of view because they were both fast runners and they were tied for a while. Their points of views were different because Zayd won the race while Ari lost it. Ari fell down during the race. Zayd celebrated the win.

  • Ari and Zayd go to the movie theater.


    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 candy but one loves popcorn! Can you find out which point of view belongs to which character?


    Ari is upset about candy. Ari is scared in the dark. Ari is bored of the movie.

    Zayd loves the movies. Zayd is excited for popcorn. Zayd thinks that the movie was fun.

  • Picture clues.


    Look at the character's facial expression to help you know 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 character's points of views are different. The boy in the yellow shirt is happy and content while gardening. The boy in the blue 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 every day. 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 soccer at recess. Ari likes to play soccer to get his 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 his new book.
    The character's opinions about reading are different.


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