The POV Cheatsheet

Getting the POV (Point-of-View) right can be a challenge if you are a new writer. When I started experimenting with writing, I had no clue about the POVs at all. While I read hundreds of books, I never consciously thought about the “point of view,” it all seemed natural. But it was only when I started writing that I realized how important it is to get the POV right—otherwise the reader is bound to get confused and frustrated.

This graphic should somewhat alleviate the difficulties in understanding POVs and how you can decide what you want to go with. Once you’re familiar with this matrix, you can look at any book you have and decide your style. I am not one for rigid rules. My current book, The Atlantis Papyrus has both Limited 1st person and Limited 3rd person in past and present styles.

The second person narrative is not shown here. It is extremely unusual for fiction to be written with “You” where the narrator is referring to the reader.

This is meant to be a living document made better by your feedback and improvement ideas. It is by no means perfect—I am a learner just as you are.

I hope you found this useful. In a future post, I will cover the present vs. past tense challenges and my personal common mistakes especially in the “Limited” versions.

You can also check this reddit thread with readers’ comments

Go down a rabbit hole… The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans

The Atlantis Papyrus, a vivid and exciting story set in the violent ancient world, now available on Amazon

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