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I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Different Points of View ~ Romantic Picnic

Romantic Friday Writers challenge this week is Romantic Picnic.

Instead of writing  a Poem or a 400 word Flash Fiction piece this week, I decided to set myself the challenge of writing the same opening to my Romantic Picnic scene as different POV examples. I thank the lovely Adura for the idea.

I hope I have successfully achieved each example. Let me know what you think?

FIRST PERSON POV - The narrator is 'I' or 'we.'
I bumped into Jasmine at the corner of the street. It was a sunny morning and promised to be a gloriously sunny, summers day. As my eyes took in her gorgeous caramel skin and sleek, black hair, fluttery signals chased around my heart to my stomach and back.
“We could go on a picnic!” I laughed, hoping my voice didn’t betray the nervousness I felt. “Just the two of us…” I trailed off.
Jasmine held my gaze with her deep, dark eyes. “I’d love that, Miles” she beamed.

SECOND PERSON POV -The narrator addresses 'You' the reader effectively turning the reader into the character.
You know how it is. You see Jasmine, the girl of your dreams, at the corner of the street and your heart chases signals to your stomach and back, just looking at her gorgeous caramel skin and sleek black hair.
Since it’s a bright morning and you know it will be a gloriously sunny, summers day you suggest going on a picnic. You hope your voice won’t crack with nervousness. As she looks back at you with her deep, dark eyes your voice kinda trails off when you suggest that it’ll be just the two of you.
You can’t quite believe your ears when she replies “I’d love that, Miles” and beams right at you.

THIRD PERSON POV Controlled Consciousness/ selective singular - uses Third Person POV with the familiarity of First Person. The reader sees all the action through the eyes of a single character and can only see what that character sees. The difference is the narrator uses 'he' or 'she' instead of 'I' or 'we'. Narration from a single perspective.
Miles bumped into Jasmine at the corner of the street. It was a sunny morning and promised to be a gloriously sunny, summers day. As his eyes took in Jasmine’s gorgeous caramel skin and sleek, black hair, fluttery signals chased around his heart to his stomach and back.
“We could go on a picnic!” he laughed, hoping his voice didn’t betray the nervousness he felt. “Just the two of us…” he trailed off.
Miles stood transfixed as Jasmine held his gaze with her deep, dark eyes. “I’d love that, Miles” she beamed.

THIRD PERSON POV Panoramic/ detached/ Subjective Multiple Viewpoint - The narrator again using 'she/he' sees all the action, but doesn't read minds.
It was a bright morning and promised to be a gloriously sunny summers day when Miles bumped into Jasmine on the corner of the street. They smiled. Each observing the other closely. His gaze checked out her gorgeous, caramel skin and sleek black hair, while she ran her eyes over his tousled dark- blonde mop and tanned complexion.
Miles spoke first with a nervous smile “We could go on a picnic! Just the two of us…” his voice trailing off.
Jasmine’s deep, dark eyes held Miles’ gaze. “I’d love that, Miles” she beamed.

THIRD PERSON OMNISCIENT - God-like; the narrator uses 's/he' and knows/sees everything and is able to move from one mind to another.
It was a bright morning and promised to be a gloriously sunny, summers day when Miles bumped into Jasmine on the corner of the street. As Miles’ eyes took in Jasmine’s gorgeous caramel skin and sleek, black hair, fluttery signals chased around his heart to his stomach and back. He wondered if he had the courage to ask her out this time. he didn't want to blow the opportunituy. Jasmine, meanwhile,  was admiring Miles' tousled dark- blonde mop and tanned complexion, feeling a strange euphoria, though her mouth had become very dry. She was hoping, with all her heart, that he might ask her out, instead of just the usual 'Hi how are you?' Would they kiss, she dared wonder with the kind of effervescence that sent bubbles of excitement into her gleaming eyes.
 “We could go on a picnic! Just the two of us…” Miles said, his voice trailing off.
Jasmine held Miles’ gaze with her deep, dark eyes. “I’d love that, Miles” she beamed.

Which of these POVs do you like?
Did you feel the love in all these styles of POV
or just some of them?
Which set the right mood for you?

A writer can have more than one viewpoint character in a novel. The viewpoint character sh
ould change only at chapter or scene breaks and there should be a good reason for the change. The different third person viewpoints can be difficult to get your head around, probably because they are all the same but different!
Remember that "head-hopping" confuses and irritates the reader. Take a look at some well loved novels in the genre in which you are planning to write and familiarize yourself with the different Points Of View used. Are there any variations? Now write the scene using that POV.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: It appears I've had a tooth infection beneath my recently crowned tooth since about 11th July! I wondered why I felt generally grotty/run down and dreaded returning to the dentist because my tooth throbbed when I chewed on it. Now I have a course of antibiotics and after a just few I am already feeling much better.  

RFW said: Madeleine: treated us to a lesson in perspectives; writing out the same scenario from differing POV.  Interesting; all the different ways to ask a person on a picnic, and all the emotions and possibilities from just a subtle change.


  1. I used 1st person POV, 3rd person, and omniscent. The 2nd person just never works out--awkward.

  2. HI Susan, sounds like you've had fun with the other POVs though.

    I actually enjoyed doing the 2nd person POV. It's the first time I've treid it.

  3. I quite like using first person pov but am now leaning to third person omniscient - I like the control!

    Great snippets btw to illustrate these povs!!

    Glad you are feeling better! take care

  4. Dear Madeleine,
    I really like this post. In my series about Paul, Jenny and Priscilla I have tried to write my different posts from different points of view, but your text, using the same story has really pin-pointed how these different POVs work in a text.
    To answer your question, I have used mostly third and first person points of view. Not the second person point of view; but I can see how even that POV could be used in my story.
    This is something I need to hone in my writing. Thank you for sharing!

    Sorry to hear about your tooth infection. I shutter to even think about it! Glad to hear the antibiotics are helping.

    Best wishes,
    RFW No.43 - 'Romantic Picnic'

  5. I've never tried 2nd person.

    Great post. This is a great writing exercise. I'd love to try it.

  6. Thoroughly enjoyed reading all the POVs. Great writing, I use first person in my stories, must try others too.

  7. This is a wonderful exercise.
    Generally, I avoid 1st person and go for 3rd person.
    I've noticed that lots of people warn against the use of 1st person, for various reasons.

  8. I always find 2nd to be uncomfortable - almost itchy if you know what I mean :)

    I like 3rd best - deep pov, but I don't mind 1st either :)

  9. Interesting. Thanks everyone for your preferences

    I wonder why 1st person is not encouraged Michelle? I note that a lot of women's magazines publish first person stories.

    Some people find it hard to write in third person, so I suggest writing in first and then changing the I and me to he and she.

  10. I love how you used the different POVs for the same snippet. I tend to use 1st and 3rd controlled consciousness the most.

    And I'm glad you're feeling better!

  11. Isn't it interesting to see how a chanage of POV can dramatically alter the feel of the story? I generally use 1st or 3rd don't think I've ever tried 2nd.

  12. Excellent examples. I'm currently writing in first person, past tense. I experimented a little with present tense after reading a novel written that way, but went back to the past tense, as it's more comfortable.

    I actually like writing in third person the best. I find it easier than first because of the limitations of the "I" POV, but this current character said no, she wanted to tell the story. :)

  13. Very cool challenge. I should give this a go.

    Great opening! (I like the 1st person POV the best, it's the one I write in.)

  14. Hi Madeleine
    This is an excellent example you've posted. I have a 1st person series I am working on and my epic is Third Person with head hopping at new chapters or scene breaks. You're right, if head hopping isn't handled correctly it is confusing.

    Sorry about your tooth but glad your on the mend.

  15. Hi,

    First off OUCH to tooth!

    Interesting writing exercise...

    Trouble with FPPOV is that newbie writers usually adopt this method and editors at publishing houses often as not cringe and straight way think novice! But, it works well in YA fiction because most youngsters are self-centred: me me me. It also works well in some crime fiction.

    Omniscient POV sucks in modern novels, yet is very acceptable in old books with a definite literary edge. By literary I mean high-brow writing.

    Personally, I love TPPOV, that way one gets to step inside each character in turn and at suitable transition points. ;)


  16. I use the the third one. I've never tried first person though. Second works well for non-fiction though, and I've used it there.

  17. I use 3rd limited the most.

  18. I like third person omniscient (this is one I tend to use the most often) and second person for its rarer aspect. All were great to read, though.

    Glad to hear you're feeling better!

  19. Great exercise; so much fun to experiment with differing POVs. I prefer a close 3rd myself. These were all well done Maddy. Your effort shows.

    And yes, the romance was there in all of them.


  20. Great examples. I've used all of them at one time or another.

  21. All excerpts were very intersting to read and see how perspectives can change while still keeping the plot.

  22. I love the intimacy of first and the sense of freedom with multiple POVs in third.

    Hope your tooth feels better soon. Eek!

  23. Thank you so much for this, Madeleine. It's really thoughtful of you. I'm printing it out for keeps (by my bedside right now). I will use this and work on some ideas as suggested:)

  24. Glad you're feeling better after your tooth infection, Madeleine.

  25. What a challenging exercise! I think first person comes off the clearest but the various 3rd person's work well also.
    I'm glad to hear you are feeling better

  26. Hi, Madeleine,

    What a great way to express this little excerpt. It also clarifies what's what when writing in different POVS.

    Of course I have read about a few of them and I generally only write in two POVS, but it's great to know the options a writer has.

    For this particular piece, I thought the Third Person POV flowed really well.

    Thanks for clearing POVS for me, Madeleine....

  27. Hey Madeleine! Sorry to hear of your toothache. Yuck those are the worse! I really like the 3rd person panoramic. It really pulled me in! :)

  28. first person, "I"
    second person, "You"
    Third person, "He, she, they, them, etc..

    Looks like you nailed it.. and you did a great job at showing the imagery and allowing your readers to feel what the narrator is feeling and seeing..

    I love the story by the way, a beginning love.. everyone's nervous in the beginning.. you captured that so beautifully!! I loved it! Thanks for sharing!!

  29. My dear friend,
    I am being honest here....it was all romantic to me (smile). I did get the point and felt I was watching the scene live. I also learned something new today. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Great exercise Maddy. Second person gets bad press, but if used sparingly, it is very powerful. Perhaps not necessarily the best POV here, I really like to write it occasionally and it feels great. Some bestsellers use it for just a chapter here and there and it works well.

    I find the third person omnisicent very impersonal for today's taste.

    I'm a big fan on first person prestent though, so maybe I should be writing YA, not adult, lol, although the hottest novel of the moment, Fifty Shades of Grey is shamelessly first person present narrative. And it works!

    Don't forget to come back to RFW if you'd like to vote for your favourite entry this week. Go with your gut. Really should be someone who kept to the word limit and has a romantic element! Poll will go up Monday AEST.

    Thanks for entering! We made our 20 goal!


  31. What an interesting exercise!

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Madeleine Begun Kane

  32. Liked all the POV's but third person gets things across better for me, greater control as another poster said. I use first person in almost all of my poems though...Very interesting treatment of the challenge.

  33. A great writing exercise, Madeleine! I know I'm in the minority, but I enjoy 2nd person POV -- probably because I don't read it very often. For a short piece like this, it works; but I doubt it could sustain an entire novel.

  34. I like first person here as I can feel his emotion best from that perspective. I haven't written much in first person.

    Happy you're feeling better.

  35. Well Dear Madeleine this is very effective for me,i liked it all and i will mark this so i can learn from it and try to use

    Thank you so much for such precious support,i really appreciate

  36. Hi Madeleine, just dropped by to say hello - and thanks for your comment by the way. I hope to be able to visit blogland once a week - I have to ration myself, after a long period of blog-starvation!

    I thought the second person was interesting, but a whole novel would be too much. I am not a huge fan of first person (just a personal preference I guess) so usually use the third person limited. (although I do switch to a different limited POV for a few chapters, which, of course, is not the same as head hopping!)

  37. Great exercise to try. I quite like second person for a short exert like this, but it does get difficult to pull off for a whole novel. You made them all sound very good.

  38. What a fun exercise! I'm totally going to try it :)

  39. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I've followed you back ;)

    Love this exercise - really getting a chance to see how much point of view matters.

    Good luck with the tooth!

  40. Dear Madeleine,
    Just stopping by to say hope the tooth is feeling better. Take care my dear.

  41. I think I liked the omniscient best, but they were all good. I've been wanting to play with 2nd person, just for the heck of it. Maybe I'll write a story for my son. He has one "choose your own adventure" that he loves. Great job!

  42. I'm a fan of either first person or Third Person POV with the familiarity of First Person.


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