What is active and passive voice?

Do you constantly hear about writing in the “active” or “passive” voice? Are you confused by what this actually means and how it could impact your writing?

Read on for what the difference is between the active and passive voice and why it is important to know.

What Is Active Voice?

When you use “active voice”, the subject is performing the action.

What Is Passive Voice?

In a passive sentence the subject (or the person doing the action) is right at the end. Using passive voice tends to slow your writing down and distances your reader from the action.

Examples of active vs passive sentences:

Active: I love you.
Passive: You are loved by me.

Active: The woman read her book.
Passive: The book was read by the woman.

Active: He rode his motorbike over the jump.
Passive: The motorbike was ridden over the jump by him.

Can you see the difference in these sentences? Which sentence is more powerful?

Is it wrong to use passive voice?

It is not wrong. However, it is not the best way to phrase sentences as it can be awkward and hard to understand. Using the passive voice can also create lengthy sentences (as evidenced by the examples above).

When can you use passive voice?

In your writing it is a good idea to use the passive voice if you wish to place emphasis on the action, as opposed to the person performing the action. Many crime and mystery writers use this technique to highlight certain events that are pivotal to their story.

Example: The dog was stolen (passive).
Somebody stole the dog (active).

The mystery writer wanted to highlight the missing dog that is central to the plot, thereby used a more passive style of sentence.

How do you change your sentences to active voice?

Generally speaking, changing a sentence to be more active is easy. You simply bring whomever, or whatever, is performing the action of the sentence to the beginning. This usually fixes most issues with passive sentences.

Fixing passive sentences can happen when you are revising and editing, however it is handy to be able to spot them as you write.

Lost yet?

Try reading your sentences out loud. When you write sentences with active voice, your story moves faster. When you use the passive voice, you tend to use more helping verbs and it slows the action down. How do your sentences sound? Is it the focus you were going for?

I hope this helps you with your writing. If anyone else has advice on passive and active voice I would love to hear it!

 Useful links:

 https://www.englishgrammar101.com/module-3/verbs/lesson-11/active-vs-passive-voice

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/active-voice-versus-passive-voice?page=3

https://www.writerscentre.com.au/blog/tip-active-voice-versus-passive-voice/

https://www.dailywritingtips.com/passive-vs-active-voice/

 

 

 

 

Grammar: Why is it so important?


Being an effective communicator and writer helps you make a positive impression on your clients and readers. Regardless of the language spoken, or the country of origin, grammar is the foundation of communication.

WHAT IS GRAMMAR?

Grammar is the structural foundation upon which speech and writing is built. It is how we effectively communicate our meaning. To be technical, grammar is a set of rules that deal with the syntax and word structure of language.

By studying grammar and gaining a clearer understanding of how our language works you become a more effective writer. It provides for a sound knowledge of how to shape words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs to form powerful and persuasive writing.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU AS A WRITER.

Simply put, using correct grammar makes you look more intelligent. Not only this, but as mentioned above it helps you to write powerfully, clearly and persuasively.

These days most communication happens through emails and messages. Using correct grammar and spelling is imperative to this form of communication. Not only are you trying to sell yourself as a writer, but you also want to ensure your ideas, pitches and messages are clear and concise. You do not want any misunderstanding. And there is no quicker way to have a client or publisher turn down your work then to present them with an unreadable and grammatically incorrect email, message or writing project.

LEARNING GRAMMAR

Learning grammar is worthwhile to improve your writing and therefore your chances of publishing your work. Correct grammar should be considered another tool in your writing arsenal. If you cannot be bothered to learn an invaluable tool, then why would people bother reading your work? You do not need to be an expert by any means, but a sound grasp of basic grammar will go a long way to improve your writing. Once you have mastered basic grammar it will become an instinctual part of your writing process, and proofreading and editing become less of a chore.

There are many books out there, as well as free grammar sites. Whether you choose to purchase a book or find a site that resonates with you and your learning style is up to you. My advice is to set aside a little bit of time each week, even an hour or two will do, to study grammar. You will find that your writing improves, and your work sessions flow easier and more smoothly with the simple addition of good grammar.

HELPFUL SITES:

Please keep in mind that I am Australian, therefore these sites are specific for Australian grammar. Some of the sites are also from the United Kingdom, as that as what we base our grammatical structures upon.

I would love to hear your opinion on the importance of grammar, and if you have found any particular grammar resource helpful.

Sentence Structure

Sentence Structure

Yesterday we discussed paragraph structure and how important it is to the flow and rhythm of your story. Just as important is sentence structure. This is really getting down to the finer details of your novel, and how it will help create a logical and easy to read story that flows well and draws your reader in.

The most effective way to keep your readers’ attention is to make your writing concise and easy to understand, no matter how elaborate the ideas are that you are trying to convey.  By structuring your sentences appropriately and using correct punctuation and grammar you achieve simple and effective writing. In this particular post we will focus on sentence structure. At a later date I will write some posts on grammar and punctuation. Once again, I found a post by Lucy Mccarraher “How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss: sentence structure and punctuation” a great read, that helps to clarify sentence structure.

Back to Basics.

A sentence can be long or short and it generally has 3 fundamental components.

  • It must start with a capital letter.
  • It has to end with a full stop or other conclusive punctuation, and
  • It contains a subject and a verb.

Types of Sentences.

There are four different types of sentences. See this article on “Sentence Structure” by Elizabeth O’Brien (Grammar Revolution: Grammar the Easy Way) for more in depth explanations that are easy to read and understand on the different types of sentences.

  • Imperative sentences: exclamations, commands and requests. These sentences are the only ones where the subject and verb rule is exempt.
  • Simple sentences: A simple sentence contains only one independent clause. An independent clause is a group of words that expresses a complete thought, with a subject and a verb. For example: I ate chocolate. I is the subject, ate is the verb and it expresses a complete thought. These are ideal for quick action scenes with punchy statements and brisk dialogue.
  • Compound sentences: are where a conjunction joins two related simple sentences together. Conjunctions are “joining words” such as: and, or, but, because. This type of sentence contains at least two independent clauses. For example: She danced and he drank.
  • Complex sentences: these sentences are made up of a dependent clause and a main clause. The main clause can stand-alone. However, dependent clauses will turn into fragments if on their own. For example: I washed the dishes after I cooked dinner. I washed the dishes is the main clause as it is a complete sentence when by itself. After I cooked dinner is a dependent clause as it is not a complete sentence if standing alone.

Then it really gets interesting as you can combine the four main sentence types to create other sentences, like a compound-complex sentence. A compound-complex sentence contains at least two independent clauses, and at least one dependent clause.

Sentence Syntax.

The sentence syntax is essentially sentence structure. It is the way you put your words, grammar and punctuation together to create interesting and easy to read sentences. It is usually broken down into three syntactic slots.

Untitled
Molly (subject) drank (verb) wine (object).

A good rule of thumb is that you can load one or two of these slots with detail, but not all three. If you load all three slots then the sentence becomes harder to read and will slow your reader down. For example:

Filling up one slot:                                                                                                            Molly, drank a bottle of her favourite red wine.

Filling up two slots:
Molly, drank long and deep from a bottle of her favourite red wine.                                                                                                         

Filling up all three slots:                                                                                                  Molly, lonely and single once more, drank long and deep from a bottle of her favourite red wine.

So remember, simplicity is key. Your reader doesn’t want to get bogged down in lengthy and overly detailed sentences. Keep the story moving forward by writing concise but descriptive sentences and adhering to the rules of sentence structure.

That brings us to the conclusion of the Building Your Novel Blog Series. You should now have a more in depth understanding of plotting, story structure, the dramatic elements, paragraph structure and sentence structure. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Please feel free to send me an email, comment if you have any questions, or wish to add anything else to these posts.

Paragraph Structure

Paragraph Structure

Yesterday we discussed the dramatic elements that underpin your story. Today we get down to the nitty gritty details of paragraph structure. It sounds boring, and it can be a dry subject. But if you can master how to write interesting and well-structured paragraphs then you will create an easy to read novel, and your readers will want to read more!

Lucy Mccarraher has produced a great, easy to read and understand post on paragraphs “How to write fiction without the fuss: paragraphs”. It is definitely worth a read if you are looking at how to write and structure your paragraphs.

What is a paragraph?

So what is a paragraph? In both fiction, and non-fiction writing the paragraph is considered one of the most basic building blocks. Obviously words and sentences are even more basic, but it is the paragraph that allows you to string your story together. By definition a paragraph is a distinct section of a piece of writing, usually dealing with a single theme and indicated by a new line, indentation, or numbering.”

A paragraph can be as little as one word, and as long as a page. But you need to be careful that it remains easy to read and emphasizes what you are saying. The purpose of a paragraph is to act as a visual break and to help create rhythms in your writing. The visual break helps readers to keep track of where they are up to on the page. Solid text, or very long paragraphs are intimidating and tiring to read. Paragraphs of different lengths help create rhythm within your story, as well as the atmosphere you wish to convey. For example; short paragraphs keep the action moving forward at a fast pace, whereas longer paragraphs tend to have detailed description and complex thought processes, which slow the story down.

Paragraph structure.

In non-fiction the structure of your paragraph generally has to follow a set of rules. In fiction writing, which is what we are focusing on today, these rules are more of a rough guideline. Whilst fiction writing doesn’t have the same rigid constraints of non-fiction writing, each paragraph should still convey an idea that relates to the next paragraph and follows a logical sequence.

Think of a paragraph as a framework that contains a certain amount of information. In non-fiction terms this could be description, dialogue, action or any combination of those components. It can be one word, or many sentences.

Starting a new paragraph.

When should you start a new paragraph? This is often a confusing part of writing, and hopefully the points below will help to clarify this for you:

  • Every time a different character starts to speak, their dialogue should start on a new line and form an individual paragraph. If there is action, internal though or description alternate this with their dialogue and you can keep it all in the same paragraph. However as soon as another character starts to speak or the focus shifts to them, then you should start a new paragraph.
  • Start a new paragraph with every new piece of action, narration or thought process.
  • When the focus of your story changes from one character to another begin a new paragraph.

 Order of paragraphs.

The most important consideration when deciding which paragraph goes where is the logic of your plot. Place related paragraphs together and read through them to see if they progress in a coherent and easy to read manner. Play around with the order, see how this changes your story and the effect and atmosphere you wish to create. It can take time and lots of revising to make your paragraph structure flow from one to the next.

Paragraph structure is a fundamental tool for all writers. Learn to write paragraphs well and you will build scenes and action, develop characters, introduce themes and control the tension and progress of your story in the best and most logical way.

Tomorrow, we will take it down another level to sentence structure. This is getting into the very fine details of writing and structuring. It will be the last post in the Building Your Novel series. But don’t think the learning ends there! There is so much more to writing your novel.

The Dramatic Elements

The Dramatic Elements

So far in the Building Your Novel Blog Series, we have discussed plotting and how to structure your story. Yesterday we touched briefly on the importance of the dramatic elements. Today we will go into more detail about the elements, how to incorporate them into your fictional novel and why they are important to your writing.

The four dramatic elements drive everything in your story. They are the fundamental building blocks that run underneath the outline of the 3-act structure. Each of the elements defines the next element, so that ultimately they combine together to form a powerful force behind your story. The elements are sub-textual, meaning they are not stated explicitly but the reader will feel their emotional force at work. It is what will bring them back to read more of your writing, and will create lasting impressions of your story.

Passion:

Your personal passions are your gateway to writing a memorable and successful novel. This is where all drama begins as an author. The more passionate you feel about something, the better you are able to convey those feelings through your writing to your readers. So what do you feel passionate about? Create a list if it helps, then you can use that to help pick a writing topic.

Theme:

From your passion you can derive a theme. Theme is the message you wish to share through your writing. The most effective themes are those that can be expressed in a few simple words, or a single short sentence. Passion and theme are quite similar, so to differentiate between them think of it like this: passion is your reason for writing your story, and theme is the take home message for your readers.

Theme is an essential tool a writer can use to test ideas for their story. As you develop each plot or story point ask yourself if it is interconnected to your theme. If it does not relate someway, then is it absolutely necessary to your story? If not, delete it!

Theme is most effectively conveyed by showing your readers what you want them to know, as opposed to telling them your message. For example, telling them that illegal drugs are bad is a weak message that your readers will not relate to. However by showing your reader the effect of illegal drugs on a person, their family and their health creates a lasting impression. Not many people enjoy being told what to believe, but this way you can subtly influence your reader and their beliefs.

Character:

It is your main characters’ inner conflict or flaw that drives your story and highlights your theme and passion. This is why when plotting your story it is important to take your time in developing your character.

Your character is a critical dramatic element that your story structure is based around. It is a good idea to develop your main character and their flaw or inner conflict early in your creative process and then base the other dramatic elements around your character flaw.

Generally speaking your main character may have several flaws, but when talking about structuring your story it is easiest to pick one main flaw and focus on that.

Characters are so important to your story. There will be a whole post dedicated to Character Development after the Building Your Novel series.

Premise

You premise combines your main character’s flaw and theme to form a “what if?” situation. It helps to move your story from start to finish.

I found this example a great help:

What if a (main character) set out to (task/journey) in order to (goal) and discovered (inner epiphany).

This helps you to define your main character and their flaw, the journey they take and their epiphany. From here you can flesh your story out, but the premise is a simple short sentence to help define your plot and story.

I hope this has helped to highlight the importance of the dramatic elements and how they help to draw your reader into your story. There is a blank worksheet on the Learning Tools page that you can print out and use to help plan your novel using the four dramatic elements. Tomorrow we will cover paragraph structure. The aim is to improve your writing, and it is also useful to help your write interesting and well-structured paragraphs. The end goal is a story that is easy to read and flows from one paragraph to the next.

Plot and Story Structure Relationship

Plot and Story Relationship

I have spoken a lot about plotting, using the 5 element or the 3 element style, and story structure utilizing the 3-act framework. It can be confusing when trying to come up with your story outline, plot and structure how they all relate to each other. So I decided to add a quick blog to this series that I hope clears up some of the confusion for you. I have designed a graph with all these elements overlapping to show their relationship. There is also a blank worksheet in Learning Tools that incorporates all these points.

GRAPH

Story Structure

Story Structure

Yesterday we explored how to develop the plot of your novel. Today we are going to cover story structure. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I just want to state again that plot is the physical aspects of your novel and story structure is based around emotional and character development.

Traditionally, story structure follows a path of rising action building up to a climax, which is then followed by a catharsis. A catharsis is a release of emotional tension that refreshes the spirit. Or in literary terms, it is a sound resolution to your book that leaves your readers satisfied and content. So how do you follow this guideline of creating tension in the lead up to a climax, followed by a cathartic resolution? This is where plotting and structuring come in handy. And it is not a matter of simply writing it out once, but building upon your idea in several stages until you have a fully developed story outline.

The Dramatic Elements of Story Structure.

There are four dramatic elements that underpin your novel and identifying them is the first step to develop your story structure. The four dramatic elements are passion, theme, character and premise. When these elements are properly defined and utilized they form a cohesive powerful force that pulls the reader in and keeps them interested in your story. The four dramatic elements are:

Passion: The more deeply you feel about your writing subject, the better you are able to convey that passion and emotion to your readers.

Theme: From your passion you will develop your theme. Theme is the message you would like to share with your readers.

Character: The best way to convey your theme is through your characters. Your main character is plagued by an inner conflict that drives your story and highlights your theme.

Premise: Is what propels your story from start to finish. It combines your main characters flaw and the theme of your story to create a single short question: “what if…..?”

Tomorrow we will discuss The Dramatic Elements in more detail.

Story Outline.

The next stage in developing your story structure is to construct a brief story outline. The easiest way to do this is to use the 3-act structure. Initially it is best to keep the first draft of your outline as short as possible; one sentence per checkpoint is a great place to start.

So what is the 3-act structure? It is exactly what it sounds like, a breakdown of your story into 3 acts! Each act then contains 3 checkpoints, which aim to incorporate all your important plot and story points into a logical outline. This breakdown into 3-acts, or 9 checkpoints, help you to design a story outline that follows the path of building tension until you reach a climax and then a resolution to your novel.

ACT 1

Hook: An interesting event that draws in your reader and opens your story.

Backstory: This is where the main character and setting is established.

Trigger: This is usually an intense event that pushes your main character into a crisis.

ACT 2

Crisis: Can be emotional or physical crisis that is based around your character’s flaw.

Struggle: More obstacles your main character must overcome to resolve the dilemma.

Epiphany: This is where your main character realizes what is holding them back from a resolution.

ACT 3:

Plan: Your main character devises a plan to overcome the dilemma.

Climax: The final confrontation.

Ending: The dilemma is resolved.

You can find a blank 3-act worksheet in Learning Tools that you can print off and use to help you develop your story. I have also written out an example of the 3-act structure using The Wizard of Oz as inspiration.

Story Form.

Now that you have plotted each of the nine checkpoints you can begin to flesh out the rest of your story into a short story form. This is the third stage in building your story and bringing your novel to life. To do this, you incorporate all your nine checkpoints from the 3-act structure into a few paragraphs that essentially describes your story in more detail. You can also add in the points from your 5 or 3 element plot structure. This way you are incorporating the physical and emotional aspects of your story. You add in more characters, sub-plots and key details. Keep in mind, that this is all in short form so that you can still fix flaws in your story or chop and change without having to re-write huge parts of your novel. It can also be helpful to give some one else this short story form so they can provide you with feedback and constructive criticism. It is a scary thought to give someone your story before you have actually written it, however it can help having a fresh pair of eyes look over your plot and structure. They may see inconsistencies or weak parts to your story that you missed. It will help you to build a strong, emotive story that will stay in your readers mind long after they have finished reading your book.

Helpful links for Story Structure.

I have found the following sites offer great tips and advice on story structure.

http://storyfix.com/blank-beat-sheet-form

http://lauralee1.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/story-structure-plot-points.html

http://www.savethecat.com/todays-blog/how-the-beats-helped-a-writer-self-publish-an-amazon-hit

https://timstout.wordpress.com/story-structure/blake-snyders-beat-sheet/

All of this plotting and planning may feel like it hinders your creativity, if that’s the case then you do not need to follow this structured way of writing. But once you have finished all this planning, you can go on to write from your heart and finish your novel.

That concludes the second post in the Build Your Novel Blog Series. Please come back and check out tomorrow’s post on The Dramatic Elements. It provides more detail on each element and how to incorporate them into your novel.

 

Plotting!

Plotting

Are you flying by the seat of your pants when writing your novel? Are you a rebel who doesn’t sit down to plot before writing your story? Instead of just writing whatever pops into your head and seeing where it leads you, have you thought about plotting first? I am not saying that you should not let your creativity take you wherever you want to go, but following some plan and structure can help take your novel to the next level. By following a rough road map for your story you ensure it follows a logical course of action, and it really does help to develop the emotional and physical aspects of your novel. It gives it more depth then just wallowing along.

I used to have an idea for a story and just sit down and write. Now I spend the time creating a rough plot, structure and developing characters. It sounds time consuming, but I find it so helpful. My writing has improved tremendously and my novels are now multi-dimensional instead of rather simplistic. Please don’t think I am accusing anyone who doesn’t plot of writing trash. If that works for you and you create great writing then fantastic! I envy you. My problem with not having a plot to guide me is I tend to get lost in my writing and waffle. If you find the same, then keep reading.

I have developed the following tips and knowledge about plotting from research, writing courses and experimenting with various methods. Like I have said many times before, writing is a very individual process and you need to find what works for you. Borrow tips and advice from the web, fellow writers and books until you develop a method that works for you.

What is Plot?

First of all, make sure you know the difference between plot and story structure. They are terms that can often be used interchangeably, however they are very different. They are both vital to the telling of your story and it is important if you want to sketch out your novel before writing it, that you know the difference between them.

Fundamentally plot is the “what” and “why” of your story, and structure is how you tell your reader about it. Structure can be changed to suit the way you would like to tell the story, whereas plot tends to be linear. Plot is a roadmap from point A to point B that helps to organize the events and information of your novel in a logical manner; essentially it is the sequence of your story. Plot is what you use to draw the reader into your story and the character’s lives; it is the mechanism for drawing the readers’ interest.

The Elements of Plot.

Traditionally a plot contains 5 elements. This part is a bit dry and clinical, but is important to understand if you would like help to develop a great plot that is logical and makes sense to your reader. The 5 elements:

  1. Exposition: or introduction. This is the beginning of your story where you establish characters and the setting. Traditionally this is also where you first introduce the conflict or main problem that is central to your novel.
  2. Rising action: This is the part of your novel where a series of events lead up to the conflict or climax. This is the main part of the story where you build upon the readers’ emotions using excitement, tension, fear and all those other emotions.
  3. Climax: The climax is the main point of the plot; it is the turning point of the story.
  4. Falling action: This is where you wind up the story. There is resolution for the main characters of your story.
  5. Denouement: The end of the novel, either happy or tragic.

5plotelements

If you find the traditional 5 plot elements hard to use, or too restrictive, then don’t worry. You can reduce your plot down to 3 simple elements and base your story around that:

  1. An initial problem (beginning).
  2. Added complication (middle).
  3. A resolution (end).

I tend to use the 3 elements as I find it less dry and restrictive. You will find worksheets for the 5 elements and the 3 elements plotting styles on the Learning Tools page. They are blank worksheets you can print out in order to help with plotting.

How Do You Design An Interesting Plot?

So, you now know the elements of plotting but how do you design a good and interesting plot? A good plot draws your reader in, maintains their interest, and creates long-lasting impressions and memories of your book. I have found that there are 3 basic ways to help create a good plot:

  1. You can use a traditional story or anecdote from real life, whether yours or someone else’s.
  2. You can start with the initial situation, or conflict, and work forward.
  3. You can pick your climax and work back from there.

So you can see from this, that plot sketching is usually event orientated.

Useful Links:

A Writer’s Cheat Sheet to Plot and Structure

Learn the Elements of a Novel: Structure and Plot.

Plot vs Structure

That concludes the first blog post in the Build Your Novel Blog Series. Tomorrow we will cover story structure, which tends to be more emotional and character orientated. This is the next step in plotting and outlining your best selling novel!

Building Your Novel Blog Series

BuildingYourNovel

Over the next week I will be posting a blog series on structuring your fiction novel and how to make it interesting. It will also include tips and rules for paragraph and sentence structuring.

Through each of the posts in this series you will learn how to plot, structure and outline your novel. Each post will build upon the one before, so that you will flesh out your ideas, weed out any that don’t work, and form a cohesive and emotional story that readers will find easy to follow and relate too.

At the end of the series, you will have a great arsenal of tools to help with your novel writing. I have said it before, and I will say it again, writing is very personal. You can choose to use these tools, or not. It is your creative process, and how you develop your story is up to you.

Building Your Novel Blog Series:

Plotting.

Story structure.

The Dramatic Elements.

Paragraph Structure.

Sentence Structure.

Point of View

Point of View-2

One of the most important decisions you will make when planning your writing piece is what point of view you will write in. Your choices for point of view are many and powerful. It provides the means for how the readers enter your story and can change the depth and emotion of that story depending on how close the reader is to the action.

What is your point of view? Where are you standing when you write your sentence, your paragraph, and your story? Whose eyes are you looking out of? The characteristics of the person telling your story, and how close that teller is to the action can change your story completely. Consider the various points of view you can use carefully when planning your writing project in order to create the biggest impact.

These sites are a great resource for defining and explaining the different points of view available for your use when writing your project.

Literature – Exploring Point of View.

Understanding Point of View in Literature.

Different Types of Point of View – The Beginning Writer.

Consider their various advantages and disadvantages carefully when picking which point of view you would like to tell your story from.

First Person POV: This viewpoint is limited to your chosen narrator’s point of view. Your story is told from their perspective, therefore your written words must sound like them, what their character would think or feel or do. Typically the narrator writes using “I” when applying this point of view. The advantage of this viewpoint is the reader is close to the action, emotionally and physically. It will draw them in close to your narrator’s story and help build a solid rapport with the narrator. The disadvantage of this POV is you are limited to only what the narrator knows, senses and feels. You are stuck to one person’s perspective.

Third Person Limited POV: This viewpoint is similar to first person POV, however the character’s name, or third person pronouns such as he, she, they or them are used instead of I. The narrator is you, the writer. You tell the story from the characters POV. The advantages and disadvantages of this POV are the same for first person POV.

Third Person Multiple POV: This viewpoint allows you to write from several different characters points of view. The advantages of this is the reader will have knowledge of most aspects of the story, as opposed to being limited to only one person’s perspective, they will be able to see all parts of the story unfold. However, the disadvantage is it can create confusion in your readers if not handled carefully. You must ensure the transition from one character to another is distinct.

Omniscient POV: A “god-like” point of view. You write the story as if you are all-knowing and all-seeing. The advantages of this are the narrator knows the past, present, and future and can share with the reader at any time. The disadvantages of this are the reader is removed from the main character and may not be able to relate to the characters as well.

When you choose which point of view you would like to tell your story from, you typically need to stick to that viewpoint. If you chop and change it can be jarring and doesn’t make for nice reading. To keep your readers interested and invested in your story you must be consistent.

If you are finding it hard to choose there is a point of view exercise that can help you ascertain what viewpoint will be the best to tell your story from.

POINT OF VIEW EXERCISE