My last spoonful ended with a teaser: what POV (Point-of-View) is most similar to 3rd Person Limited? Well, the answer is the topic of this week's Spoonful.
We learned in Spoonful #46 that the 3rd Person Limited POV uses a narrator who can only see into one character's inner thoughts. That POV is tricky because the narrator refers to that character by proper name and also by HE, SHE, and THEY.
It probably won't surprise you to learn that the 1st Person POV also centers on one character's inner thoughts. This time, however, that character visibly acts as the book's narrator by referring to themselves with I, ME, and MY. If the prior POV is the most challenging to discern, this POV is probably the easiest. It bears repeating that POV is determined by examining a book's narration. When characters talk through dialogue, they all refer to themselves as I.
What is the benefit of the 1st Person POV? When the narrator reveals his or her deepest inner thoughts and perceptions, readers can develop powerful connections to the character. The pitfall, however, is how to use this POV without starting every other sentence with the word I. The writer must also take care not to creep inside any other heads and only reveal what the narrator observes.
The 1st Person POV is also useful when switching narrators by chapter. In order for that to work well, the author must clearly differentiate between the alternating narrators. A great example of this is THE KANE CHRONICLES, by Rick Riordan, a trio of Egyptian Mythology-themed books featuring narrators (and siblings) Sadie and Carter. Each character is so well drawn, you can easily tell who's narrating even without their names as chapter headings.
The last POV in this miniseries will air next week. Can YOU figure out which one is missing? Stay tuned!
Laura Fineberg Cooper