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Managing Point of view correctly will help to intensify the reader’s engagement with your story.

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Point of view is one of the most under used tools in a writer’s tool kit. The main points of view consist of:

  • First person

– I did this…

  • Second person

– You did this…

  • Third person

–He/she did this…

Which characters are your viewpoint characters? Which characters will have their thoughts and feelings represented in the narrative?


Audio From Kim Wilkins – Point of View


Viewpoint characters experience the story for your reader. Listen or download the audio below for how to manage viewpoint.

Don’t forget to download the audio notes below too (available in PDF format) before you listen to this week’s lesson so you can take notes.



PDF (right click and ‘Save As’): Audio Notes – Lesson 11 – Point of View



  • Experience the story for your reader
  • Make the story more than just black marks on a white page.



  • Limit VP characters to 4 or fewer. (Your reader can engage with your characters more intimately.)
  • Choose characters that you want the reader to be passionate about.
  • Choose characters that will help you tell the story and give you access to the events you want to narrate.
  • Non VP characters can only reveal themselves through action and dialogue.
  • VP baddy characters allows you to create dramatic irony.
  • Choose your VP characters mindfully – just like you would choose your friends.
  • Choose your viewpoint characters for specific reasons.



  • Head hopping. Have only one viewpoint per scene.
  • Obvious devices – the ‘convenient witness’
  • VP table tennis.
  • Avoid arbitrary changes in viewpoint.


Viewpoint characters experience the world on their minds and bodies just like real people. How does this feel? If you can’t answer this, you have to work harder, not gloss over it.

Always choose the right character to experience the scene. Choose the VP character that has the most at stake.

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red avatar 5EXERCISE: Your Character’s Emotion

Time to explore your main character experiencing an emotion.



  • Write a paragraph (300 – 500 words) exploring your main character dealing with a particularly emotional experience.
  • Submit to your tutor by email to this address: [email protected]
  • Make sure your subject heading is: ‘YONline – [Insert Your Name Here]’. If you do not appropriately label your email as specified in the subject heading you may not receive feedback on your piece.

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red avatar 5EXERCISE: Feelings

Contribute to the How Does It Feel Forum by writing about emotions in terms of how they are experienced physically.



  1. On the forum, suggest one of the big emotions (don’t use fear) eg grief, shame, guilt, anger, etc.
  2. Note some different parts of your body and how that emotion feels in those parts of your body. E.g when you’re afraid, do your feet tingle? When you’re angry, do your ribs grow hot? Create a heading and some dot point notes about your chosen emotion.
  3. Contribute to other people’s lists, too, at least two. Just make dot points.

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