Quick Tip: How to Avoid Muddy Viewpoints

Each scene needs to have a clear point-of-view character. The rule is one POV per scene. No “head- hopping.” The exception is when you’re using omniscient POV, which has its own challenges. Otherwise, stick with one.  
Author:
Publish date:

Each scene needs to have a clear point-of-view character. The rule is one POV per scene. No “head- hopping.” The exception is when you’re using omniscient POV, which has its own challenges. Otherwise, stick with one.

Go over your scenes and see if, within the first couple of paragraphs, the viewpoint is clear. If not, you can quickly remedy the situation. Instead of starting a scene this way:

The room was stuffy and packed with people.

Do it like this:

Steve walked into the stuffy room and tried to get past the mass of people.

Throughout the scene, you may need to remind us whose head we’re in. You can do this with little clues, such as “Steve knew that he had to …” or “Steve felt the sweat under his arms …”

This article appeared in the March/April issue of Writer's Digest. Click here to order your copy in print. If you prefer a digital download of the issue, click here.

Sara Nisha Adams: On the Celebration of Reading in Literary Fiction

Sara Nisha Adams: On the Celebration of Reading in Literary Fiction

Debut author Sara Nisha discusses the impact of growing up reading on her writing as an adult.

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Here are the top live streams, podcasts, and YouTube channels as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 576

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a back to blank poem.

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Christina Wyman discusses how for children who suffer difficult family dynamics, seeing their experiences reflected in books is few and far between.

the island

The Island

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, build yourself an island.

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed discusses how his personal experiences acted as the impetus for his new book, Radiant Fugitives, and how it went from novella to novel.

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

There's nothing funny about learning when to use comedy and comity (OK, maybe a little humor) with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Debut author Shugri Said Salh discusses how wanting to know her mother lead her to writing her coming-of-age novel, The Last Nomad.

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

Does your manuscript need a little more definition, but you’re not sure where to begin? Try these 100 tips to give your words more power.