Point of View

      The literary terms guide would define 'point of view' or 'POV' as 'the way a story is told.' More specifically, it refers to who tells it and how. As to the who, the story teller will usually be someone in the story, say, the main character, and thus someone who refers to himself as 'I' throughout, or an independent narrator possessed of a certain degree of knowledge regarding all characters.

      What made sense to me as I developed so many important characters in Destination Nazca was to provide the reader with the thoughts (and so, attitudes) and knowledge (whether well informed or less so) of each character who tells the story in any given chapter. I am writing then, in the '3rd person.' I am also a 'fallible' narrator, in that my characters may provide entirely accurate information about the world, but also they may not!

      In this way, the reader gains insight into the way characters feel about persons, things and events surrounding them, but has to use their own expertise to be certain of the story teller's accuracy. What can be challenging using this method is when several main characters converge in one scene. That is, in such a case, which character is speaking for all, or does each character, if they speak, speak for themselves? In the case of Destination Nazca, it is almost invariably the latter. I tried to give the speaker's voice to the narrative behind their dialogue, and I tended to make multi-character chapters 'straight out' regarding the truth: characters tend to provide accurate information when in a cluster, or else I will alert you!

      Of course, in some cases, and usually for comic effect, I allow a character with less information to voice an entire chapter, when the reader's expectation would indicate a different character should. In other chapters, I may be trying to hide something from the reader at that point, and so I allow a less informed character to speak; thus promoting suspense leading up to surprise.

      POV is also, what helps an author avoid lawsuits. As the author, I give personality to my characters; thus, in order to create interesting and logical diversity of character, it is entirely probable that I created a few characters with whom I personally would be at odds with were they actually living. This is a simple concept that I am sure most readers would understand and appreciate, but on the other hand, I would not want someone to later accuse me of being, say, the General.

      I provide the thought and voice of all characters, but I personally, do not share the opinions of many of them!

      In short, I believe readers are best off remembering that until many characters converge in a chapter, then expect the speaker to be one character's fallible perspective. Once together with other characters, expect the speaker to be doing their best to describe the events they are experiencing.

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