Point of View

  • Leader
    September 29, 2014 6:14 PM EDT
    From Game of Thrones author George Martin, he mentions the point of view characters and their importance to the story.

    Choose your point-of-view characters to broaden the narrative’s scope

    My story is essentially about a world at war. It begins very small with everybody apart from Daenerys in the castle of Winterfell. It’s a very tight focus, and then as the characters split apart, each character encounters more people and additional POVs come into focus.

    It’s like if you were trying to do World War 2 as a novel: do you just take one average GI? Well that would only cover the European theatre, not the Pacific. Do you make Hitler a point-of-view character to show the other side? What about the Japanese or Italy? Roosevelt, Mussolini, Eisenhower — all these characters have a unique viewpoint that presents something huge in Word War 2.

    So you either need an omnificent viewpoint structure where you’re telling it from the point of view of God, which is a pretty outdated literary technique, or you have a mosaic of people who are seeing one small part of the story and through that you get the entire picture. That’s the path I chose to take.


    Have you given thought to your character's POV when you are writing the story or planning it? Do you include, like he describes, a mosaic of people who each bring their unique point of view to the story? Do you instead prefer the God point of view?

    Thinking about this, it makes me want to write some characters with their POVs just for practice. Maybe in some ancient lost city or some distant world.