Transgressive Fiction Perspective (POV)

General POV

What POV is the best

POV Free Worksheet

What POV fits Transgressive Fiction

Vanessa Place, 2013. Photo: Patrick Greaney.


General Writing Point of View


The point of view is the perspective that a story is told. As a writer, depending on the mood of the story or characters/worldbuilding, you may choose a perspective that fits the story the best. So, you may choose to tell your story from one of the following perspectives or a mix of them. I use some examples from Enero, one of my books to clarify all these as I use a mix of some of the following perspectives in one novel.






  • First-person: Mainly using "I" or "we"

"I never wanted to be on Earth in such conditions. I was the observer of the ups and downs in human civilization throughout the time. At this epoch, death was gradually increasing in velocity, thrashing on the city like rain. The whole world was on the verge of chaos."


The main character of my book, Geras, is mostly describes everything from his perspective. Sometimes, we see him from another character's view but mostly, if it's about him, I used the first person. The reason was that I wanted to highlight him as the main character, give him a dominant manipulative power over the story and I also wanted the reader to be able to judge him from inside his mind and from other character's viewpoint.

  • Second-person: Mainly using "you" and "your"

"You’re confused. You’re lost. You ask yourself where you are and what has happened to you. Let me tell you. They sent you back. Your touch was a death to the arrangement of New Omniverse information. Your existence depended on nothingness. You are the end. You are the mortality. You are the death."


Enaro is an extremely complex book. I know because I, personally, struggled with writing and rewriting it as time and space in this book has almost no meaning. It's deeply co-relates with the philosophy of life and existence, similar to Plato's Cave hypothesis, of who we are in reality. This is an example from the very end of the book whereas as a reader you should ask yourself "what the heck!" was it all along about you? who is this you at the end of the book? I chose to use a second-person view to finish the book to insist on the timeless - spacelessness of the whole story, to show how we are all entangled into one being, how we are part of a whole.

  • Third-person limited: Mainly using "he," "she," or "it," about onle ONE character

"His face was reflecting in the metal. His wet eyes carried a weight of sadness. The metal reflected a golden light on his white stubble. Numb and wan of thoughts, he was incapable of any facial reactions."


This is a chapter of the book, focuses only on one character name "Kes" and as it is an introduction to this character, I wanted to focus on him and his behavior from a third-person perspective. All the characters in this book, except Geras, are written in third-person person limited or Omni perspectives depend on the situation. For example, in the last chapters of the book, some characters are written in the first-person.

  • Third Person Multiple: Similar to limited but focus on several characters' minds

Using this POV, we can enter the minds of multiple characters in the story. We still use “he,” “she,” and “it,” but now we follow multiple people.

"Geras sat next to the rotten body of Roxana while Pius was whimpering by Roxana’s body.

- This is abnormal. What happened to her?” Lewinski’s face torn with conflict.

Geras moved his four fingers through her burnt to coal, body,

- I can’t explain Lewinski

Here, I used myself as a viewer. It means I am there with Geras, Pius, Lewinski, and Roxana. I just explain what I see as the writer like a hidden camera. I do not exist as a character. I only exist as a viewer.

  • Third-person omniscient: Similar to multiple, focuses on several characters but we are the GOD!

"Kes almost forgot himself seeing Pius in that condition. His face was chalk pale. He wanted to ask about Adeline but he assumed, Pius was as unaware as he was."


Similar to multiple POV but, actually, you know what every character is thinking and you know it all. With this POV, we actually know what every character is thinking. Here, we don't trick the reader, we are telling them what this character is thinking and feeling. We know all the secrets about them. I didn't use Omni for ENARO as I didn't want the reader to know about everything. I wanted to uncover the story gradually and let the reader judge the characters based on their evolution or the story they are building up. I use a small part of ENaro which I thought might be a good example of Omni as it is where we are almost finishing the book.


In this scene, the reader knows the back story of Pius and we read that Pius possibly kill Roxana but Kes doesn't know it. So, we are the secret keeper of Pius here or possibly want to shout "Damn it, Kes. He killed your lover!"


In Omni, we’re not shifting between characters unlike the multiple. From the beginning, it is clear that we know the inner voice and intention of each character’s minds, all the time. This is something I didn't want in ENARO.

Source: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/


Which POV is best and when to use it

Choosing a POV depends on a variety of factors: the type of fiction, whether short or long, the genre, the writer's choice, and preference, etc. Keep in mind, what point of view you choose in your story depends on how you want the story to be directed. For example, if you're writing as if it's a journal/diary/letter, normally you're describing everything from a first-person perspective, and sometimes, you talk to your diary as if it's a second-person. For example, Jean Webster in "Daddy-Long-Legs" is telling the story from the perspective of Judy/Jerusha (the main character) through letters to Daddy Long Legs. Here's an example from the book:


Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

You never answered my question and it was very important.

ARE YOU BALD?


This means that we see things from her POV which can be a mix of, First and Second-person. This is one of those moments in life where there’s no clear right or wrong answer. But don’t let that bring you down. Rather, let it enlighten you. You can use whatever point of view flows most naturally for the story you want to tell. So:


Choose First-person if: it's intimate, personal, or you have a particular interest in one of your characters. This POV provides a sense of intimacy and closeness to a character or specific story/scene. With this POV you are the character, we read the story through that character's eyes and we know whatever he/she is thinking.

Usage: Perfect for character development, no limit to what you can describe when you talk, see and feel from the first-person view which is normally the main character or the narrator. It is also good if you want to hide something from the reader because they might know what the main character is thinking, but they don't know what the others are thinking. Best fit for short stories.


Choose Second-person if: You're giving instructions, talking with your reader, or assuming your reader is the other character (like Daddy Long Leg example). This was used in "Choose your own adventure" books or in general gamebooks. It is the most inflexible POV.


Usage: to guide the reader in a particular direction, writing children's books, gamebooks (like choice books, RPGs, CYOA), or in general instructional writing like travel writing. Good writings that try to help the reader or guide them to do something.