Sandra Gerth author of the Writer's Guides Series

3 quick tips to avoid POV violations in your book

POV violations

Since we all have busy lives, I thought I’d give you three quick tips you can apply to your manuscript or add to your self-editing checklist right now. Each of these tips will help you avoid point of view (POV) violations that will jar readers out of your story and might make them stop reading.   Tip #1: Don’t describe the character’s voice before they speak If you are telling your readers how a character’s voice sounds before they even speak, you are violating the point of view. No matter whether the POV character is the speaker or the person …

Read more3 quick tips to avoid POV violations in your book

My writing guide “Point of View” is now available as a paperback

Point of View by Sandra Gerth

While I’m reading novels mostly as ebooks these days, I still prefer to buy the paperback versions when it comes to nonfiction. That way, I can highlight especially important sections and can keep a copy on my desk to look things up quickly.  If you are the same, I have good news for you: My writers’ guide Point of View: How to use the different POV types, avoid head-hopping, and choose the best point of view for your book is now available as a paperback too!  Point of view (POV) is one of the most powerful tools in a writer’s …

Read moreMy writing guide “Point of View” is now available as a paperback

7 helpful considerations for choosing a point of view character

The most popular point of view (POV) in genres like romance novels is third-person limited POV with two or more point of view characters. That means that you’ll stick to the perspective of one character per scene (or even per chapter), but can switch to a new POV character between scenes (or chapters). For each scene, you have to decide on a POV character. Since readers will witness the scene through the eyes of the POV character, that’s a very important choice. How to choose the right point of view character for a scene Here are a few considerations that might …

Read more7 helpful considerations for choosing a point of view character

How to avoid head hopping and point of view violations

What’s point of view (POV)? Point of view (POV) is the perspective through which readers are viewing the story. Through whose eyes–and other senses–are readers experiencing the events of the story? What’s a POV violation? When you’re writing in third person limited POV, you are limited to one POV character per scene. You can’t write about things your POV character doesn’t see, hear, feel, or know. You can’t show us what’s going on behind your POV character or what the person on the other end of the phone line is doing while the POV character is talking to him or …

Read moreHow to avoid head hopping and point of view violations

Is third-person limited POV limiting?

Third-person limited is probably the most common point of view in contemporary genre fiction, yet as an editor, I have often worked with authors who struggle with this POV. What is third-person limited POV? In third-person limited POV, the story—or a part of it—is told from only one character’s perspective. It’s called a limited POV because you’re limited to accessing the mind of only one character at a time. You can tell your readers only what this character is feeling, thinking, and experiencing. If you reveal things that go on in the mind of another character, you are head hopping …

Read moreIs third-person limited POV limiting?

Point of view in fiction

What is point of view? Point of view is the answer to the question “Who is telling us the story?” (or at least this scene). Are we watching everything from the outside, and a storyteller/author is telling the story? (= omniscient POV)? Or are we experiencing things through the senses of a character (might be first person POV, using “I”, or third person limited, using “she”)? POV is a continuum Many people see point of view as separate and distinct categories, but I personally think it’s more of a continuum. One dimension that defines POV is how much knowledge readers …

Read morePoint of view in fiction

Avoid filter words in your writing

If you’re anything like I am, you probably read a lot of books or blog posts about writing. One thing I rarely see mentioned anywhere are so-called filters, so I thought I’d blog about it today. Filters have to do with point of view. What is point of view? Basically, point of view is the “camera angle” from which we see the action when we read a book. Most romance novels are written in third-person limited POV—we witness everything through the eyes of one single character per scene. It’s called “limited” because we are limited to the mind of one …

Read moreAvoid filter words in your writing