Sandra Gerth - author of the Writers' Guide Series

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 kit, but it’s also one of the hardest to understand and master.

My writers’ guide will teach you how to handle point of view in a way that will make your readers identify with your main character, draw them into the story, and keep them captivated until the very last page.

Each chapter includes concrete examples and exercises that will hone your writing skills. Whether you’re a novice writer working on her first story or an established author, this book will help you to:

  • Discover what point of view is and why it’s so important,
  • Understand the different types of point of view such as first-person, third-person, omniscient, and deep POV,
  • Choose the point of view that works best for your story,
  • Write a novel from multiple viewpoints without confusing your readers,
  • Avoid head-hopping and other POV violations that would throw your readers out of the story,
  • Write internal monologue and take your readers deeply into your character’s mind,
  • Create suspense and tension by using POV techniques,
  • Let your readers experience events through your main character’s eyes to get them emotionally involved in your story.

Get your paperback copy here: 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon DE

Happy writing! 




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

  1. Hi Sandra.

    I just finihed reading your book. 10/10. I have one question that you did not address in your book. (Third person – mutiple POV section.)

    You gave us a story between Robin and Alana. And you said you switched point of view at the scene break. So, my question is, what exactly is a scene breaks within a chapter? And how would we know we could possible have a scene break at that point? Is a scene break every paragraph? Or is it when something changes in that particular scene? Or if a character walks from the bedroom to living room?
    I don’t know what identifies as a scene break, and when to to change POV, or how many pages it should be roughly. It was a little confusing when you changed the POV in your story because to me I thought the story between Robin and Alana was just on scene and imagined it should have been told just from Alana’s pov.
    So, PLEASE can you give some examples on what a change of scenes would be so I have a better idea when the start of a new scene could potentially be so I can start the new scene with a change of POV, asI don’t know exactly whene when to change POV?
    Thank you

    • Thanks for reading “Point of View”! I’m glad you found it helpful.

      A scene is a unit of events that usually happen at the same time, place, and are told from the same POV. It’s a subunit of a chapter. Authors differ in how long their scenes tend to be. It also depends on the genre. Faster-paced genres have, on average, shorter scenes. I write romance novels, and the majority of my scenes are between 500 and 2,000 words (although some are longer, of course).

      Here are a few examples of scene breaks, all from my latest novel, “Wrong Number, Right Woman.” The scene breaks are indicated by the * * *

      Denny watched her with a fond grin. Good old bribery. Works every time. Now if only her moves were as successful when it came to charming women. Sighing, she followed Bella up the driveway to the two-story townhouse complex where they lived.

      * * *

      Half an hour later, Denny spooned the tomato sauce filling into the scooped-out zucchini and sprinkled shredded cheese and a bit of basil over them. Once the zucchini boats sizzled away in the oven, she dropped onto a chair next to Bella, who was doing her math homework at the dining room table. Whew. It felt good to be off her feet.

      I used a scene break because one unit of events was wrapped up, then we jumped ahead in time. The new scene starts with the same POV character, but in a different location and at a different time.

      Example 2:

      “Well, I guess then you’ll have to be the one texting her,” Salem said. “Phones work both ways, you know?”

      “Smart-ass.” But maybe Salem was right. So far, it had always been Sneaker Woman who had initiated a conversation. This time, it might be up to Denny to contact her. If only she could figure out what to say.

      * * *

      Eliza pulled out her bed that was hidden in the bottom compartment of the cabinet during the day—one of the best features of her tiny apartment. Yawning, she flicked off the light and crawled beneath the covers. Then she remembered that she had to get up at eight tomorrow to set up the booth she and Heather shared to sell their craft items at Saturday Market, so she reached for her phone and set her alarm, just in case she didn’t wake up on her own.

      Just as she had settled down again and tried to shut off all thoughts so she could go to sleep, her phone chirped.

      I used a scene break here because I wanted to show Denny’s decision to contact Eliza from Denny’s point of view and then show Eliza’s reaction to it from Eliza’s POV. Of course, I could have chosen to not have a scene break and have the decision to text Eliza and then the text conversation all in scene, all from Denny’s point of view.

      In general, I tend to use a scene break (or a chapter break) if I switch to a new place, a new time, or a new point of view. The new scene could be in the same POV as the scene before but take place a day or several days later. Or it takes place directly after the previous scene, but I chose to switch to another POV because the new POV character has an interesting emotional reaction or insight that I want to share with readers.

      I hope that helps!

  2. Hi, thank you for the detailed reply as this has now helped my understanding much better.

    So, basically we could have a scene break in the same location and time just like with Alana and Robin, but you fleshed out one character’s emotions and thoughts on the podium, then the other character’s emotions and thoughts who was battling with not trying to sick her teeth in someones neck to fulfil her first and hunger? So we get a good balance from each character’s perspective without headhoping

    • Exactly! I wouldn’t advise to switch POV in the middle what could have been one scene too often, but if it becomes necessary to give deeper insight into both characters, I divide the scene into two scenes and use a scene break to indicate that the POV is switching. But there are authors who stick to one POV per chapter. Both approaches are valid. The only thing to avoid is head hopping (jumping from one POV to another within a scene)

  3. This is great info.
    Sandra can I please ask a question?

    When you say no headhoping POV for each character. Is it only the character’s internal thoughts? Or are we talking about the whole narration for that character? Meaning not only his/her thoughts, but what they feel as well?

    Let’s say I have 2 characters, Sally and John. We are in Sally’s pov for the whole of this scene.

    John is about to dump Sally, but he does not know how to break it to her. He is nervous snd loves her so much, but I want the audience to sort of understand his pov as to how hard this is for him. Is it possible to describe his feelings without actually using his internal thoughts to still be in Sally’s POV? Or if I do describe what John is feeling right now, then would that mean I have to be in John’s POV instead of Sally’s?

    • So let’s assume in a given scene, we are in Sally’s point of view. You can give readers insight into what Sally is thinking and feeling, but you can’t reveal anything that Sally wouldn’t know or wouldn’t be thinking about.

      If you want readers to know John is nervous, you can have Sally observe his body language, e.g., fidgeting with his keys, pacing, nibbling his lip, sweat on his brow, etc. But if you tell us anything that Sally wouldn’t notice, you are head hopping / violating Sally’s POV.

      Chapters 8 and 15 of my writers’ guide “Point of View” deal with how to reveal emotions of a non-POV character and how to avoid head hopping:

  4. Hi, I now bought 4 of your books. They are really helping me. I have one question in regardd to scene breaks.

    How many scene breaks (pov changes in multi 3rd person) can I get away with per chapter? Please give me an actual number ad you are an editor because in your book you don’t give a specific. I just want to know if I can do 2 pov changes in each chapter with a scene break as I have wuite a lare cast with main characters.

    • As with many things in writing, there’s no “one-answer-fits-all.” It depends on your genre and its conventions. In some genres, editors tell you to only have one POV per chapter and switch point of view only at the start of a chapter, then stick with that POV throughout the rest of the chapter. In my genre (romances between women), switching POV at the start of a new scene is not unusual at all. So if a chapter has three scenes, scene 1 might be written from main character 1’s POV, scene 2 from the POV of MC2, then scene 3 is back to MC3.

      It also depends on whether you are self-publishing or planning to submit your book to a particular publishing house.

      If you want to submit to a publishing house, take a look at how authors who publish with that publisher handle scene breaks, POVs, and the number of scenes in a chapter.

      If you are self-publishing, you can decide to do it however you want. However, keep genre conventions and reader preferences in mind.

      I would suggest looking at half a dozen to a dozen favorite novels in your chosen genre & subgenre. Make sure they are all novels that have been published in the last 5 years, since conventions change over time.

      Hope that gives you a good starting point!


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