Point of View-Whose Telling the Story? | Susan Palmquist | Skillshare

Point of View-Whose Telling the Story?

Susan Palmquist, Author, Dream Inspirer and Writing Guru

Point of View-Whose Telling the Story?

Susan Palmquist, Author, Dream Inspirer and Writing Guru

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
5 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson One-What is Point of View?

    • 3. Lesson Two-Who's Telling Your Story?

    • 4. Lesson Three-How Many Should Tell Your Story?

    • 5. Class Wrap-Up and What's Next

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this fourth class in the yearlong Novel Writing Blueprint series, you'll learn all about point of view.

What it is, how it can change your story's impact, up its emotional quota, and even how tweaking it can help certain writing problems.

You'll also learn about tenses and tips on deciding whether to write in first or third person.

These are standalone classes but are more beneficial if taken together.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Susan Palmquist

Author, Dream Inspirer and Writing Guru



I’m Susan Palmquist and for the last 20 years I’ve been an author, freelance writer, editor, blogger, teacher and tutor, (and before that I was a publicist).

It feels like I’ve squeezed a lot into two decades and it’s my tips and experience that I’ve learned along the way that I’m now happy to share with you here at Skillshare.

I’d like to show you how you too can write for fun or even for a living whether it be fiction or non-fiction.

Getting published wasn’t easy for me but I’m now the author, (under my own name and pen name Vanessa Devereaux), of 100 plus books and counting. There’s nothing I love more than helping others do the same thing.

I have my own coaching and critiquing business... See full profile

Related Skills

Writing Creative

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to the novel writing Blueprint Class. My Name. Sutin Palmquist and I'm a published author, freelance writer and an instructor here at skill share. And this is part of my year long novel writing class. You don't have to take every class, but I highly recommend you do. So you get an overview off how to write a novel on. I'll just cover what we've gone over so far. In January, February and March, January was all about deciding on what genre you would like to write in and setting up a writing schedule. In February, we looked at plotting your novel, and then last month it was key towards creating characters that, you know, jump off the page and that readers love. So this month is going to be all about point of view. So I'll see you in less than one, and we'll get started 2. Lesson One-What is Point of View?: hello and welcome to Lesson one. And then this one. I'd like to talk about what is P. O. V or point of view. I would call it P O. V, because it's a lot easier and keep saying point of view. So what exactly is it within the novel writing process? Well, I like to think it's the person in the story who says to the reader, Well, come along with me because I have a story to tell you on its anyone in a story who has a voice or I always think a thought because you're in their head, the point of view, the way that they view everything that's within your story. It's how they feel, how they think, what the experience, how they react to something. Um, and you know, when something happens, Teoh. It's either a physical thing, an emotional thing. It's a thought, so it's very kind of specific to who you choose to be the kind of gateway character to your noble, and I feel that it's very important on Daz. We make us through way through the lessons. I'll tell you how you can kind of decide who you want to be that point of view character. But first of all, I'd like to kind of I won't bore you with grammar because I know if you're like, make absolutely hated sitting through grammar school and, ah, but it's kind of top point of view is tied him with Grandma, so I'll make it as short as possible. Ah, festival point of view is connected to tense first person, second and third. Basically, I walked, He walked, they walked, and then it's also tied in with past, present and future. He walked, he walks or he will walk. So that's all out the way. I call it the nitty gritty of point of view and telling him with grand myself, that's basically that in and that show you don't have to think too much about that. And, uh, in the next lesson, I'm gonna show you how we decide. Ah, what one to use and who is going to be your point of view character So we'll see you then 3. Lesson Two-Who's Telling Your Story?: Hello and welcome back on in this lesson, our title, that who is going to tell the story? Sometimes it's very office. When you think of ah, plot or you have a storyline in mind. Sometimes it really is obvious who is going to tell the story. Sometimes it's it's order, and some people tell it all through one person's point of view. And, you know, other people like lots of points of view. And there's nothing wrong with that. You know, your story obviously don't know what story you're gonna right. But I'd like to go over a few things that I think will help you accuse the best person and you. In the end, it will be a stronger story. So who's going to tell your story now? A lot of people would think, Yeah, it's me. The writer is gonna tell story. Now that's the last thing that you actually want to come across is the read that you want the reader to think that they are reading this character or characters story. Um, you want them to, uh, you know, show the reader their story? I said, show I'm not telling will be getting more into showing verse ing telling That's one of the things that will be coming up in a later lesson. But, um, always say, show the reader and not tell readers. So you get into the habit of thinking how long those lines on. So who is the best person to do that? That's the first thing that you need to think before you start writing a story on. Lots of people have told me I have students who always say, You know, something's not working and I'm I'm not sure what's happening. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I'm writing the wrong story or I don't know, Maybe I haven't got the right character and I always always give them this piece of advice , and I would think, 75% of the time it works for them and they get back and they're happy. Writers always say, If something isn't working, try switching to another character's point of view because often times we do write a story from the wrong person's perspective. It it comtech you. Maybe I know two or three chapters, even half a book, to figure out that, you know, this isn't the best person to tell its story. Onda Uh, when you written a couple of books, you figure out that it is a point of view problem. But when you're beginning, right it, sometimes you do think that you know this story isn't working out as well on the screen or paper as it was in my head. So my advice, if you are in that situation right now or you find yourself in that situation, switch to another character's point of view and see how it plays out. Now, when you are picking the character, I always ask myself what character will best pull the reader into my story on? That's the character they identify with Andi. If you took my class last month with characters I went through, you know what makes a great character? And one thing is, it's the breed is able to identify with them. They like, you know, that that person's a lot like may I want to read their story? I want to see how they overcome this problem or if they reach their goal so often times that needs to be your point of view character, the one that you feel as their creator will pull the reader in and they will identify with that person another thing and that this is closely related to it. Who in your story is the biggest challenge to face? Obviously, that's the person that you need to tell the story from their point of view because, you know, like I said, with the plotting class, there has to be an obstacle in someone's Why on if this is person that wants the, you know, race across ah, round the world in 80 days, you wouldn't want to tell it from anyone else's perspective. But there's what are they feeling? What are they going through? You know, they panic. They frightened. Are they so pleased when they get to the end of that journey? That would be the only person that you would want to tell that kind of story from their perspective. And another thing to ask yourself is, Who would the reader like to live the story throat? I think that kind of fits in with what I've just said. If there's someone that's going around the world in 80 days, I'd want to be in their head. I'd want experience that from their point of view, not only to see if they achieve it, but I doubt it's something that most of us will do is, you know, being a race to go around the world in 80 days. I'd want to experience it through that particular person, and no one else is in that story. So sometimes, like I said, it's easy to know who your point of view character will be. Sometimes it's hard, and, uh, I will say experience in the more you right does get you into the habit of knowing who to, um you know, who's had to be inside. But, uh, it it's not always that simple, but it will get easier. I promise you, Andi, hope that's giving you some kind of things to think about on. If you're kind of on the fence about who is the character in the story you want to write on , the next question you want to ask yourself is how maney point of views are you gonna have in your story? And that's what we're gonna talk about in the next lesson. So also you then 4. Lesson Three-How Many Should Tell Your Story?: Hello. I'm welcome back on. Now we're going to figure out how Maney point of use does your story name? Andi? I would say there's one thing about writing, you know, there are no rules, so it's You can do whatever you want. You can have as many point of use in a story as you want or need on. I wish. Do it by a story by story basis. A lot of students ask, May you know how many should I have on? The answer is, You know, you know your characters. You know your story better than anyone else. And there are enough, you know, hard broke. So never, never panicked. Like, Oh, I read that book and had two point of views, and I can only figure out how to write one. Never worry about that. Uh, so it's a story by story basis, and sometimes I find that it's even a chapter by chapter basis. Sometimes I'll go, you know, a couple of chapters in one person's point of view on, Then switch to another. It you kind of get a feel. It's an instinctive thing on there again. The boy that you write, the more that I instinct comes to comes to lie, and you can figure out who who you think should be, ah, point of view, person in a particular chapter and even scene by scene. Sometimes I've written a scene and it's just not been working. And like I said, I've switched to someone else. What? Yeah, that that sounds a lot better. So one thing I always asked myself because you know, I right, lots of Jones, but mostly I've been writing in romance genre on for people that read romances. You know, emotion is a huge thing. Emotion is a big thing in every book, But for romance novels, if you don't have that emotional element, you don't have a romance. So I've kind of keyed myself into draw and Mike every scene as emotional as I can. So that's one thing I would ask myself, Ah, you know, I want this to really have an impact on the reader who will be my point of view character in this thing. Will it be the hero or heroine? What's gonna really kind of drive at home that this is an emotional moment and I want my reader to feel that and sometimes it is the hero. Sometimes it's the heroin on. If it's not working, I'll do a switch on and you know that takes care of the problem. And also another thing I ask myself on this is important for I think any book not just romances is, you know, going into that deep point of view which I always think is a bit like being, ah, method actor. You know, you all that character you're feeling, everything you're thinking everything you know, everything that that character is experiencing your experience in. And you can relay that to the reader on that sometimes helps me decide who should be my point of view, character and maybe how maney I should have in a scene or a chapter and also, uh, you know, is something going to be revealed. This is very true of mysteries, and I think that's one of the appeal off reading a mystery, you know, it's hot. Wow, I didn't see that coming, and sometimes it has more impact coming from one character than it does another. And you know, if you've got a story with lots of clues, so you are writing a mystery and you know, someone maybe reveals their true identity. Well, I just didn't see that that coming. So obviously you'd need one particular point of view character for that. Um, and you know, do you want your catch to reveal it, or do you want someone else to reveal it? But maybe they know their true identity. Would that have more impact there again? Iraq tied into the emotional element. You pull the reader and you think Well, you know, they've been keeping that secret for so long, and I didn't know they knew that about that person. And it takes it up to, um you know Ah, whole new level on. One thing I do want to touch upon is, you know, writing in first person versus third person. Now I have a lot of students that I sometimes said Yes, that they switch their story and I read throwing a lot. It's just not working. What can I dio andan? What have you tried writing in first person on they would say to it all. Please. That's the last thing I want to do. I hate writing in first person. And there again, I think it's a thing you either love or you don't. For me, first person is always been my first go to thing on. It's kind of how I started out on bond. It's, you know why? I always figure it's my lucky point of your first person is a lucky point of view from A because I've had most success with books that, um, I've written in the first person, but it is restrictive. That's, I think, a reason why a lot of people don't like riding in that. But it really takes your character up A notch or two really can get into deep a point of view. It's It's very emotional because everything is centered on that person. So if you've got a story like my example, when I wrote my mystery with my female private detective, um, I knew I could only write it from her point of view and no one else is. And I just wanted her point of view. So first person made perfect sense to May on because it was such an emotional story. You know she's getting over being shot in the line of duty. She's quit being a car husband, has died. She's a widow. She's only 38. So that made sense for me to write it from first person, only her point of view because it's her story. So, like I said, you kind of have to do this on a story by story basis, chapter by chapter, even seen by saying But I'll go back to what I said in the previous lesson. And this, I think, will fix a lot off problems that you might be facing a will face as, ah, if you're a beginning writer. And if something isn't working in a scene chapter or even the whole book, switch it to another point of view on See how it reads, See how you feel on taking from there and you know that might be the perfect solution to a writing problems. That point of you can really do a lot for story and help you out as a writer, too. So that's about it for the, um, it's cost on point of view, but I'll see you in the wrap up video world kind of give you a preview off what's coming next month, so I'll see you then 5. Class Wrap-Up and What's Next: Hello. I'm welcome. Back on day, I thought I'd make a list of things that should be on your to do list. First of all, the class project I want you to decide on your point of view, character or characters have that all worked out. The next thing is to ask questions. Um, there isn't such a thing as a silly one. So please ask away if you're having problems with point of view or any aspect off writing your novel. I'm here for you. I mention this every time I post a lesson. I love helping fellow writers out. Aspiring bull says Onda. Uh, you know, that's what I'm here for. And I want to help you be successful and yet published. So please ask questions. I'm here for you on Next thing is hit the follow button. I wasn't aware that I thought when you took a class, you automatically got updated on when that teacher uploaded a new class, which I've learned is not the case. So if you'd like to know when I publish a new class, um, hit the follow button and loved have you follow me here at the skill share and the next thing I'd like you to do is to right, right, right, because that's the way we become better writers. We take that one step further to being published, and we become stronger, better writers, more confident writers. So between now and next month, I want to hear that you have been writing every day of possible, even if it's just 10 minutes on there again. If you run into any problems, I'm here. Ask questions and I'll see if I can help you out on the next month's topic is going to be on dialogue, putting, like I like always to say, putting words into your character's mouths. And it's there again, like creating characters, one of things I love to do. So I'm looking forward to that, and I hope you are, too, and that you will join me on this year. Long adventure here it skill share on the novel writing blueprint on. Lastly, I want to thank you for taking this class for ah following along on, and you know, if this is your first class here at skill share, you know, welcome and I hope you'll the think about taking some of my other classes Onda. Like I said, if you have any questions, I am here for you on DA. Please take care and I'll see you next month. Until then, happy writing.