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TPSMPOV: Editor's Notes #134
November 30, 2012

If there is any one secret of success,
it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view
and see things from that person's as well as your own.

--Henry Ford

In this issue:

2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

Sometimes naming a point of view is just impossibly wordy. I have to admit that deciding on a subject line for this issue almost turned me gray. TPSMPOV stands for Third Person Selective Multiple Point of View. Now that the name is out of the way, let's get on with fleshing it out.

TPSMPOV, like any third person POV, tells the story with the pronouns he, and she rather than I and you. What makes TPSMPOV special is that more than one person's inner life is revealed, but not everyone's inner life is open to inspection. The writer carefully selects which characters share inner thoughts.

Murder mysteries lend themselves to this POV. The reader has access to the thoughts of both the criminal and the detective.

Epistalatory voice can also use TPSMPOV. In this case, diaries, letters, and news reports tell the story from a variety of POVs.

Strengths of Third Person Selective Multiple Point of View
  • Lets the reader into more than one person's inner life
  • Makes clear who the main characters are
  • Allows the author to create cliff hangers as one character is in danger and the scene shifts to another character

Weaknesses of Third Person Selective Multiple Point of View
  • Readers can find it hard to identify deeply with more than one character
  • Unless shifts in POV are handled well, readers can become confused by the shifts in POV

Examples of Third Person Selective Multiple Point of View
  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
  • Dracula (Bram Stoker)

POV shifts are best made at natural breaks such as at a new chapter. If you must switch the POV within a chapter, signal the shift by a double space, a graphic such as *****, or by a graphic change like a different font or a specific heading that tells the reader about the shift.


2.Tickled my funnybone
Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.


3. Interesting Web site
Inspirational quotes can do more than inspire. Sometimes they will kickstart your writing.

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