Point of View
Giovanni Paolo Panini's remarkable painting, "Interior of St. Peter's Rome," has long been one of my favorites. Displayed in the St. Louis Art Museum, the painting's illustration of perspective has always fascinated viewers. No matter how you look at it, from the far left, the middle or the far right of the room, the nave seems to invite you in.
As writers, that's what we want to do, invite our readers in. To be successful in our quest, we can utilize Point of View (POV). Sherlock's POV on what should take place in a scene would naturally be very different from that of his nemesis, Professor Moriarty or even from his best friend, John Watson's POV. Writers have the capability to impact the reader in different ways just by choosing whose eyes the story is shown through.
Here are a few things I've learned about writing from a character's Point of View:*
1. The reader experiences the story through the character who has the first action in each scene. Vivid sights, sounds, smells, touches and tastes may be described only from that character's POV.
2. It's not cricket to "head hop" or jump to different characters' POVs within one scene.
3. You may let another character take the lead in the next scene if you'd like though. Every situation doesn't have to be viewed from your protagonist's POV. It can be very interesting to see life from the flip side once in a while. Challenge your reader to think differently about what has just happened or what should happen next.
4. The really exciting way to write is from a character's Deep POV (DPOV). Using DPOV you actually get to root around in a character's brain and reveal his thought processes to the reader. Right or wrong, a character's actions are based on what he thinks is happening.
5. Using deep POV is a great way to not only give a character more depth, but to invite your reader in. The more involved a reader becomes in experiencing your story, the more he'll want to read on.
Consider what perspective you want your reader to have on your story. The Point of View you choose to employ could make all the difference.
*Many thanks to Fay Lamb, my writing coach and editor, for opening my eyes to the importance of using Point of View effectively.