How to use Point of View
When using point of view, you need to figure out whose perspective would best help make the story interesting. It’s important not to mix point of views. For instance, you shouldn’t be using first-person (I, me) and suddenly switch to second-person (you). The story will be confusing for readers if they aren’t sure which character is narrating. The use of pronouns is the main way that writers show POV.
For first-person, the narrator is likely to also be the protagonist. He or she will be saying things such as, “As I went toward the door, my friends were all peeking out the window at me.” The pronouns I, me, mine, we should be used to indicate first-person. The narrator could also be an observer who may be close to the protagonist, such as Nick Carraway, in “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Nick becomes Jay’s confident. Through his eyes, we watch Gatsby, the protagonist, slowly slide toward his own destruction.
Second-person point of view is rarely used in fiction, although it might be used in poems. Generally, persuasive pieces such as speeches or advertisements will use it to pull in their audience. Second-person is shown through the pronoun you, yours, your. In Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If,” the author is speaking to people in general, giving sage (wise) advice.
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:” (Kipling)
For third-person point of view, which is a more popular POV, use pronouns such as he, she, it, them, they, themselves, himself, herself, etc. Writers like the flexibility of third-person because they can use this perspective in various ways. The use of a limited, omniscient, or limited omniscient narrator allows readers to see bits of the action, all the action, or all of one character.
When to use Point of View
Point of view is used in all writing. There is no “when” or “when not to use” point of view. Rather, it’s when to use first-, second-, or third-person point of view. Even in pure academic writing, have to choose and they usually use the third-person POV. They use terminology such as “a person may see how he or she can be impacted by smoking” indicate an objective and general viewpoint.