point of view

by yessenia
(Albuquerque )

Question: If it's someone's point of view do you tell their thoughts only or can you tell other peoples thoughts too??

Answer: The point of telling the story from the point of view of one character is to give the reader the experience of being that character.

That means the narration is limited to only what that character perceives, feels, and thinks.

Since no one is telepathic, no one can know for certain what someone else is thinking and feelings. One can guess, with more or less accuracy, by studying the person's body language, tone of voice, facial expression words, and actions. But one cannot get inside anyone else's head.

So your point-of-view character cannot know what other characters are thinking, only make guesses from what he/she can see. Since you can only write what your point-of-view character perceives, other character's thoughts are off limit.

To introduce another character's thoughts is like an actor breaking character -- it wrecks the illusion.

The only way around this is...

1. Write from an omniscient point of view. The cost is that the reader will be less able to have the experience of being a character in the story.

2. Write some events from a different character's point of view.

But never write from more than one point of view within a scene.

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