Which POV Should Your Use For Your Mystery Novel? [Mystery Month]

It seems easy to answer the question, “Which POV should I use for my novel?” However, there’s a lot more to it than it seems.

The point of view of a story is who the narrator is, whether it’s a third person, the protagonist, a side character, or even you yourself (though that’s uncommon). Just like choosing the right character to be your protagonist, you want the right character to be your narrator, to show your readers around the story.

When it comes to writing mystery novels, the POV is super important. In my opinion, I believe there are some points of view that are suited better for mystery novels than others.

Choosing the right POV in mystery novels

First Person

First person point of view is when someone is telling you their story. The story is told from the “I” and “me” point of view.

I find this is a great method of telling a mystery story. The narrator can be a detective telling the story in which case the readers can get up close and personal with solving the mystery.

Second Person

This point of view is when “you” are being told what to do. The story is about you and the narrator is explaining all you did.

I have never seen a mystery novel written in this point of view, especially since second person is pretty uncommon, anyway.

Still, this may be an interesting way of conveying a mystery novel. Similar to first person, your readers will be able to solve the mystery alongside the narrator or protagonist and they’ll feel more apart of the story.

Third Person Limited

In this point of view, the narrator is a third party, particularly someone who is not in the story. However, you’re limited to one character in the novel. The narrator knows a lot but can be inside the head of one of the characters, most likely the protagonist of the story.

So, you won’t know much, but you can know a little bit more. This is another common point of view for mystery novels as you can get a little more information from the characters this way.

Third Person Omniscient

Very similar to third person limited, a third party who is not in the story is the narrator. However, you’re not limited to one character’s thoughts, but you know absolutely anything and everything there is to know about all the characters and everything that’s going on in the story.

While this point of view isn’t used often, I have seen a mystery novel or two use this point of view. I personally don’t agree with it because all the secrets end up getting revealed leaving no room for the reader to guess and try to solve anything themselves.

Which should you use?

This one is all up to you. It all depends on the kind of mystery you’re trying to tell. It depends on who your protagonists are and which one of your characters is important enough to convey the story, to show your readers around the plot.

For my mystery novel, I use third person limited and I follow around my female protagonist, Lilah. George, my male protagonist, is the detective. I chose to follow Lilah because she doesn’t know as much as George. She’s learning alongside the readers and she’s trying to figure things out with George and the readers.

At first, the novel was first person with George, then I had changed it to third person limited with George. Then, after another rewrite, I finally decided on third person limited with Lilah.

Choosing a point of view is harder than it seems, but if you’re unsure, the best thing to do is just experiment. Your characters will tell you what they want.

Just be sure not to choose something that will reveal too much to your readers. For example, like I said earlier, I don’t agree with using third person omniscient as it tends to give too much information away and can cause the readers to get bored.

Depending on your characters and the kind of mystery you’re writing about, a point of view may or may not come easily to you. However, like I said, your characters will be able to tell you. They did for me.

Which point of view is your favorite? Which one do you use most often and enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments below!

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Time To Write: POV Matters

TTW POV Matters

There are different kinds of points-of-view to use in a story.

First person, where we use the pronoun “I.”

Second person, where we use the pronoun “you.”

Third person, where the pronouns “he, she, them” come into play.

Trying writing the same short story three times, each using a different POV. See how different they turn out. See if one POV works better than the others.

If you choose to participate, post your work in the comments. I’d love to see what you come up with.

Next Friday, before revealing the next prompt, I’ll post my version of the prompt along with anyone else who participates with a link back to their blog.

Happy writing!

“The Blank Page” Characters

Adair’s A Freak, Justin Lives Under A Rock, And Dominic Is Actually Normal…

 

Can we talk about my characters for a minute? I wrote half of chapter four today and I quickly realized how…interesting (for lack of a better word) my characters are.

In chapter four, Adair bothers the two boys to read a little of their stories to each other so they can see what each other has so far. I have quickly realized that all of chapter four they’re just going to be talking about Adair’s novel. Each chapter is their next meeting, which is only an hour and a half long. With the conversation they’re having about Adair’s novel, there is no way they’re going to be able to talk about all three novels in an hour and a half. Especially since when they started talking about her novel, they already only had an hour left.

In my last post I mentioned that I might plan our their novels a little bit. Well, I forgot to do that and I remembered when I was crawling into bed. So needless to say, I never planned out their books. As I wrote chapter four, I made everything up as I went along. I had Adair read her opening sentence and ask the boys what they thought about it. Well, I can tell you what I thought about it…it was crap. I read it over and over and over again and I said to myself, “Adair is completely weird.” I wondered what goes on in her mind and then I realized…Adair is me. I’m the one who wrote that sentence for her.

Justin rewrote the sentence for her, which came out a lot better, but Adair was pissed because her sentence was 41 words long and Justin’s re-write was 24 words. Then Justin was appalled because he can’t believe her biggest concern is the word count. And Dominic is just sitting there, along for the ride because he doesn’t want to get involved because he’s smart and normal.

But then Dominic and Justin both grilled her about this novel because it is the strangest thing ever. This is what we found out about the novel: Cerridwen is the main female, Zindel is the main male, the novel is in Zindel’s POV, they live in a forest, the plot of the novel is that the forest is in trouble and Cerridwen and Zindel need to save it, Victor is the bad guy, Cerridwen has the power of earth because she apparently is not human and evolved from a plant…which is why she has vines attached to her hair, and Zindel has a power, but we don’t know what it is, yet. Completely strange/ridiculous/I don’t even know what to call it, right? So Dominic and Justin are trying to make sense of this whole novel and are hoping that she changes it drastically. I’m just sad because my mind was capable of coming up with something like this.

Then throughout the whole chapter, Justin is freaking out about the names. I had Adair use obscure names because that’s just something she would do. But Dominic keeps pronouncing them wrong and Justin is just angry because Adair has names like that when she made fun of him for naming his main character John. Plus, Justin is wondering why the bad guy, Victor, has a normal name. On a random note: Justin lives under a rock. So far throughout the novel, Adair has mentioned Mario and Princess Peach, Link and Zelda, and The Sims games. He had no idea what she was talking about for all of them. He is a 27-years-old man and has never played video games…there is something wrong with that picture.

And the chapter isn’t even over, yet…

So, like I said…interesting characters, right? There certainly is never a dull moment with these guys. I have to give them some credit though because they really are fun to write.

 

2013: 13,193 Words

Relaxation

I Got Nothing Done Today…

 

Well, I have been on a roll writing for at least one hour every day. However, I didn’t write at all today. But I did say that I was going to try to post on here every day, so here I am. I have no news, but I am posting!

The reason as to why I didn’t write today was because I was busy with my websites. For example, Stars Vs. Gems, Gaia Ranch, and Spilled Ink. Spilled Ink is a writing website that my sister and I are working on together. We already have one up right now, but we completely re-did the whole website. So that’s why I didn’t give you the link because it’s not open yet. However, we  are planning on opening it on Columbus Day…maybe sooner. I’ll explain more about the website when it opens.

Once I finished working on our websites for the day, I thought about getting some writing done, but when I looked at the time I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough time. Although, now that I think about it, I could have written a little bit. Getting a little something done is better than nothing. But oh, well. What’s done is done.

I had a very busy day today because of church. Everyone knows that I’m the co-director of the Sunday school, correct? Well, today the Bishop came for a visit. Plus the Sunday school were performing something in the middle of the service. Also, we had a luncheon for the ladies who run the Thrift Shop to say thank you for everything they do for the church. Usually, I’m at church from 9:30 to 12:00. Today, because of the Bishop’s schedule, the service was 2 to 3. But because of the thing the Sunday School did in the service, we needed to practice it. So we told everyone to come at one, which meant that I was there before one. Then after the service, we had the luncheon and, well…I was at church today from 12:45 to 6:00. It wasn’t a bad time, but I just didn’t want to be there for that amount of time as well as it being smack in the middle of the day.

Anyway, when I got home, I was starving (there wasn’t any food I liked at the luncheon) so my sister and I got Panera and we’ve been watching TV ever since. I’ve been too tired to do anything else. Although, I think I might go plan out the novel a little bit.

The Blank Page has three novels in it and I thought that I should plan those out. Not fully, but just enough so that when I have my characters writing them, they all make sense. So I may do that, but as far as actual writing goes…I’m not going to be boosting my word count tonight.

Speaking of planning out the novels, though, I found this really cool app on my iPod. It’s called “A Novel Idea.” It breaks everything down. You can click on “novels” and will ask you the title, setting, theme, tone, POV, premise, plot, and group. The group is something you make up. You can group certain things together. For example, when I plugged in The Blank Page, I put it under the Writers Group group. The other sections are “scenes,” “characters,” “locations,” and “ideas.” It’s very detailed and organized. I added The Blank Page as a novel and added Dominic, Justin, and Adair as characters. Then it allowed me to attach the novel to each character. It also allowed me to give Dominic, Adair, and Justin relations to each other. It really keeps you organized. I think I may use this to plan out the three novels that aren’t real. Then I might know enough information about them so Dominic, Justin, and Adair can write them efficiently in The Blank Page.

If you like to write and have an iPod, iPhone, iPad, or anything along those lines, then you should download this app. It’s really useful and it was free. I highly recommend it.

2013: 11,010 Words