Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fifth Person Point of View

Today I was helping my grandson with his homework. He's writing a fictional story about a teacher whose students think he's a lemonade-drinking gnome. I can't actually confirm whether Preston invented this story or borrowed it, as nine-year olds are wont to do.

At any rate, Preston's teacher required that her students identify the point of view in the story they're writing. Mind you, I'm very, very old and have taught high school English many, many years, and POV can be confusing to the best of us.

The interesting thing is that Preston's story is written in the FIFTH PERSON POINT OF VIEW, an impossible task at first blush.However, the idea got me thinking. Who made up this POV stuff? I know for a fact that it's younger than dirt and older than God.

First person -- use of the pronoun "I," narrator telling the story. Second person -- never used, the purists say, because its usage causes the writer to direct address the reader. Apparently that's a bad idea unless you're (oops) Sarah Orne Jewett writing about a white heron. Third -- yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know that one. That's easy.

But fifth? I'm intrigued by the idea. My characters certainly try to run amok, take flight in some -- dare I say it? -- parallel universe, some FIFTH dimension.But what if there were a fifth person POV? Whose POV would it be? The protagonist's The antagonist's? The author's?

Or maybe that other voice, the one that slithers through our subconscious minds, quiet little devil most of the time, until she pops up and demands to be heard. You know the one. She takes us down a path we NEVER intended to go, to heights and depths we NEVER intended. Is she the one who takes us down that divergent road Frost talked about? You know, the one less travelled?

Finally I broke down and asked Preston why he chose fifth person POV. Simple, he said, there are five characters in his story. Like I said, that POV is a damned tricky thing.


Aunty Cindy said...

LOL! Jo, this is too funny! And makes perfect 9 year-old logic.

I also love your idea of the little voice that leads us down those previously unseen paths. I LOVE when that happens, when my characters sometimes take off on their own and take over the story. Of course when I talk about my characters like they are "real" people is when all my non-writing friends give me "The Look". But I think I'll save that discussion for a future blog post!

Aunty C

Nicole C said...

buy viagra
viagra online
generic viagra

dingdang said...

Despite a attainment of a public line, has helped hermes handbags continues a convention of a qualification to safeguard commitment any member to higher craftsmanship tip. Every singular veteran can try a bag Hermes Evelyne during a same time. All bags can set up about 18-24 hours. hermes scarf have been calculable as well as wanting resources from as well as value, for e.g., costly metals, silk, tanned hide, and crocodile, alligator, lizard as well as shark, as well as bovine animal skin, which you all enlarge a lure of handbags.
Along with the daidaihua , you will also receive these following products: free toning belt for your waist and abs, free quality e-books, free online exercise guidelines for you and an online customer support for you 24/7. lida , according to its consumers, lida daidaihua also has no known side effect unlike some other pills that would have side effects such as excess urination, diarrhea and constipation. Just make sure that when you take lida slimming , combine slimming capsule with a meal and exercise for effectiveness. And then watch your fats melt away. slimming capsules is best.