What is Narration (Point of View) in Literature with Types & Examples

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A strong narration plays a very important role in the success of any story, making it to the bestsellers.

If you are a beginner in writing, unaware of the word narration or point of view at first, you have to know the basics of narration before you actually start writing your story, so you don’t end up writing your first great story with a meaningless perspective, making it confusing for your readers to understand.

So let’s understand everything about the narration in literature.

What is Narration?

The act of conveying a story, either real or imaginary to an audience in writing or speech is termed as narration and is also called storytelling.

Used in novels, short stories, poems, memoirs, etc. narration is done by a narrator: a specific character from the story, an unspecific literary voice, or by the author itself.

Now let’s understand everything thoroughly.

To start narrating a story first you have to understand the basics of narration which is selecting a point of view for the story.

As I said earlier; “the narration of any story starts with a point of view”, without a point of view in a narration, any work of literature or creative writing will not make any sense.

narration and point of view types and examples

What is a Point of View?

Point of view refers to who is narrating or telling the story or from whose perspective the story will be told or delivered to the readers.

All works in literature either novels, short stories, poems, prose, or even songs are written from a point of view.

Types of Narration (Point of View)-

A story can be narrated from the point of view or perspective of-

  • First Person– In the first-person point of the story is written and told to readers using ”I” or ”We” pronouns.
  • Second Person– In the second-person point of view the story is told using the ”you” or ”your” pronoun. (Second person POV is rarely used in narrating a story and is mostly seen in a blog posts, like this blog article which you are reading right now)
  • Third Person– In the third-person point of view the story is told using he, she, or they pronouns (Third-person POV is more common and popular in narration).
point of view pronouns
Major pronouns for POV

Examples of Narration (Point of View)-

Below are the examples of popular novels narrated from certain points of view by their authors.

  • To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (First Person) 
  • The Fault in Our Starsby John Green (First Person)
  • The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins (First Person)
  • The Great Gatsbyby F. Scott Fitzgerald (First-Person Peripheral)
  • The Book Thiefby Markus Zukas (First-Person Omniscient)
  • Harry Potter by J. K Rowling (Third-Person Limited)
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Third-Person Limited)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Third-Person Omniscient)
  • War and Peaceby Leo Tolstoy (Third-Person Omniscient)

3 Major Point of View in Narration.

Below are the three major points of view which are mostly used in narrating any work of literature.

  • First Person– Most often the main character tells the story using ”I”.
  • Third Person Limited– The narrator is not in the story and telling the story about he, she, or they and is limited to the thoughts and feelings of certain characters.
  • Third Person Omniscient– Again the narrator is outside the story and narrating the story using he, she, or they but here the narrator knows everything and everyone, the narrator can feel and read the thoughts of all the characters in the story.

*Second Person (this is rare in narration and only used for writing blog posts, etc.)

Now let’s understand all of these points of view in the narration thoroughly.

So which narrative or POV to choose for writing a story

It is hard to choose which POV to write your beloved story as it all depends on you and the demand of your story and in which point of view or narrative, you can describe and narrate your story better which can bring more life to your story and can be more enjoyable and pleasing to your readers.

Watch the below video by TedEd to know more about which point of view to choose.

What’s the best point of view

When you start writing your story make sure you have established the narrative style of your choice or the point of view within the first paragraph of your story.

The preferred point of view for some genres

  • Romance- First-person and third-person limited.
  • Mystery and Thriller- Third person limited.
  • Fantasy- Third-person limited and omniscient.
  • YA Fiction- First-person and third-person limited.

Want to know more about point of view in narration, read this great blog Point of view in 2021 by the write practice.

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a young adult fiction writer and children’s book author. He is a literary enthusiast and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honors in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. His magnum opus YA short storybook, “The Drunken Ghost” has been well received by the readers.