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 than 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 the 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, 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.

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

Examples of Narration (Point of View)-

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

  • ”To kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee ( first person
  • ”The faults in our stars” by John Green (first person)
  • ”The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins (first person)
  • ”The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (first person Peripheral)
  • ”The Book Thief” by 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 Peace” by 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 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 that 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.

Preferred point of views 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.

Source: Reedsy, Point of View: The ultimate guide

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

Neel Rana

About the Author- Neel Rana is a successful short story book author, flash fiction writer, literary enthusiast, entrepreneur and the founder of Pandora Post. Neel holds a degree in BA Honours in English Literature and has been writing since 2017. You can read more about him here