Voice and point of view (POV)
The difference between a narrative voice and a point of view (POV) is marked. It would be fair to say that if you read this book cover to cover you might have a narrative voice in your head in which you may think you can hear me speaking.This isn’t uncommon but remember when you are writing for young children the voice of the narrator will be a parent or a teacher (for example) and you need to be able to make sure the text sits comfortably to enable it to be read out loud. The alliterative ideas around the ‘social significance of serendipitous squeals’ might look good on a page but try saying it out loud when there is a child sitting, squealing on your lap.The narrative voice of a picture book and read to book is easily acquired but rehearse it by reading it out loud. If you stumble over your own words then another reader will have no chance. Once while I was sitting in my study writing I heard my daughter, age six, standing outside the door with a school friend. Her friend said, ‘What does your dad do in there?’ Abbi replied, ‘He talks to himself.’ Thus, after you have decided on your story, easily one of the most important decisions you will ever make when you begin writing concerns the viewpoint you are going to tell it from.And in doing so you must think about the following – still bearing in mind the young age you are writing for:
• Who is going to tell the story? • Through whose eyes are we told the story? • How is the story to be told? • Where does the narrator stand in relation to the other characters in the story? • What age do you see your characters as being? • What level of experience in life do you expect your character to have? • How knowing is your character? • How lucid is your character? • How are you going to create tension between your characters? • How do your characters interact with one another? • Is there a dominant character in the group? • What are the characteristics you wish to imply? • Who is going to read the story? This is so very important to all of the above and the
reason is a simple one,which I have written of in Part I and which I will repeat below.