Point of View

bride with confetti and flowers photographed by michael j dixonI used to be a wedding photographer. I don’t do it any more (so this is absolutely not an advertisement) but, when I was starting out, my daughter Kat made a short film of me photographing a wedding. We put this on my website, to show people my style and it worked really well: the emphasis is on putting people at their ease and making them laugh, rather than on photography. You’ll notice that the camera is hardly mentioned.
The reason for linking to it here is that the film illustrates viewpoint rather well: as a writing exercise, you might like to watch the film (about 4 minutes) and then write it as a short story. You can do it in the first or third person, but try to get the essence of every scene and still shot into what you write.

See how the point of view changes deliberately, but (hopefully) smoothly, during the film and how the stills are used to illustrate what I’ve said. If you’re writing in the first person, these passages of “talking to the camera” are known as an internal monologue. They’re useful for keeping your reader up to date with what the character is thinking, but don’t overdo it: too much and the reader feels like they’re being lectured to. So when you’ve got a passage like that, try imagining it on film?