Here’s a short checklist:
- Do you switch point of view (POV) between characters in one scene? A no-no, except for very experienced writers. At a dramatic Christmas dinner, we start the meal seeing everything through Jack’s eyes, but by meal’s end, we’re in Marcie’s POV. Reader ping-pong.
- Do you, the author, jump into a scene and explain things? “You see, Jack once dated Marcie, but one date was enough for her.”
- Do you, the author, use adjectives to describe your characters? “Even at Christmas time, Jack, the tightwad, didn’t buy a present for Marcie.” Of course tightwad, is the author’s POV, but I think the whole sentence is. We should draw our own conclusion after seeing things through Marcie’s eyes.
- Do you use NO point of view? You the author are omniscient. You see into everyone’s head. Of course in the hands of a skilled writer, this can be an effective POV.
Do you play with POV? Try it sometime. Rethink your story in another POV or try a totally different one, a series of letters or emails, diary entries, or an internal dialogue. Play with POV. It can be a creative tool.