POV and the Influence Character

Hi! Been mulling this over.
My guess, based more on my experience with novelists and novels than my understanding of dramatica, is that it is likely that choice of pov technique is largely influenced by which of the throughlines the writer wants to emphasize.
For example, I notice in historical fiction stories about how many lives are impacted by things like the first world war (so an emphasis on the OS), it can be very valuable to use multiple limited close points of view in third person, making use of free indirect style to move into characters heads whilst also maintaining the option of psychic distance to emphasize the OS. Because the point is a lot about how this one event impacted many people, and the fabric of society, in unforeseen way, rather than emphasizing just your MC.
In coming of age novels, first person works really well as your point is mainly about the growth of the MC, and the ways they are interpreting the world. That throughline is paramount in a coming of age story. Probably why YA uses so much first person.
In romances, dual first person points of view can serve the emphasis on the relationship story, and the MC and IC story.
To create suspense, dual limited third person or dual first person can be useful, having the audience know more than the MC and yet conceal some of the OS, so the OS gets reconstructed by the reader after the book is finished, but they have just enough knowledge to know that the MC is in imminent danger.
In spy thrillers, the hero and the audience tend to be equally in the dark, but the emphasis is still on the OS, and that is served by limited third, as you retain that option of externality that allows for action scenes and chases etc (I’m thinking John Grisham).
In fantasy, which tends to be very hero and world building focused, the emphasis on the MC and OS throughlines is served by third person limited, or first person combined with some kind of narrative device for world building (e.g. assassins apprentice by Robin Hobb).
I’m not saying any pov is right or wrong in any case, but that an author might decide to use pov to emphasize a particular throughline, as well as using it differently depending on the domains of the MC / OS.

I came across this old post and that seemed to be relevant so I thought I’d include it here too. Activity Domain: Is this the emphasis of one throughline?


A bit of both, yeah. Particularly with novels, wondering if anyone has come across any clear examples of exactly what you just described. OS beats using omniscient POV, or a Holistic story that uses First Person Present… that kind of stuff.

Or even if the language changes depending on what type of story beat it is. Do Physics beats use more “physical” language or writing style? Are Mind beats really focused on things like opinions or states of mind, or whatever?

Like what you mentioned here:

Great examples in the rest of that post, btw.

I’ve tried experimenting with all of that a bit myself, but wanted to open it up to the group and see what ya’ll think.

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