Monday, June 12, 2017

The Story Works Guide to Writing Point of View by Alida Winterheimer

I was (and am) so excited about this book! I really liked the first one, and since I still can't afford to hire Alida a second time, this is the closest that I can get to learning more from her. Like with the previous book, this is a review copy.

Like the title says, this second guide in the story works series is all about point of view (POV). This story is a very thorough guide of the basics - what is point of view (hint: it's not just the narrator), what are the types of point of view and which point of view you should choose. It sounds short when I sum it up in one sentence, but it's actually a very hefty book because Alida goes into immense detail. And at the end, she goes through some common mistakes writers make with point of view and how they can fix it. And like the previous book, this one has lots of examples and exercises so that you can use this book as a textbook of sorts.

So I won't go into too much detail but basically, POV consists of:

1. Person (Is it "I", "He/She", "You", "They","We" - the later few are very rare though)
2. Tense (past or present)
3. Number (is it a single POV or are there multiple or perhaps even an omniscient narrator?)
4. Distance (are you close to the POV character or are you a bit more distant)

What I liked about this book is that each chapter is very focused, so you can go back and focus on things that you don't quite grasp. While I normally read everything once through, for non-fiction (and especially books that I want to use as references), having the chapters be very focused makes it easier for me to go back and find information, instead of having to go through the entire book to piece together the same thing.

I would recommend this book to all authors who are looking to improve their craft. If you're a beginning writer, this is a very good and solid introduction to point of view. If you're an experienced writer, this is a good referesher with exercises that might help you work out a story problem.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from Alida in exchange for a free and honest review. I've also hired her as an editor once and was very happy with her services.


  1. This sounds like an interesting and useful book. I recently read a book (Ancillary Justice) that had an interesting point of view. It was unusual and so took a bit to settle into, but once I did, it I really liked it.

    1. It's geared more towards writers but it's definitely useful for anyone who wants to understand POV.


I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!