An Illustration of Point of View

The following is a passage from the first chapter of The Appearance of Truth. This part is in Lisa’s point of view. We find out what she is thinking and feeling but not that of the other character in the scene (Pete). I’ve added annotations in italics and brackets to show you what I mean.

“Sorry. I’m sorry,” she sobbed and went to move round him. She blew her nose on another scrappy old tissue from her coat pocket and tried to regain some composure. (we can know that she is trying to regain composure because it is her point of view – we could not know this about the other character. If it were about him we might say ‘he appeared to try to regain composure’)It was a gusty day and she felt (she is the viewpoint character so we can know what she feels) the wind driving a tear across her cheek. She’d given up wearing make up on the days she visited the cemetery. It would have needed industrial strength materials to stop it from running into tear-stained clumps.

“Hey, wait. Are you O.K.?”

Lisa felt her neck and back stiffen. She’d struggled through her grief very much on her own. She hated to be seen this way.

“Come and sit down,” said the voice, as the man (He has not yet introduced himself to the viewpoint character, so we cannot at this stage know his name. If the viewpoint character does not know, then we do not know) led her towards a bench.

She flinched. He could be anyone. However, there was no real fight left in her and she followed his command.

“I’m Pete,” said the stranger. “I hate coming to this place, but it’s the only way to talk to Mum these days.” (the only things we can know about him are the things he tells us)

She looked up, shocked by the openness of someone she’d only just met. Pete’s approach had seemed confident, not the type of person she imagined talking to a grave, but then she was there, so she supposed that it proved nothing. (we can have all her impressions and thoughts as she is the viewpoint character)

“I was visiting my parents too,” her voice faltered. “It’s a year since Mum died. I’ve been dreading today.” Her hands were trembling as she clutched the shreds of tissue. “I needed to be here at the same time she died. I don’t know why.”

“I didn’t mean to intrude,” said Pete. “Are you going to be all right? I was going to the pub when I’ve finished here, if you need someone to talk to who understands.”

“I’m not much company at the moment,” she said, wondering if it was a way of finding an excuse. “But thanks, anyway.”

“Me neither. At least it would be someone to mope with. I’ll be in the Red Lion if you change your mind. ”

She studied the even features of Pete’s face,(because she is the viewpoint character she can tell us what he looks like, but is likely to comment on her own appearance except by reference to things such as her grief requiring ‘industrial strength make-up’) with his gentle blue eyes and rugged chin, as he broke into a smile and Lisa began to feel better than she had done all morning.

“I’ll be there about midday. It usually takes me twenty minutes to have a chat with Mum. Maybe I’ll see you there.” Pete smiled again, before setting off at a brisk walk (we can learn about non-viewpoint character from what they tell us and what they do – we see him walk briskly because Lisa sees him, the same with his smile.) into the heart of the cemetery. She watched him go. It felt quite a surreal situation; she almost wondered whether the conversation had taken place at all.


Incidentally The Appearance of Truth gained another very good 5* review on Amazon recently – you can take a look HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *