Pat Pattison has a great exercise for point of view – try them all. But, to do that, you have to know what they are!
At the end of the day, you have three to choose from: (1) first person, (2) second person or direct address, and (3) third person or omniscient. That’s it.
We’ll give you some tips and tricks for choosing the right one, or at least starting with one and then experimenting to see how your song might change if you select another.
Basic Definition of Point of View
Point of view is the perspective from which a story is told, and falls into one of the three options mentioned above. It is a writing tool that allows you, as the songwriter, to control the relationship between the singer and the audience.
The three options have very distinctive perspectives, giving you song characteristics unique to that particular perspective.
Quick Guide To Point of View Perspectives
Tends to be autobiographical and makes the speaker the primary character in the song, and is comprised of eight pronouns.
|1st Person||Subjective Case||Objective Case||Possessive Case|
|singular – plural||I – we||me – us||my/mine – our/ours|
Is also called direct address because you’re speaking directly to someone.
This is often used as a way for the speaker to remain the primary character in the song while pulling in a second character, usually the one who scorned the speaker or whom the speaker loves.
It’s used to impact a direct message from the speaker in the song to a single individual, and is comprised of three pronouns.
|2nd Person||Subjective Case||Objective Case||Possessive Case|
|singular – plural||you||you||your – yours|
This is the “all knowing” and “all seeing” point of view. It gives the speaker license to tell a story without being in it while knowing the thoughts and emotions of all of it’s characters. This point of view allows the storyteller to remove themselves from the characters and creates a distance between what’s being told and the singer.
Third person is a great point of view to use if you’re pitching songs to other singers because it doesn’t attach any bad character traits to them.
It also gives you song pitching options in terms of gender. The singer’s gender now no longer matters.
It’s comprised of ten pronouns broken into gender/neutral categories:
|3rd Person||Subjective Case||Objective Case||Possessive Case|
|singular – plural||hesheitthey||himheritthem||his – hisher – hersits – itstheir – theirs|
More Article on Point Of View
- First Person Point of View
- Second Person or Direct Address Point of View
- Third Person Point of View
- Third Person Point of View Songs