Point of view (POV) is the perspective from which a story is being told. It can change the sentiment of the story, as well as the mood and depending on the POV, can change the outcome because your speaker will be limited to certain things they can report – or know.
For example, if you write in first person and use the pronoun “I”, you can’t really report what someone else is thinking – only what you think they’re thinking, or what you see them do or hear them say – and then your reaction to it.
So the point of view you choose matters to the storyline and the theme you’re trying to evoke.
What Is First Person Point Of View?
You can identify first person by the following pronouns:
Singular: I, me, my, mine
Plural: we, us, our, ours
Using this POV to tell a story places the singer in the story. So, as a singer, they become an active participant in the song. As a result, your singer will be taking on the traits, blemishes, bad behaviors and emotions of your main character. If you’re writing to have your song cut by someone else, you’ll need to keep this in mind.
If someone’s not a partier and their branding doesn’t have them moving to that image, they won’t be looking at your song as a possibility.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t write great emotional songs with tragic characters – Brandy Clark does all the time. You may just want to change the point of view to third person, or keep them for yourself versus pitching.
Is First Person Point of View Right For The Song?
One of the best tests of whether or not you’re using the best point of view is to answer two questions:
- Does this sound genuine/honest coming from the singer if they are facing an audience?
- Does it focus on the real issues of the song in the best way to get the emotion across?
If the answer is no to these, you need to move on to another point of view: