Point of View, abbreviated POV, is the perspective from which a story is told. There are five types of point of view.
Points of View Edit
First Person Edit
In a narrative with first person point of view, the narrator is part of the cast. First person narrative is supposed to give the appearance of a first hand account of events. As with second person, a crash dummy is recommended for those entering the Word World of a first person badfic.
Second Person Edit
In second person, the story is about you, the reader, and you are supposed to be the character to whom all the events are happening. Mainly used in choose your own adventure stories, but sometimes also outside that. As with first person, a crash dummy is recommended for those entering the Word World of a second person badfic.
Third Person Limited Edit
The narrator is not part of the story, but tells the story from the perspective of one member of the cast. The narrator only relates what this person is thinking and feeling, and is as oblivious as the character him/herself about what others are thinking.
This perspective is often used in fiction in the form of multiple third person limited. In that case, the author has chosen for each scene the perspective of the character for whom the scene is most meaningful.
Third Person Omniscient Edit
In third person omniscient, the narrator knows everything about all the characters. It allows them to show what everyone is thinking and feeling and to foreshadow and comment on events. This perspective was very popular until the second half of the 20th century. It is not much used in modern literature.
Third Person Detached Edit
The narrator is not a character within the work, and may not be a character at all. Instead, the narrative confines itself to visible acts rather than thoughts, and views the action from a perspective that may not be visible to any characters or group of characters. This is most common in screenplays, but can also be an effective part of works where a professional tone is important, historical records, and after-action reports. Because this mode is capable of providing interpretations of actions in prose, but does not always do so, it is sometimes used in comedies and parodies. It is fairly rare.
In badfic, headers such as "Character's POV" are often used to indicate a switch from one POV to another. Aside from being very annoying headers (a regular scene break would have done to switch POV), these switches rarely lead to a proper switch of POV. Rather than narrating the events of the story from the perspective of the character mentioned in the header, the narrative merely mentions what this character is thinking. Some narratives also switch the focus character of multiple third person limited without a sentence of indeterminate focus to prepare the reader for the change. Particularly problematic works may change point of view or focus within a single sentence, and change point of view far more often than necessary for the work or style. Poorly-executed POV changes tend to have an effect similar to a temporal distortion, though usually less severe unless the POV change is also a scene change. First person and second person badfic may force the reader or exploring agents into the body of a Mary Sue, an effect which can be prevented with a crash dummy.
Occasionally, point of view changes have been known to spawn creatures (appropriately called povs or POVs, depending on what the badfic author used). They look somewhat like a cross between a fluffy hedgehog and a niffler, and their size varies depending on if they are an uppercase POV or a lowercase pov. They go snrf and are generally very friendly and sociable animals. This, coupled with their cuteness, has led to several agents adopting povs they encounter.