POV and Lens

Jeannie Lin and I recently gave our workshop “Worldbuilding for the Non-SFF Writer” and had a request to write another Lonely Owl book about it….soooooo, since we just finished a book and we both have a ton of our own fiction work to concentrate on, how about a few blog posts instead?

I’m not going to dive into the entire premise because this is probably our most layered workshop and it would probably bore the snot out of you on the page.

Instead, I’m going to address the first premise we discussed and how we use it when discussing character and world.

Usually, when writers talk about “Lenses” they’re talking about “POV” but we wanted to take it further. After much discussion, I threw one of my charts at Jeannie (she’s used to me trying to make chaos visually palpable for myself, so this didn’t surprise her. Please take all further Is as WEs because we’re a team 🙂 ).

When thinking about POV, we have the scales of sliding in & out of the consciousness of the character from very active 1st Person to very distant Omniscient 3rd person. But, this seemed a bit simplistic for discussing POV, especially in terms of worldbuilding.

With that in mind, the following became our new structure for discussing Lens inside each POV.


This is the basic level for our lenses. Each of these gets layered into POV.

I’m working on short, expanding posts for each lens. Watch for them. I wish I could make promises about timing, but I’m getting ready for two more conferences in the next three weeks.

If you have any immediate questions, hit me up in the comments 😉

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