Developing viewpoint, voice and ideas in fiction writing

This section provides some suggested teaching approaches to help your pupils build, develop and secure their control and use of viewpoint in fiction writing. They will learn to use different techniques to engage and entertain the reader, and to establish a voice that is appropriate to the text and purpose.

Recognising Progress

Progress here is distinguished by pupils’ ability to develop an increasingly distinctive, mature and convincing authorial voice, character or point of view in their fiction writing, developing a clear sense of the reader–writer relationship as they manipulate narrative perspective and other devices to achieve their desired effects. This is expressed in more detail in the substrand from the Framework.

  • Year 7

    Develop character and voice in their own fiction writing.

  • Year 8

    Draw on some techniques and devices used by writers in order to develop distinctive character and voice in their own fiction.

  • Year 9

    Establish and sustain distinctive character, point of view and voice in their fiction writing by drawing on a wide range of techniques and devices used by writers.

  • Year 10

    Develop and deploy in their own fiction writing a range of carefully selected techniques, drawn from a variety of texts, to establish and sustain a distinctive use of character, point of view and voice.

  • Year 11

    Engage the reader in a range of ways through their understanding, adaptation and inventive use of fiction writers’ different uses of narrative voice, point of view and character to achieve particular effects.

What aspects could be taught?

The following represent a range of key areas you might aim to address over the course of a pupil's learning.

  • Techniques and devices that writers use to develop character, viewpoint, voice.
  • Narrative viewpoint: first-person, second-person and third-person narration.
  • The role of the narrator in a story and how it is developed.
  • The use of a commentary to guide the reader through a text.
  • The functions of a commentary: to inform, recount, give opinion or information, or set the scene.
  • A range of methods for opening and ending stories (action, dialogue, description, flashback, twist or moral, and so on) linked to narrative voice and perspective.
  • The effective use of the range of narrative voices (first-, second- and third-person narration and stream of consciousness – a form of first-person narration).
  • The use of multiple narration within one text.
  • The difference between the perspective of the narrator and that of the main character.
  • The range of voices other than the narrator, usually presented through dialogue.
  • How to select style and vocabulary to suit changes in viewpoint, audience and purpose.