The Trick of Point of View in Nonfiction Writing

What colour is the shadow behind the “No Parking Sign”. Purple? The colour of your mother’s bathroom wallpaper? The colour of  the silk tie you wore to that board meeting where you lost the account to the guy with the apricot-coloured tie from Toronto? The colour of a vinegar bottle from before the First World War? You’ve seen the colour before. Morning Orchid eyeshadow? Look at it.



That colour is the setting of your story. Even the green grass at the bottom of the pole is part of that colour’s story. This is the kind of point of view you need in order to write nonfiction. That other point of view: who’s speaking this story, first person, second person, third person … that’s of no use to you now. No-one’s telling this story. It’s telling you.

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