One of the most important choices you have to make early on in developing your manuscript is who is telling the story. Is there a specific character narrating everything with only knowledge of what they can see or a third-person narration aware of everything that’s going on? Who is the voice that will relate the rest of the characters and the plot and the setting to your audience?
You can draw someone in from the first page with a clear point of view or a
unique perspective. You can also lose them just as quickly with a voice that is
not very interesting or is difficult to follow. Make sure you are part of the first
group and not the latter.
Be consistent. If you choose to tell the story from the point of view of one of
your characters, decide whether they are relating the events as they happen or
reflecting back on something that has already passed. Don’t let them tell the
reader anything they wouldn’t actually know. There are few things more
distracting in a story than inconsistencies in voice.
Be compelling. Even in a third-person narrative it is important to have a
strong, clear sense of who is telling the story. It doesn’t matter if the story
being relayed is the most simple, mundane task or the most exciting event to
ever happen, the way it is told and who is telling will make or break whether
someone reads on.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to start over! If you realize halfway through that
your story really would have been better served with a third-person narrative
and you’ve been writing from the point of view of your main character, switch
it up! The time it takes to rewrite those pages will be well worth it in the
end if you have a more polished manuscript with a more compelling voice when
you are finished. Don’t become so invested in your point of view that you let
it ruin the rest of the story.
As always, good luck!