The most commonly used points of view in literature are easy to understand. Sticking to them when you're writing can be a very different story. Once you know the different points of view writers use, you'll find yourself aware of authors who violate the principles of narrative point of view. This will enable you to write properly, sticking to one chosen point of view throughout the story.
Why Is It Important to Choose a Point of View?
When you write a story, you need to relate to the reader in a way that is consistent and reliable. This is called the "voice" of the story. Strive to establish a reliable, consistent voice. This lets your reader relax and enjoy the story instead of thinking about how the story is being told.
Every time the reader has to stop and think about the narration, you lose emotional investment and continuity. Literature classes teach that you must choose a point of view and then stick to it.
What Difference Does the Point of View Make?
Each point of view has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, essays literature is best told from the first person, with a journalistic style. Most commercial fiction rings true when told from third person or third person omniscient.
Narrative Points of View
How Should You Choose a Narrative Style?
You'll need to play around with point of view to determine which narrative style best suits your story. Eventually the correct voice will occur to you. Then your challenge is to tell the story in a consistent voice, without changing point of view mid-narration.