One of the first things you need to decide when you start to write is through whose eyes you want to tell your story. In other words, which point of view do you want to use.
If you choose to have your character tell the reader the story, you will be choosing the first person point of view. For example,
As I left the shelter of Blackheath, the road disappeared under a mantle of snow, the trees that lined its sides my only guide. I stared ahead, mesmerised by the snow that cross my field of vision and watched for the entrance to Cragleigh.
With this point of view the reader is inside the character’s head and consequently will come to know that character well. It can present the writer with some difficulties, however. For example, you are only able to use what one person knows and will have to devise ways to have that character find things out. The reader only knows what one person knows.
Another choice is the third person point of view where the reader is viewing the story from outside the character(s). For example,
As James left the shelter of Blackheath, the road disappeared under a mantle of snow, the trees that lined its sides his only guide. He stared ahead, mesmerised by the snow that crossed his field of vision and watched for the entrance to Cragleigh.
The third person point of view has a number of advantages. You can, if you wish, use more than one character’s point of view. This gives the writer the opportunity to increase the tension as the reader can see problems coming. You can also leave one character in difficulty and go onto another character’s point of view. Having said that it can make structuring your story complicated.
Another point of view choice is the omniscient point of view. Used by writers in the 19th century, it is seldom used today. In this point of view the narrator is in all the characters minds so can see and tell all. It has the effect of distancing the reader.
A form of the omniscient point of view is used today when we present settings and describe events in third person.