I've always considered myself a proficient writer. I've edited newspapers. I perform a lot of techinical writing for my employer. I publish two blogs and contribute to a lot of online discussion forums.
I almost hate to admit it, but until I started attempting to write fiction a couple of years ago, I never worried about "point of view" in my writing. In academics most everything is written from a third person perspective, so I guess I naturally gravitated toward third person writing in my attempts to write fictional stories and anecdotes.
The Blue Quill has a few articles explaining point of view with samples of the various styles and approaches to assembling a story.
First person is becoming more and more popular and is evident in the many, many memoirs that are being published currently.
Third Person is prevalent in academic and in newspaper writing, but definitely has a place in fiction as well.
My struggle with point of view is that I naturally gravitate to third person omniscient and in recent critiques I've discovered that this viewpoint removes the reader from the story to the point that they begin to lose interest in what's taking place. I think third person restricted might solve a lot of the issues I've been having with keeping the reader involved.
Any suggestions for how to teach an old third person omniscient dog some new third person restricted tricks?
I'm also interested in your suggestions for some writers and/or novels that you consider proficient third person omniscient novelists that I could read and learn from. My personal preferences gravitate toward the thriller/mystery genres.
I think it's interesting that "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee is written in first person and is highly regarded as one of the alltime American classic novels, but most of the "how to" articles, books and memoirs about "how to write" favor third person point of view.
That tells me that if you are good enough and the story has the "right stuff", point of view might not be as important as some writers think it is.