From The Believer Logger:
Brandon Hobson: In the past you’ve talked about point-of-view being the writer’s greatest tool. Can you talk a little more about that, and maybe how it’s better than, say, voice?
Stewart O’Nan: Getting inside your character’s head and letting the reader see the world through not just their eyes but their sensibility creates an intimacy that can’t be duplicated in any other medium. And point of view includes voice, discovering the appropriate language and tone for each character. Every choice contributes to bringing the character’s emotional world across to the reader, and as you’re making those choices in your early drafts, you as a writer understand more and more about your characters—their fears and desires, their history, the people closest to them—so that when they face situations, both you and the reader understand why they do the things they do, whether or not you (and the reader) agree with them.