Thursday, February 26, 2015

Point of view

As a writer who reads and reads and reads, I sometimes move away from the story without meaning to and get caught up in the technique. It happened today with point of view in a novel.

Handling various POVs was part of learning my craft.

First person was simple. I was in one person's head. However, it limited me in showing the motives of another character and although it is always better to show not tell, inner dialogues from various people were not a tool in my story-telling. On the other hand, it could sharpen conflict by having my character misread others' actions that I could make obvious to my reader.

Second person can get wearing. Too many yous. But there are writers who do it well.

Third person allowed me to get in many characters' heads BUT transitioning can be difficult.

Going back and forth from first to third is also possible but better done in different chapters or at least with some kind of transition.

In a few rare cases alternate paragraphs work.

I found sometimes if I was writing in third, it would help to put it in first. I learned more about my character that way.

I'm currently reading Next of Kin and the author handles transitions wonderful. We are in one person's head, she is on the phone, she hangs up and we switch to the other person. We walk into a room with one character and walk out with the other.

Non writers might not notice the technique, but I stopped reading to enjoy it, another dimension to reading.

I do find it interesting that American and English covers are different.

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