Saturday, June 25, 2011

Point of View by Barbara Edwards


When I started writing I had never heard of POV. What? Is it catching?
Point Of View turned out to be the biggest bugaboo in the bag of writer’s tricks. I spent months trying to get it right. Checking all the things I need to watch out for, for a consistent read made me want to throw up my hands and scream: “I don’t care!”
I finally realized POV wasn’t the most important part of the process. I worked on my plotting, on my characters, conflict and resolution. And ended up with a manuscript titled Another Love.
Rewrites turned out to be the time when I checked POV.
Like Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick said in Casabalanca, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” I realized POV was in the eyes of the beholder.
So the speaker can’t see her own expression or the color of her own eyes, okay. This is fixable. The other important part of POV is deciding whose viewpoint the scene should be in. That is determined by the character most affected by the action. I used this in Ancient Awakening and Ancient Blood to heighten the tension.
POV is another tool to use building a good story.


Contest: I’m giving away an e-book copy of Ancient Blood on June 30 to celebrate. It is available at the Wild Rose Press. Just go to one of my June blog appearances and leave a comment where I’m appearing from June 1- June 30, 2011 or at my blog. Enter often by leaving a comment. The winner will be randomly drawn on June 30, 2011 at midnight.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Barbara, I think every writer fights with POV at the beginning and then it becomes automatic. Now I jump if I catch a shift of POV in a published book, especially in famous NY bestsellers, who make their own rules. As you say it's so easy to fix a POV shift.

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  2. When I started writing seriously, I knew how to write--or so I thought. I'd majored in English with a concentration in technical writing, had never gotten less than an "A" on a college paper and simply loved the writing process. What I had no clue about was the craft of writing. POV, character arc, conflict and resolution and character development. Boy, oh boy, have I been on a learning curve these last 3 years!!! How exciting. So when you mention all the things you've learned, Barbara, I can certainly relate...but, girl, aren't we having the BEST time????

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  3. I love POV--I love to take that one character and let them interpret (or mis-interpret) the expression on the other's face. Use it to give the read the "know" and still keep it from everyone else in the book. POV can be challenging at times, but always worth the effort in the end. As for those big names that call their own shots, unfortunately it just weakens their writing. We have editors for a reason! :-)

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  4. Hi Mona,
    I bet I know what NYT author you mean! I love her writing and wish I had her skill.
    Barbara

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  5. Hi Vonnie,
    I agree! Writing is the best life although being published does add the cherry.
    Barbara

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  6. Hi Amy,
    A good editor is the best resource in the writer's bag of tricks. I've been lucky enough to have really good ones.
    Barbara

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  7. Hi Barbara,
    The great thing about writing is you learn as you go. Strengthening your craft is a constant thing.

    Edge of Your Seat Romance

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  8. Hi Raquel,
    I agree. A new method, a new way of looking at my work, all make me happy I'm a writer.
    Barbara

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  9. Hi Barbara,

    POV is seemingly simple, but if done right, it can add untold layers to the story. In my Cleopatra Jones series, I only use one POV, so everything is filtered through that person's eyes. In my romantic suspenses, I use multiple 3rd person POVs, and that gives a lot of room for different interpretations. Using POV to help tighten pacing is a must for most stories!

    Maggie

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  10. Hi Barbara,
    I still remember the first time I heard about POV...it was after I entered my very first writer's contest and finished 2nd last. Ouch. Now, of course, having studied it FOREVER, I love POV...figures, huh?!

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