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  1. #11
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    You're welcom, AJ. Hope they help.


    So, how does anyone feel about third person, one POV?
    Jo


    I guess I'd have to ask what purpose it serves? Without the benefit of delving into the minds and hearts of adjoining characters, why not write it in first person? What does the reader gain from a single POV third limited? I'm not arguing -- I'm really asking.

    Enquiring minds want to know! <g>



  2. #12
    Angel Kemory
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    I had an older writing book back in High School that claimed there should only be one POV even in third person. I can see many areas in my first two books where another pov would benefit. In my third book, I do have two povs. I was just curious how others felt about it.

    Jo

  3. #13
    Spider's Web
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    I have always understood it to be:

    If the main conflict is internal, than you should use only one character POV.

    If the main conflict is external, than you are free to do whatever you want.

    It all depends on the type of story, really. Some are made for multiple POV's (I wrote a novel with five main POV's plus some others that occurred once every few chapters.) Some aren't. I have read many novels that in my opinion had too many POV's, and many that were very dull with only one.

    What a reader gains by reading a single POV is normally a tighter bond to the character (always good for emotional stories) and a better understanding of the plot, in most cases. Readers gain many things, if it is the right story. It also eliminates what I've titles the 'skip factor.'

    The 'skip factor' occurs when you have multiple POVs. A reader becomes attached to a more interesting character (I personally rarely hold the mc as my favorite) and when they come to a POV that they do not like, they groan and flip through the pages to see how long they'll have to wait to get to a 'decent spot'.

    When you have multiple POVs, you can sometimes drown out plot with characters, and as important as characters are, when was the last time you picked up a book just because the characters sounded interesting?

    If this is a 'rule', than remember that some rules are made to be broken. This is one.

    Spider

  4. #14
    writersnet 1
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    I know that this is a very important topic and I admire all of you for being able to discuss it so rationally and with authority. : )

    The thought of dissecting POV makes my head spin like Linda Blair whilst I spew green. I guess you could say my POV is 360 degrees while that is happening. ; )

    I'm very Nike about my approach. I just do it. Somehow the right voice pops up without me actually knowing what it is. Anyone else?

    I rarely head hop in a scene or chapter but I could if necessary.

    I will now sneak out of this topic for some Pepto.

  5. #15
    Greg Kosson
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    You can do whatever you want although it personally drives me crazy to read a story that jumps from one's person's head to another all the time. We don't live that way.

  6. #16
    Robert Raven
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    My second (unpublishable) novel is in 3rd person POV, from two different characters. Alternation is not exactly by chapter, but the switches are not frequent, or quick. I think I have taken great care to make sure the POV is always clear to the reader.

    The first novel is structured similarly, but is so atrocious it's not worth further mention.

    Then again, since there is no reader, nor likely ever will be, perhaps it don't matter.

    In any case, I hate head-hopping, and basically view it as an instant sign of a writer not paying enough attention to narrative structure.

    My third and fourth novels, both in progress, are in first person POV, though not through any religious conversion, merely because it is appropriate for the story. Nobody's ever going to read those, either.

    RR

  7. #17
    Sam Barrett
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    As a reader, if I pick up a novel in the bookstore and it is in first person, I don't read beyond the first --I-- sentence. Back onto the shelf it goes. I detest first person. I this, I that, I went, I did.... I hate a story that is one sided. Boring!

    As both a reader and a writer, I want the characters to do their own thinking and have their own words coming from their mouths, not the 'first person character' just having the words hitting their ears. I want the plot to be thick and complicated, to have meat. I want to see what is happening from all the characters point of view. I want to be able to get into their minds.

    Every character in my book has a POV. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    -- Sam

  8. #18
    Cathy C
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    Originally posted by Spider's Web: If the main conflict is internal, than you should use only one character POV.

    If the main conflict is external, than you are free to do whatever you want.


    I can see where this could be a useful guide. Since I don't read much dramatic or literary works, an internal conflict novel might be well served by a one voice third person POV. Admittedly, some books aren't geared toward having two points of view.

    Originally posted by Sam Barrett: As a reader, if I pick up a novel in the bookstore and it is in first person, I don't read beyond the first --I-- sentence. Back onto the shelf it goes. I detest first person. I this, I that, I went, I did.... I hate a story that is one sided. Boring!

    Sorry to hear you feel this way, Sam---especially since it means you'll probably never buy any of our books. <g>

    I honestly believe first person can be used with great dramatic effect in action or mystery novels (which is primarily what I write). Stepping inside the head of the character and feeling every blow as they battle, or muscles stretching and burning as they run from (or toward) danger, can be exhilarating. First person allows you to BE the character. It's so much closer to real life. The character doesn't know what's around the next corner, so the reader doesn't either. The character can only rely on his/her senses to guide them. If you want to understand why your friend or partner grimaced when you said something, you either have to continue to wonder, or ask. Proper handling of the "I this, I that" makes the book no more irritating than "Bob did this, Bob did that."

    So, there's a question---for those who DISLIKE first person, what is the difference between reading "I did" versus "Bob did"? Is it the frequency (and so, the skill of the writer to make you forget you SAW "I"? Or is it something else that grates?



    _________________
    Smiles!
    Cathy Clamp
    Moon's Web, RT Reviewer's Choice Award Finalist
    Touch of Evil, coming soon from Tor Books, March, 2006

    <http://www.ciecatrunpubs.com>

  9. #19
    Angel Kemory
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    I don't like first person either and, to be honest, I don't know why. Strange, because my favorite novel is A Seperate Peace and it is told in first person. Everything else I read (or write) must be third person.

    I once read a book where EVERY character had a thought including a bus driver who was only in two sentences! That was a little too much for me. The book was 'noisy' and I couldn't finish it. Two or three characters, fine, but any more than that is lazy if you ask me. Think about it. Let characters TALK or show their thoughts by their ACTIONS (expressions, body language, etc.). We don't know what everyone is thinking 24-7, but I think we as humans are pretty good at figuring some things out without being mind readers.

    Jo

  10. #20
    . Bree
    Guest

    Re: a question on POV

    "First Person Point of View: This is very simple. "I went to the store. Afterward, I drove home." You're writing through the eyes of ONE person, and one person only. Nobody else gets to play."

    And when writing like this, the protag won't know what's going on in another room, or what a person is thinking.

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