HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Your thoughts on POV?



    One of the problems novice writers must deal with is all the contradictory advice he/she will be showered with. Also, that advice is often contrary to what he will find in published books. POV is a subject that seems to be much more worried about among teachers and students of fiction than established writers.

    In the NAKED AND THE DEAD, Norman Mailer jumps from one characterís thoughts/feelings into anotherís and anotherís, all in the same scene. No one told him youíre not supposed to do that and the readers didnít care. This is also found in more recent books.

    I either stay out of the charactersí heads completely or stick with one character until the next scene. Whether I expose a characterís inner thoughts directly, as opposed to indirectly, depends on what Iím trying to do for the reader with the scene. The character that is most important to the scene is the obvious choice, but sometimes characters are equally important. In my opinion, and itís just my opinion, a male writer should write a love scene from the womanís POV, and a female writer should write it from the manís. This may not be as important for a female writer, but men sometimes turn what he thinks is a love scene into a sex scene. There is a difference. A quickie with a hooker behind a bar is not a love scene anymore than such activity is an act of love. Writing from the female characterís POV may help him avoid this, especially if he is young and still suffering T&A fixation because of testosterone poisoning.

    There are other aspects to POV, 1st person, 3rd person etcetera, I wonít get into here. Iím just wondering how many of you have written an entire novel without getting directly into a single personís head. Or have you stuck with just the MC? In both cases Iím talking about 3rd person narrative.



  2. #2
    Jeanne Gassman
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    Don,

    Not sure what you mean by "not getting into a single person's head." Are you talking about omniscient POV? That style has fallen out of fashion, but was quite popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. For example, Dickens often used omniscient POV, and Flannery O'Connor used it in her short fiction. It's tough to pull off well.

    Nora Roberts writes in multiple POVs, often in the same scene. I think beginning writers are advised against jumping POV because it takes so much skill to make it work--unless you're doing it in different chapters or different scenes. As for me, my novel is written in close-in 3rd POV. I've also written short stories in first person, including a couple with a very unreliable narrator.

    Jeanne

  3. #3
    Don Daffron
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    Strictly 3rd person narrative with the occasional ďinner dialogueĒ or unspoken thoughts of a character is what I was writing of, asking about.

  4. #4
    Karen Campbell
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    I've sometimes wondered if POV training has warped my brain. I'm so vigilant in watching for POV shifts in my own writing that now I may be overly sensitive to them in the writing of others. I truly can't enjoy a scene told from multiple heads. It freaks me out. Possibly there may be drugs for that.

    Karen

  5. #5
    Josh Lemay
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    I usually do 3rd person limited. It's basically what you're referring to with a general 3rd person narrative, but structured to focus mainly on one person. I do add that person's inner dialogue at times, but I'll stick to only that person and it's always the main character(s). I don't switch perspectives mid scene, but I do write things sometimes where multiple characters are the main ones and they get separate scenes/chapters from their focused perspective.

    I'm not against POV hopping if it's done nicely, though. There's a few books that pull it off really well and that I've enjoyed.

  6. #6
    Franklin Meeks
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    I agree with Karen in that inside the scene will make you want to pull your hair out sometimes. I've written one of each, but with 3rd it flows better chapter to chapter, switching the leads out. Anybody practicing the art of DEEP POV?

  7. #7
    Mark Phillips
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    My advice would be to let the story decided. I think that sometimes writers are so worried about the little things in writing that they forget the big picture. Experimentation is a good thing. If it doesn't work then you can always try something else. It's not as if fiction writing holds a deadline for unpublished authors. If you want to switch POV in the middle of a scene and it works well and gets the main idea of your story across, then do it. Trust me no agent or editor is going to chastise you for doing something different if it works. In fact, their more likely to applaud you for it.

  8. #8
    Josh Lemay
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    I had to look up what Deep POV was, but it's the same as 3rd person limited, so yes I do that, Franklin.

    I really enjoy that one and would suggest people giving it a try if they haven't already. It's a little different, but I find it fun.

  9. #9
    Charlotte Castle
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    Funnily enough, I was just thinking this morning that the way out of the black hole I've landed in with my novel at the moment may be to swap POV from the protaganist, to his wife for a while. This will give an excellent opportunity to explore the issues that they are going through from another point of view, but most importantly will help me with telling the story in ACTION - the second part of my book is largely to do with the thought processes of the protaganist and I was struggling with how to avoid it sounding like Crime & Punishment.

    I've got to say - you totally lose me when you start talking about Deep POV's and omnicient POV's - I've never been on a writing course in my life. I was hoping the 100 odd books a year I read would stand me in good stead, but perhaps I should be getting formal training?

    Sorry - I realise I'm really just talking to myself in this post. Thinking out loud, if you will. Please do get back to your interesting discussion!

  10. #10
    Josh Lemay
    Guest

    Re: Your thoughts on POV?

    You've probably read books involving both POVs. Can check out their formal definitions here: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_view_(literature)#Third-person.2C_subjective>

    Deep POV/3rd Person Limited(referring to strictly one character or subjective if it's a couple, but it's never all of them) is basically when you add in the character's thoughts to the writing, but only those characters you limit yourself to(usually the main character).

    Example: "She ran away. What else could she do? Or, at least, if she had another option, her mind was too frazzled from dealing with things to weight it out properly."

    The example's kind of bad, since it's three sentences with the same character, but pretend that character is the only one who has their thoughts narrated out within the context of a larger story.

    3rd Person Omniscient is basically that, but having any and all character's thoughts free game for writing about. The narrator knows it all and can mention whatever they wish.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts