Friday, July 14, 2006

My Point Of View

Good morning.

Maybe I should be posting this on my old blog, since it's really more of a rant than an announcement, or news. In crusing blogs, forums, web-sites, etc, you always read of writer's wanting to know what editors look for, or what makes their work stand out, or sink. I'll tell you what problem I see the most lately as I sludge through the pile. POV.

Head-hopping--Okay, it is not the huge tabboo that it was a short time ago. We now accept the fact that most writers are aware that many very popular novelists do it. So they feel free to break this 'rule' at their leisure. The problem is 'don't head hop' is a rule for a reason. The reason is if you do it without a good reason, or do it badly, it stands out like a sore thumb, and gives the reader a headache trying to keep up with all the flipping around. Think before you hop. If you can seriously find a good reason to know what a different character is thinking, or feeling, then do it... but, here's the caveat... do it well. That's a heck of a lot tricker than figuring out if there's a reason for it.

Omniscient--Unless your whole story is done in this viewpoint (good luck with that, ugh), simply flipping out of character and throwing in a narrator's viewpoint is a bad thing. It's a very bad thing, but I see writer's trying to do it all the time. Omniscient on its own is difficult enough because it so often forces writers into passive voice, so doing it well is an accomplishment, but just to comment on the 'normally' third, or first person story is author intrusion at its worst. (Think Humphrey Bogart turning to the camera and saying 'She couldn't whistle to save her soul, so I'm safe'. -- It's NOT a good thing.)

Take the time to really learn, and understand what the different POV's are.

For those anxious for a good POV lesson, this article by Leslie King is fantastic.

1 comment:

Bernita said...

A useful article, Tami.
thank you.