What I'm reading: First Cases, Volume 3, edited by Robert J. Randisi
Thanks, Jacqui for your great advice yesterday. Definitely some good takeaway truths.
And just because this is my blog, I thought I'd share a picture of another visitor to our home yesterday. I'm sure I could have figured out a clever tie-in to today's topic, but--I didn't. Feel free to suggest one.
Right about now, a few thousand writers, agents, publishers and assorted book people will be in Orlando for the annual Romance Writers of America Conference. Of course, thousands more won't be making the trip, myself included.
A writing site, Savvy Writers, is holding an on-line symposium for those who won't be at nationals, and I volunteered to host a one hour chat on Point of View. At the time, it seemed like fun. POV was one of my first writing "lessons" and I'm probably overly aware of it when I read. Now that the chat is looming, I'm trying to figure out how to handle information exchange during a live chat. For the most part, you can only post a few lines—a short paragraph at most—and it's a "chat" not a lecture or a workshop. I'd love some help
What are some areas of POV that we can chat about? Writers, what do you find hard? Easy? Readers, do you even notice? Pet peeves?
Here's a sketchy outline of what I figure I'll start with. I'm hoping "chat" is the operative word and there will 1) be actual people in the chat room, and 2) they'll participate by asking questions.
1. What is Point of View?
Simply, it's who's telling the story in any given scene. It's the character through whose senses the reader experiences what's going on. There are no 'rights' or 'wrongs' but choosing the wrong POV can keep the reader from being drawn into the story. Readers need to bond with character, and POV is one tool the writer uses to develop that connection.
2. What Are Your Choices?
There are variations and subsets, but these are the basics:
Omniscient: Someone outside the story knows what's going on and reports to the reader.
First Person: "I went to the store." More common in mystery and chick-lit than most romance.
Second Person: "You went to the store." Very rare. Also very hard to do.
Commonly used in things like children's books where the reader can choose what to do next.
Third Person: "He went to the store" or, "George went to the store."
Most commonly used. Has many variations. Can be shallow, almost narrated, or deep, almost the same as 1st person, with all levels in between.
3. How Do You Choose?
"Figure out whose story it is. Get inside that character…" (Jack Bickham)
Who has the most to lose?
What do you want to reveal to your reader?
What do you want to conceal from your reader?
So – opening the comments to ideas. If you're a member of Savvy Writers, you can join the chat. It's the 29th from 8-9 pm Eastern Time. Which is 6 my time, so I have to remember to adjust for time zones. Would love to see you there. (But you have to be a paid up member of the group, so I understand if you can't make it—I'm not egotistical enough to think you'd fork over $30 just for my 1-hour chat--although you'd get a full year's membership.)