Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Avoiding POV as a POS

Okay, so that's not the title of the workshop I attended at Surrey, it is however the underlying theme of the session. The teacher was Joanna Bourne, who did a fabulous job and I would like to give you the highlights of the workshop that could help with POV. It certainly did that for me.
  • New writers almost always use 1st person or omniscient narrative.
  • 3rd person is more difficult, not more logical
  • Don't just add a POV character to add info. Scenes are for advancing the story.
  • (This is my favorite) "Readers are like mother cats." If a mother cat has only three kittens and you take one away, she notices. If a mother cat has nine kittens and you take one away, she won't notice. Same with readers. If you have lots of characters, they (the readers) will not really notice/care. If they have only a few characters to attach to, they will identify and care more about what's going on.
  • An intrusive narrator breaks POV's voice and does not make you care about the characters
  • If you have a good POV it should feel like 1st person when its actually in 3rd.

There was a lot more to the class, it was three hours of POV and Voice, we covered linguistics and how that can help your writing, scene development, character voice and lots more, so I will add to this topic another day. Hope these tips help!


Christi J. Whitney said...

Good tips!

Tahlia said...

Very helpful. This sharing what we learn in workshops is great. I'm like you, just scored an agent and looking for publishers. Agent sent me back for a re-edit after some feedback from publishers and POV is one of the things I have to look at, so excellent.

Hope you can check out my work. I have ch 1 of my YA fantasy on my website/blog

Shannon said...

Christi- Thanks, always glad to share

Tahlia- I've had one rejection from a publisher that my agent sent out to, waiting on a few more before any re-writes start. Glad that this was helpful, and I will definitely check out your blog. :)