Tuesday, March 24, 2015

By Any Other View, the Point Will Be the Same Or Will It?

As my not so clever title suggests, this month I want to talk about Point of View or POV for those of us too lazy to write the entire thing out every time. The reason I decided to review this most important aspect of writing is because I've been immersed in changing the POV from third-person to first-person in a novel I'm currently working on. While slaving away slicing and dicing from him and he to I and me (truly one of the most boring enterprises I've ever done, which is saying a lot because I've done some amazingly dull stuff, grading stacks of poorly written essays on the same topic comes to mind) I was reminded just how important the right viewpoint is to the story. 

I originally wrote the novel (a contemporary coming of age novel set on a ranch in south Texas) as a middle grade book and most middle grade books are written in second person. By the time I finished the first draft the young male protagonist ,struggling with the death of his mother, became a cutter and cutting is too mature a theme for the under twelve set so I had to make him a teenager. Most YA novels are told from first person because teens prefer it, so I had to make the change. 
What's interesting is that as I dredged through 

line after line of switching POV's I discovered just how different the two are. (Forgive me for ending with a preposition, sometimes sentences end up that way whether you want them to or not.) Third person, even a close third, meaning you only get to follow the narrator, is by the nature of those hims and he's not as relaxed and comfortable in the telling of the story as the narrator is when relying of I's and me's. Interesting when you think about it (as an FYI this is second person, a POV I only use in blog posts, it's simply too hard for me to keep up throughout an entire novel).

Most romance novels are written from third person, mainly to allow the reader inside the heads of the two main lovers. Despite the many intimate acts the two carry out, their POV does not allow for such a relaxed form of story. At least that's the way my two POVs panned out. 

Okay, now that I'm done, I have to admit this isn't the most groundbreaking or fascinating of posts, so to make it up to you, how about a couple of fun POV images. Also, at the bottom is a quick lesson on POV for anyone interested in a review. 

Interested in more faux enlightenment? Go to my website Gabriella Austen


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