Monday, August 21, 2006

Lesson 30: Point of View

Hey, it's Monday and I have my head screwed on straight...well relatively speaking anyhow! The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance website is up and running. The CFBA Blog is also open for commenting. The CFBA Blogroll is almost done, just a little Beta testing to do, and a half dozen other projects are nearing completion, so we're back on schedule.

Hey, I remember where we left off! Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel. This is a fabulous book and I encourage each of you to buy it. What I'm presenting here is by no means a full lesson and there is a wealth of insight and additional info that will help you.

In case your just joining us...What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. We're done with Character Development, now we're moving on to Plot Development! Today's lesson is in Section THREE: Point of View.

Most contemporary novels are written from the POV of their characters. This can get quite intimate...first person being as intimate as you can get! But there are plenty of alternate POV's to employ, including the objective and authorial POV's.

Although these are older approaches as somewhat out of fashion...Hey who ever though bell bottoms and platform shoes would come back...LOL!

Whatever your choice, POV is the perspective you give your readers on the action of the story. It pays to make it strong.

What sort of voice do you have? Soprano? Alto? Tenor? Bass? What kind of soprano...bright? What kind of tenor...high? Is your voice pop, smooth, operatic, or belting? The type of singing voice you have makes a difference to the sound that comes out of your mouth, correct?

So it is with the voice of your novel. The voice will largely be determined by your choice of POV, but more than that by how you use that POV. Are the voices ordinary and generic, or are they highly colored and specific?

Heighten POV throughout your manuscript, and you will strengthen your story's impact.

Step 1: Open your manuscript at random. Whose POV are we experiencing the action through?

Step 2: On this page, select anything the POV character says, does, or thinks. Heighten it. Change the dialogue. Exaggerate the action. Grow the emotion, thought, or observation to make it even more characteristic of this character.

Note: Capturing a character's unique speech and outlook is perhaps easier in a first-person novel. But POV is more than just looking through a set of eyes onto the world. The mouth and brain must come into play also or your novel will have the chilliness of a movie camera

Follow-up: Turn to another page at random. Do the same exercise....repeat the steps about once in every scene in your novel.

Conclusion: What would happen if you did this exercise instead of just think about it? Your novel would take longer to write, but wouldn't it be stronger? Good news. The next exercise is a tool that might make the job easier!

And now for a Metamucil moment:

Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are.

You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape.

If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40.

If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

Also, remember everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

If you shop anywhere but Wal-Mart(that reminds me of a story), you are just showing off!

And finally, be really nice to your family and friends; you never know when you might need them to empty your bedpan.


  1. M. C. Pearson said...
    Cool ideas Bonnie...and I like the bedpan thought. Ain't that the truth!
    Bernita said...
    More good stuff.
    Been worried about this.
    Rulan said...
    Another great lesson. Keep up the good work.
    Ballpoint Wren said...
    It's nice to have you back, Bonnie!
    WannabeMe said...
    WD-40 and duct tape is good advive. Especially if you need to get into a tight-fitting strapless ball gown then get out of it later.

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