Monday, February 6, 2012

Wandering POV

I have been reading a lot of self published work since I got my Kindle. One thing I am finding a lot of, is inconsistent POV. All of these stories start out as first person. Then they slide into third person and sometimes omniscient narrator for other characters.

In essence they are telling everyone's story at the same time. I have been guilty of this myself. I have a story in the wings that I still haven't decided whose story it is for the rewrite. And it will just sit there til I do.

Who is most impacted by the events? Who grows the most? I think the author needs to ask that question and stick to that POV. Or at the very least, narrow it down. I think a wandering POV waters down the story.

It dilutes the tension if we know that the hero's girlfriend is already smitten. Or if an ancillary character that might be a red herring is actually innocuous. And once I am introduced to the protagonist, I want to stay with him. Popping around to all these other heads doesn't move that story forward. I think it is watching too much TV.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

I have read some wonderful first person POV - Jim Butcher and Robin Hobb just off the top of my head. The whole point is to make it more intimate. You are in their heads for a ride along. I think some of the newer authors use first person because they are living out the scenes in their heads (as we all do), and it feels natural. But they aren't using all the first person possibilities. And the break from first to third should be just that: a scene break at minimum and preferably a chapter.

OK, got that off my chest.

No comments:

Post a Comment