When the term POV comes up in the critique group I cringe. At least I did until recently. Last fall when I attended Heart of America Christian Writers Conference in Kansas City, Angela Hunt talked about POV—Point of View.
There is First Person POV. The “I” person is sharing their personal story. This is often used in memoirs.
The Second Person POV: you, yours, yourself is used in letter writing or possibly a speech.
In the Third Person Omniscient POV an all-knowing narrator not only reports the facts but may also interpret events and relate the thoughts and feelings of any character. Charlotte’s Web by EB White is a good example.
Much of what I read is written in Third Person Limited POV. My problem—my fiction work often has talking heads or someone sticking in their thoughts where they shouldn’t be.
|Angela Hunt’s Facebook|
I’ll admit I’m not the best teacher on POV, but I’m beginning to recognize when I’ve interjected words where they can’t be if the material is written correctly.
There is a new novel buzzing around in my brain. Sometimes I fall asleep thinking about which character said what. I’ve decided the story is told by the ex-wife and her teenage son. Two people using third person limited POV.
Sound asleep I woke up, sat up in bed with a blazing revelation. “They can’t say that. No one can know what happens in the hall. The wife is in the restroom and the son in a hospital bed.” Wow!
Today I picked up a book, I’m assuming should be third person limited POV. The stilted dialogue might not bug me if I could figure out who is where and when. A young single woman is sharing her story. When a young single man comes along she thinks he couldn’t possibly like her for more than a friend, he’s good looking and she’s homely.
The single story teller gives lots of back story before she meets the guy. While they are talking we get his thoughts. “Wow, her smile is gorgeous and she doesn’t wear a ring.” Then back to her sharing her life history with him—much of what we know from the back story.
He thinks, “Wow, maybe God sent me here to marry this woman.” (Hallmark I understand—at least they give a few days instead of minutes.)
When the young lady suggests he have lunch with her family he accepts. When the two young people walk out of the restaurant, we have the dialogue from the parents. “They’re going to get married aren’t they?”
Okay, so maybe the author is writing in Third Person Omniscient—but I don’t get it. Think I’ll try and learn the Third Person Limited well before I put my novel in the computer.
My random writing thoughts for today.
Katherine J. Crawford, author of Capsules of Hope: Survival Guide for Caregivers, is published in sixteen compilations and numerous articles. Known as the Lionhearted Kat, she resides in Omaha, Nebraska. Visit Kat’s website lionheartedkat.com.Read her journal through breast cancer and the loss of her husband: www.caringgiver/visit/org.
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