AND, the fact WW3 was declared over point of view in a story. PLUS the signing of a publishing contract with Catherine Cavendish, author of to name a few AND a few to come soon too, keep your eyes peeled for Linden Manor,
DO step aside Mr Dickens.
You must have read the lovely Sharon Struth’s post on the subject.
SO….Point of view. Well, cards on the table, this is one of the things I found hardest setting out to try and get published. You see you think you can have as many viewpoints as you like in a scene and in a story. But to quote my heroine, her ladyship Fury, herself…
there are rules.
You can argue this all you like…
God wouldn’t have the scene or the story–sorry Ratsy–because the omnipresent is out of fashion. Yep and some of the best known writers ever, wrote that way too. Mr Dickens to quote but one.
The rabbit, if he’s a secondary character wouldn’t have the scene or the story either.
Don’t shoot me. I’m only the poor writer trying to get it right the very same as you are. The rabbit is just …..the rabbit.
There was the hooker, the hooker’s sister, the hooker’s jack of all trades, the ranch hand, the bank robber, the housewife. Each with a little secret in tow, plus the potential to blow the town apart.
Of course I gave the scene to the stage coach driver. Well. He was best placed to give us the low down, wasn’t he?
cos he wasn’t after that scene. Not only that he had a touch of the Clint Eastwood’s about him.
But there’s probably worse mistakes to make. There’s……
Head hopping in other words. You know where one minute we’re with one character and then with each successive paragraph we’re with another. Again you can argue it’s great to know what each person is thinking. Till you’re blue in the face too.
Yeah, yeah, I know. you look at books from 20 years ago and they are full of head hopping. But this is 20 years on. It’s a tough biz for those who want to succeed.
So? POV. What are the rules? Well, these days it seems you tell the story from one or two viewpoints. Probably, unless you’re Tonto’s horse or something, taking a new slant on The Lone Ranger, you tell it mainly from one with a dash of two.
You decide at the start of the scene whose head you’re in. You might stick in that head for the whole scene. The whole chapter, or chapters too. If you switch, the advice is don’t then switch back again in that scene. Do it afterwards by all means.
Personally, in terms of viewpoint I start the scene in the head of the character with the most to lose at this particular point.
Sharon Struth makes great points about why it’s good to have, or not have the other person’s viewpoint. Think of the suspense for a kick off if we don’t know what a character is thinking, while the other is busily
hamstering beavering away.
Then there’s the fun to be had from them coming at something from entirely opposing angles…….
extracts copyright The Unraveling of Lady Fury. Etopia Press.