Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Warm, Fuzzy Alarm Clocks and Good Things

I woke up at 6:30am this morning, thanks to my alarm clock cat who refused to go into sleep mode. But, after dragging my body out from under the bed covers, I'm glad to be up. The sun is shining and the world is a beautiful place. I really don't want to waste the daylight hours in sleep.

Today I have a busy day. I'm entertaining the Board for my writing group at noon. We have a lot to discuss, so it'll be nicer to sit on the deck and enjoy the weather while we eat and make decisions. Tonight is bible study and since it's the last night, we are having a pot luck with pizza, salads, and desserts. Pig out time!

I suppose it's a good thing that I've been running up and down the stairs so much the past couple of days.

On Writing:

I've been working with a new writer who has a great voice and really knows her characters. However, like a lot of new writers, she has a problem with POV (point of view). At one time, it was okay to do some head-hopping, but in today's literary world, not. The first thing an agent or editor will ding a writer on is incorrect usage of POV.

I woke up thinking about why writers head-hop when they begin writing. I did it, and so has most everyone else I've spoken with. Stepping back, my take is that the author knows his/her characters so well, that they know what they are thinking and what they are doing during every second of the scene. They are in each character's head so deeply that it is easy to write in both POV's. Is this a bad thing?

Not really. A good book is only as good as its characters. Story is driven by the characters, their thoughts, reactions, and actions. So, this is a good thing. The trick is to learn which character's POV is the one to stick with for a scene. Choose the character who has to most to lose or gain from the scene. Then show the other characters thoughts and emotions through their actions. Once this is accomplished, you'll have a winning story that will meet the editor/agents criteria for a great read.


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