1. Fronzizzle
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    Fronzizzle Member

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    Struggling with POV - am I on the right track?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Fronzizzle, Apr 17, 2014.

    Hello again all,

    After reading numerous posts on this forum, I started doing a bunch of research on POV and "showing, not telling." After finding a lot of good information over the last couple of days, I went back and started rereading things I wrote, and I discovered I have a big weakness. In many instances, my POV wasn't consistent and in most cases, I was just telling.

    Even after finding a lot of good information, I'm still struggling a bit. I went and rewrote a small section - below is the original, along with my rewrite. I hope it's okay that I'm posting this here - if not, I apologize. I'd like some feedback on the changes I made, make sure I'm moving in the right direction. Thank you.

    Original:
    As Tim lay there, he had no problem getting into the mood. The last couple of weeks had been rough, both physically and mentally and he was looking forward to his massage.

    Him and his wife didn’t have a lot of money to spare, monthly massages were the only thing he splurged on; he had a standing seven o’clock appointment the third Wednesday of every month with Malinda, his masseuse of choice at Body-Right.

    The room was the same windowless one he was always in. Situated in an old dentist’s office, it was once used as a cleaning room. Now, it housed a large, sturdy massage table in the middle, with a sink almost pressed up against the foot of it and a small dresser along the wall where Malinda kept a CD player and various massage oils. Right now, nature sounds were coming from the player. Tim was familiar with this particular CD and knew that soft piano music would soon follow. A tall, covered lamp provided the only light in the room, keeping it dim enough to relax but not so dark you couldn’t see.

    Tim was laying face down, covered by a couple of blankets with only his boxers on as Malinda entered the room. Her face was neither ugly nor pretty, just plain with no remarkable or memorable features. She was short, just under five foot two and was a rather robust 160 pounds, with brown eyes and dark brown hair that was cropped too short. Physically, the entire package was unappealing to most men, including Tim. But she had strong hands, was good at her job and a really nice person; Tim didn’t care much about her appearance. In fact, he preferred his masseuse to be unattractive. He had gotten massages from some bombshells before and found that he could never fully relax around them – professional or not, it was hard to get comfortable while lying nearly naked while some hot chick rubbed oil all over him.

    Changed:
    Worn out by stress and beaten up by sixty-hour work weeks, Tim had no problem getting into the mood. The last couple of weeks had been especially rough and he was looking forward to his massage. He felt a little guilty since he and his wife didn't have a lot of money to spare, but it was the only thing he splurged on; he had cut way back on his alcohol purchases and gave up new video games altogether in order to afford an hour-long massage at seven o'clock on the third Wednesday of every month.

    The room was the same windowless one he was always in; it was Malinda's, his masseuse of choice at Body-Right. Situated in an old dentist's office, the small space was cramped with a small dresser and tall, skinny lamp joining the sturdy massage table. An unused sink jutted from the wall, almost touching the foot of the bed.

    Still, the atmosphere was relaxing. The lamp was covered, keeping the room dim enough to unwind but not dark enough to make the clients uncomfortable, and a small CD player on the dresser was playing nature sounds. He was familiar with this particular disc, it was one of his favorites; soft piano music would soon follow.

    Dressed in only his boxers, he laid face down on the table and pulled the thin blanket over him just before Malinda entered the room. In her early fifties, her face was neither ugly nor pretty, just plain. She stood just under five-foot-two and was a rather robust one-hundred-sixty pounds with brown eyes and dark brown hair that was cropped too short. He didn't mind that she was unattractive; in fact, he preferred it. His previous masseuse was a young, leggy blonde and professional or not, he found it impossible to relax while she rubbed him down with oil while he was nearly naked. Besides, Malinda had strong hands, was good at her job and was a really nice person.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If you write 8 more posts and have 2 critiques, you can pose this inquiry in the writer's workshop area where it belongs.

    Or, you could trim this down and just ask about a sentence or two at a time in this thread.
     
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  3. TheDapperJack
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    I have a sneaking suspicion someone is just trying to get past the wait limit on story submissions...
     
  4. Fronzizzle
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    Your sneaking suspicion is wrong; I'm not trying to get past anything, at least not intentionally. I spent the last few days reading hundreds of posts and found numerous examples of people posting small samples in various locations, and many had the same amount/less posts than I have.

    Having said that, I have no issue deleting/editing this post and meeting the requirements of the board. However, I don't see a place to Delete or Edit my original post.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I, for one, didn't think you were trying to pull anything. I was wavering between answering and reminding you of the rules because I didn't think it was intentional.

    A small sample is perfectly acceptable here. Your OP was right on the borderline.

    Just cut it down and I'll be happy to answer your questions.
     
  6. Fronzizzle
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    Sure...can you tell me how to cut it down? Do I just reply? Or is there a way to edit the post? I'm sure there is a way to edit but I just don't see it...
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    Don't worry, you didn't do anything bad. :)

    Are you asking about POV or "showing, not telling"?

    We don't need the before, just the after.

    Is there any place in the rewritten version you aren't sure if you switched POV? Are you intending to only be in Tim's POV? You can describe anything Tim sees, including what he thinks others think, as long as you don't describe what the masseuse was thinking. I don't see any POV issues right off the bat in the 'after' piece. POV is straight forward, but can require re-reading to check for errors.

    If you are looking for tweaking the showing not telling, pick one or two paragraphs and ask if there might be a better way to show whatever it is you think was still telling.

    If you are looking more for reassurance you understand the issues, I didn't read the before but I think the after suggests you are.
     

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