Viewing blog entries in category: Narrative & POV
Sometimes when you're editing something just doesn't sit right, and it just sticks in your craw and eats at you. Last night, I had one of those moments while trying to get to sleep. It was nearly 4am EDT before I manged to fall asleep, and my thoughts kept going back to Kate, my MC, and both this book and the new one I'm halfway starting. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out what kept my minding moving so much until it dawned on me.
The opening to the first novel's second chapter performed better then the first, because the first, while having it's good moments, info dumped, which is a hard thing to avoid when doing any kind of science fiction because of the worlds we work with. So, in an experiment, I spend all day today combining the best of the first, with the best of the second, and creating an opening scene where what happens to my MC to require a cybernetic body is seen by the reader instead of referred to in passing. While before, there'd been a chapter (chapter 1) to the changing of bodies, it really didn't cover WHAT happened much.
Why? Because it helped to pull some of the drama onto Kate instead of her being a secondary character during the first chapter when it should be about her. I think this chapter will be better. Although I do like a bit of dialogue between Lisa Thomson, who'll be one of the three MC's that'll revolve around this world.
Now I'll make some slight adjustments to the third chapter to bring it back in line with the rest of the novel, and it'll be settled. Sometimes it pays to listen to your gut.
Reyes looked over at the bed, and placed his hands on his hips. “Almir better not commit suicide, Doctors!”
Matthews looked at Reyes. “She won’t,”
Lisa looked at the two men, and her eyes blazed like burning coals. “Listen to you two? ‘She won’t?’ Do you know how stupid that sounds? The girl’s in pain and afraid, and since neither of you will man up, then I’ll do the job for you. Get back with me when you guys grow a pair.”
There's a lot of posts about how to run your plot, and how to plan it, and anything from outlines to, as some writers I know do, writing from the end forwards. Each has it's merits, but sometimes I feel writers get too hung up on things.
I never have an idea how my novels will end. Kate'll tell me something small, a whispered thought or an action she's done, and the rest kind of falls into place fairly quickly. I'll also admit to not knowing how the two novels I've finished were going to end until three quarters through them.
So, with all that said, don't be afraid if you don't know exactly where, or how, your story will end. Just start telling the tale, and let your character carry it to the end. He or she will tell you how the things went because it's their life you're writing. To you, the author, it seems something fresh and new, but to the character, it's already happened and is in their past. Try to be in tune with what he or she is saying to keep things moving.
Point of View, or POV, is a tricky thing for most new writers to get a grasp on. What it means, in a nutshell, is who's eyes are you seeing the story through. When we go through life, we see things and interpret things different then the person beside us. That's because we see things from our Point of View.
Characters do the same thing, and it's an important part of story telling. I tend to try to keep at least two thirds of my story in my MC's POV exclusively. If it's a story where you need to have interaction with the villian, then I use page breaks. (go down 5-6 lines from my last paragraph, then go ###, then another 5-6 lines) and start in his or her viewpoint.
Ideally, when working POV, things should only be seen/heard and thought about during their experiences. My writing tends to be running thoughts of my MC, and that's done to keep things in her viewpoint exclusively, but I do it for other characters too when it's their POV.
One POV at a time is less confusing to the reader, and easier for a beginning writer to master.