Tag Archive - POV Violations

Smooth Switches: Multiple POV Tricks and Tips

This month we’re looking at Fatal Flaw # 5: POV Violations. Fiction writers often violate POV “rules,” and have trouble seeing how this manifests in their scenes. This week editor Linda Clare explores how to make  smooth switch in POV and decide just who should be experiencing and relating the scene. (If you missed last week’s introductory post by Rachel Starr Thomson, read it here.)

As Rachel reminded us last week, knowing whose skin we’re in is key to developing and keeping readers interested and pulling for a point-of-view character. She discussed the perils of head-hopping (jumping from one character’s head to another in the same scene) and used some terrific examples to set us straight. This week, let’s talk about how to make a smooth switch in POV.

Who Will Tell the Story?

Many modern novels are told from more than one character’s perspective. While the technique adds interest and richness to a story, many novel writers don’t understand why they are telling a story from more than one POV. No matter how many characters “take the microphone,” writers still need to know whose story is being told.

Your story can be told by multiple voices, but it’s essential that one character be the one for whom the story matters most, who has the most to lose, or to whom the most important changes and challenges occur. Continue Reading…

Whose Head? Point of View in Fiction

This month we begin looking at Fatal Flaw # 5: POV Violations. Fiction writers often violate POV (point of view) “rules,” and have trouble seeing how this manifests in their scenes. Editor Rachel Starr Thomson introduces this month’s topic and explains the problems inherent in head hopping.

The commonly heard phrase “Well, from my point of view” expresses something central to human existence: our whole experience of life is bounded by the fact that we are trapped in our own heads.

Life is all about point of view. Fiction, which emulates life, is too.

How authors handle point of view has changed dramatically since the days of Robinson Crusoe. A hundred years ago the usual convention was to write “omnisciently” (more about this in a future post), from the point of view of an all-knowing, all-seeing narrator, who might be the author or possibly some kind of god. Continue Reading…

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