The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Writing Process: A POV Q

If you've never been told there is a problem with the POV (point-of-view) from which you write, should you change it? What if the "experts" say it's wrong? (And just who are these "experts" anyway?)

This is a subject I think about a lot. When I started writing, I just wrote the thoughts and actions in my head. It wasn't always the same character's POV for an entire scene. Sometimes, I felt it was necessary to know what was going through the mind of the other person(s) in the room. I never gave much thought to the process itself.

The four books I have out are all written this way. I've never had a complaint about the POV. Even the few 1-star reviews I've received never mentioned a POV that was hard to follow. (Although now that I've said that out loud, I'm sure the next one(s) will, LOL.)

Later, reading back over what I've written, I realize I've done what some experts say is actually acceptable. I usually put a POV neutral paragraph between POV switches, easing the reader into the next POV, many times without their conscious knowledge. This POV is called 3rd person omniscient. Some get it confused with head-hopping. Head-hopping is an entirely different bag of worms and literally leaves the reader's head spinning.

Most writers are influenced by other writers. I admit, I have read many, many traditional Regencies that employ the 3rd person omniscient POV. Perhaps this is holding me back as a writer...?

I am currently editing two more Regencies. I have undertaken the time-consuming task of changing the POV. I am curious to see what the difference will be to my readers. Will the straight-up 3rd person POV be more popular with my readers or will they prefer the omniscient POV I've previously employed?

What do you think? Should a writer change the way they write even if no one complains?

2 comments:

Bernadette Simpson said...

It sounds like you are challenging yourself as a writer, trying something new and different, which is how we all grow and progress as writers. Who knows? You may change it and find you like your original POV better. But you'll never know unless you try!

Laura Fabiani said...

When I teach POV in my creative writing workshops, most get confused with 3rd person omnicient. It is not easy to do. If the author does it correctly, he is not head-hopping which is using the 3rd person limited incorrectly. Bel Canto by Ann Pachette uses 3rd person omnicient and it is very well done. As a writer you must go with the POV that you are comfortable with or that suits the story you are telling.

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