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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

About POV-

    Writing fiction is a whole other ball game than writing non-fiction.  We have what is called: POV (point of view) of each character. It is best to use only one POV per scene so as not to confuse the reader.  Some writers use one POV per chapter, and I once read a book that was written in the first person with one POV throughout the entire book.
     Example: John wondered why his brother, Mike, didn't tell him that he'd been seeing Amy all this time. Maybe he thought that he still had feelings for her, being that he and Amy had dated last year. He'd have to put things straight with his brother tonight after dinner. He didn't want Mike to feel guilty, and he wasn't used to secrets between them.
     That was John's POV.  Even if other characters enter the scene, we stay with John's POV.
     Just then, Mike entered the kitchen.
     "Umm, something smells good. Where's Mom?" Mike turned to John smiling.
     "She went into the yard to pick some tomatoes for the salad." Now is as good a time as any to ask him.
     "Mike, can we talk for a few minutes after dinner?"
      John watched his brother's eyes scan his face with curiosity.
     "Sure. But how about now?"
     Mom would be back any minute. And John preferred not to be interrupted or rushed. He didn't even know if Mom knew about Mike and Amy.
      "Dinner will be ready soon. Afterward would be better."
      That was keeping  with John's POV.  We didn't add Mike's thoughts there. We can do that when it is Mike's POV in the next scene.  For example...
       After dinner Mike followed John into the back screened porch. What could be so private that John had to have their talk out here? Surely he had no idea about Amy. Maybe he should have told him right from the beginning, but he didn't want John to feel badly that she'd chosen him over his brother. Then again, John didn't seem to be hanging his head in rejection these days. He'd been going out on weekends with friends. Maybe he even had a new girlfriend.
      That was Mike's POV and we stay with that for the entire scene.
       Changing POV often is  called "head hopping." Going into the head of one character to the other. So, the next time you read a novel, see how the writer stays in one POV at a time. And if you are a writer new to fiction, it's a good idea to have someone critique your chapters one at a time to check your POVs.
      Happy writing!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some of my words in print-

Review: CONFRONTING THE BULLY OF OCD: Winning Back Our Freedom One Day at a Time by Linda Maran. Fifteenth Street Publishing, Brooklyn, New York. 2004
Personifying obsessive compulsive disorder as a persistent bully, Linda Maran shares step-by-step techniques to putting up an effective fight against the symptoms and winning freedom from them.
This is not an account of suffering experienced as a result of OCD but, rather, Maran’s book comprises a detailed treatment guide for OCD, much of it gained from her own her sessions with leading New York OCD specialist, Dr. Steven J. Brodsky, who has written the preface to the book. She has struggled with the condition for most of her adult life and understands the problems of others, both in terms of the damage done by the disorder itself and in successfully undergoing treatment. Writing in non-technical, everyday language, she is able to communicate with, and provide strategies, encouragement, tips and direction to, fellow sufferers
Maran’s own motto is “Don’t let OCD bully you!” In order to assist people in not allowing the disorder to control their lives, she provides - in addition to treatment information and success stories - a comprehensive list of resources, including addresses, telephone numbers and website addresses from around the world. There is also a list of books, both about OCD specifically, nutrition and such self-help classics as David Burns’s The Good Feeling Handbook, which address improving mood and anxiety levels.
As any mental health professional will tell you, treating yourself well and eating properly are essential to enabling you to face the rigours of therapy. Many also include humour as a requisite for success. Linda Maran concurs. She suggests:
“Try to laugh every day
       It keeps the OCD at bay.”

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." ~William Wordsworth

 Writing isn't always fun. Sometimes it requires hours of staring at a blank page or computer screen with a cramped back and hungry stomach. Other times it's intrusion, noise and chores that stop the words mid-sentence. But when that special moment of completion's a small victory of accomplishment that every writer relishes. Even if it never becomes published, it's an individual creation using the power of words. A gift.
Here are some great quotes about writing:

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.  ~Sharon O'Brien

The wastebasket is a writer's best friend.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.  ~Vladimir Nabakov

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Write your first draft with your heart.  Re-write with your head.  ~From the movie Finding Forrester