Total Pageviews

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!