Sunday, December 16, 2012

Never too old to learn

I paid attention last week to an RWA University class on 'Author Intrusion' because Sherry Lewis honed in on one of my not-so-great writing qualities:  When I started writing, I wrote like I was describing a movie, which is omniscent POV. It's been hard to write deep POV.

Sherry said,  "When you write from omniscient point of view, you’re acting as a reporter rather than allowing the characters to tell their own story. That means that you, the author, are is present in every sentence on the page as you report the action that’s taking place. You’re telling, not showing."

Then she gave a solution: write emotional segments in first-person, then transfer to third person. In first person, you have to access the inner perspective of the heroine--her hopes, fears and memories, her backstory. Actions--or non-actions-- are explained and justified from her POV. No more itemizing 'she did this and then did that,' or 'she felt this or that.'

Sherry said, "I do encourage you to write from first person and then edit your scenes until writing from inside the character becomes more natural to you."

I am going to do it. 


  1. That's an interesting way to go about it. I might give that a try myself.

    Thanks for the tip!

  2. I think I've always done this without realising I was doing it. When I first started writing, back in the 60s, the rule was 'heroine's POV only' and it bcame automatic to me to use deep POV. These days, I have more problems getting into the hero's mindset sometimes
    Having said that, writing in 1st POV to get into the characters mindset doesn't necessarily preclude the use of 'she felt that' etc, because even in 1st POV, the character can think "I felt" or "I thought' etc.
    The main thing is to get into your character's mind in such a way that everything is shown through his or her eyes, and not 'desscibed' by you, the author.

  3. Hi, Miss Paula. My very first novel writing was through the eyes of a young lady named Caylith--actually, back when she was 15 and not of an age to break into the world of romance. I got into the habit of writing through her eyes and it wasn't until my 8th book that I started writing 3rd person pov. And when I did, it was alternating male-female pov. I won't soon forget the bitter battles waged between me and my editor, because I was making so many rookie mistakes with my pov even after writing all those other books!

    I agree that if a writer can begin to feel what the character see and smell and touch what he/she senses..the deep pov will slowly become natural.

    But those who think that authors do all this stuff naturally...hah! Let 'em try it! Not so easy.

    Enjoyed your post. :)

  4. That's an interesting idea. I may try it too.

  5. Erin, you are a case example of the concept. It is hard.
    Interestingly, Larry Brooks (plot instructor extraordinaire) lists 'third person omniscent' as a legitimate category.

  6. Hi Paula! Sorry, which of your blogs do the links appear on? I don't want to spam anyone! :-)