brit_columbia (brit_columbia) wrote,

The issue of POV

One issue I finally realized that I have as a writer is that I'm a POV-hopper. Betas have gently tried to point this out to me in the past, but it never really sank in before. I guess I didn't think it was a bad thing. I tend to jump back and forth between Dee and Ryo's POV many times during a scene. Sometimes I'll go several pages or paragraphs in one viewpoint before switching and other times I'll switch after only one paragraph. I also occasionally go into one of the minor character's heads so that we can learn about something that's going on in the story that Ryo and Dee wouldn't have access to, or to show a scene or a person from another angle. For example, it's fun for me to go into Bikky's or Detective Greenspan's head and have them think thoughts about Dee and Ryo that would surprise our boys or make them uncomfortable! But mostly I stay with Dee and Ryo's POV.

Personally, I still enjoy doing this, even though I have recently been trying to mend my ways. I love having Dee say something as I reveal his feelings in a separate sentence or two and then having Ryo respond while I reveal his feelings. I've re-read chapters and short stories I've written to examine my POV habits, and in my own personal opinion, the multiple Dee/Ryo viewpoint switches don't detract from the story.  But as I said, that's my opinion about my work. I think most writers are biased either positively or negatively about their own work. For all I know, my readers gnash their teeth and roll their eyes every time I jump out of Dee's head and into Ryo's!

From now on in my FAKE fics, I'm going to make an effort to stay in one character's POV longer than I usually do. I mostly succeeded with  . I wrote part one in Dee's POV and part two in Ryo's with a switch back to Dee's at the very end. I did exactly the same thing a long time ago in  , but at that time, I was just doing it as an exercise. It hadn't yet occurred to me that frequent POV-hopping might be annoying!

When I'm reading and not writing, my all-time favorite POV is first person. I would have to say that 80% of the books that have had the most impact on me in my life, books that I still remember and think about even though it has been years or decades since I last read them, were written in first person POV. I wrote one Fake story in first person:  . It was my first Fake fic. I didn't do it again, however, because so many people out there online rant about how much they hate first person! No one actually complained about my use of first person, but I thought complaints might start pouring in if I continued, so I gave up on using that POV. After all, I wanted people to like my fics and enjoy reading them, not run away screaming!

I don't understand why so many people hate first person. I mean, I can understand if a POV style is out of fashion and is currently not being encouraged by publishers, but I don't understand the rants and the strong feelings of readers. Is first person somehow more irritating when done badly than third person is when done equally badly? To me, bad is bad and good is good, no matter the POV.

I've been reading about third person limited and omniscient POV. I actually wrote one FAKE story in omniscient POV, but I haven't yet published it. It was a totally different writing style for me. It's the POV where the writer is actually more of a narrator who is in everyone's head and knows everyone's thoughts, feelings and opinions, but remains distinct from them and keeps a distance. This style also creates more of a distance between the characters and the reader, too. It's not really my style to create distance, though. I like to bring the reader (and myself, of course) right into the room with the characters, or even better-- right onto the edge of the bed!

Because the stories in my FAKE First Year Together series tend to be huge, sprawling epics with multiple plot threads, I need to use multiple third person in a subjective rather than objective style, which is different from omniscient POV.

What are your feelings about POV in general? And have you been annoyed or jolted by my POV hopping? It's okay to tell me if you have! As I have said many times before, I am sincerely interested in getting better as a writer. It's only been recently that I have actually given any thought to my shortcomings in the area of POV.

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