Friday, August 10, 2012

Point of View

After reading this great post--here--on point of view on the SF Signal blog, I wanted to blog about it myself.

This is a great article describing the three different points (first, second, third) of view in writing:

I've just finished a complete rewrite of my WIP, taking it from third person past tense, to first person present tense. While the plot remained basically the same, the POV shift required me to touch every sentence.

When I started the story, I couldn't write it in first person. It was too close to my personal experience. Too personal. Too much inside my own head. I was so afraid it would be too much like baring my soul.

But you know what? The story really needed to be told in first. And once I had the story out of my head in third person, I realized I could write it in first.

And I didn't realize it until I started this rewrite. I'd dragged my feet until it was absolutely clear. Staring me in the face. Kate needed to tell her own story.

To my surprise, it also came out in present tense. That part wasn't my intention, and I'm less confident about it. But sometimes you have to go with what your gut is telling you to do. I hope I've been able to make the story more immediate. More relevant.

How do you know? You don't always. I got my agent with the story written in third. I know plenty of people who've revised to first after getting an agent or contract on a book written in third.

Write the story the way it comes out of you. You can always revise. And while it IS daunting to stare down a 75K word rewrite, you do it one word, one sentence at a time. Until you're done.

What POV do you like to write in?


Anita said...

My last two works are in first person present. The thing I don't think people realize is how easy (and totally worth it) it is to experiment. I mean, if you're going to write a whole freaking book, give it the effort it deserves...try different POVs to find the one that tells the story best.

Katy Upperman said...

First person present comes most naturally to me (I think we've chatted about this), but I'm interested in experimenting with third person present. As you said, though, I need to find the right story for that POV to make it successful. Maybe someday!

Rowenna said...

Good question! I tend to have a different POV and tense in everything I've written--I guess I just start telling the story how it comes naturally. But there are definitely times that I've found myself questioning and revising what *really* fits the story.