Okay, folks! It’s time for another writing challenge and we’re focusing on POV.
First of all, POV isn’t just a matter of says, “We’re writing a scene in Bella’s POV,” and then running with it. You’ve got to know how Bella thinks. hat words she would use to describe things. What is she going to pick up? How is she going to refer to certain things, like vehicles, for instance. If you–the writer–is a mechanic, but you’re writing in Bella’s POV who is a teenage girl lusting after a vampire who’s not concentrating on much of anything but his eyes, she’s not going to know anything that’s important about the big red truck that her dad gave her. She’s going to note that it starts and is hard to park. You, the mechanic, would know a lot more, but you need to stash that and use her words and her experience.
That’s an example of Voice in POV and it’s very important and ties into what most people refer to in POV.
There are five different kinds of PoV:
- 1st person
- 2nd person
- 3rd person omniscent
- 3rd person limited
- Deep 3rd person
Most writers are good with 1st person. You use the words, “I and me” instead of he and she and he, and you don’t have to use italics when your character is thinking. The biggest thing I notice is that some authors tend to think they have to remain in the character’s thoughts more often, making the read kind of a drain.
We, fiction writers, don’t get a lot of experience writing 2nd person because it’s just awkward. Like, I want to throw up a 2nd person challenge in sometime because we don’t get the opportunity to write it. But we use “you” instead of “I, she, or he.” Basically, we invite the reader into the story with us, and that’s an art, folks. That’s an art.
But for the purpose of this writing challenge, we’re going concentrate on 3rd person POV’s. Why? Because I get a lot of editors who try to tell me there is not such thing as deep 3rd person POV and to stop writing in a bastardized form of 1st person, and a lot of authors who think they’re writing in deep 3rd, but they’re really writing in 3rd limited or 3rd omnicient.
3rd omniscent is your “god” POV. It’s the POV you use when the narrator is like god and can read every single person in the story. You see this a lot in high fantasy, but not really anywhere else. This was common when I was a kid, but it just isn’t anymore.
3rd limited is where you have, say, two POV’s. You stay in one character’s head, and then you hop on over to another character’s head at the next scene break. You use their eyes, their nose, their knowledge, but you’re still pretty much outside of their head. So, when they think, their thoughts are in italics.
Deep 3rd is basically like 1st person, but in 3rd person, so if you need to lean toward 3rd limited to tell the story, it’s a lot less awkward. Thoughts are not in italics. The writing tends to be a lot more active because you don’t have to tell the reader what he’s thinking. He’s already thinking what the character is. The reader experiences the story as the character does because we are the character.
Okay. First of all, for everyone participating in the challenges, open A Busy Writer’s Guide: Point of View in Fiction by Marcy Kennedy and read Chapters 3 and 6. And read Writing Deep Point of View by Rayne Hall, Chapter 5. We’re actually doing the exercise she lined out in Chapter 1, so, if you want, read that one, too.
Photo owned and copyrighted by Katie Johnson. Photo credit: https://katierenejohnson.com/
Sometime in the next week–so before Sunday–write (3) flash fiction scenes (less than 750 words). Describe the picture above using one of the following Points of View with each post without telling us which one your chose by using any of the descriptor words provided:
- a 19-year-old female student, art major, currently planning to create a series of paintings of townscapes, keenly aware of colours, and shapes.
- A retired health and safety inspector.
- A hobby gardener with a keen sense of smell.
- A security consultant assessing the place where a high ranking daughter will be visiting.
- An architect whose hobby is local history.
- An 80-year-old man with painful arthritic knees which get worse in cold weather.
- A professional musician with sharp ears and a keen sense of rhythm.
Use only the following types of POV, one for each post:
- 3rd person omniscient
- 3rd person limited
- Deep 3rd person
Send me the links to your blogs either in the comments or via FB so I can put the links up here. Then, as we all complete our flash fiction pieces, go to each blog and comment, answering the following questions.
- Which character did you choose?
- Which type of POV did you use?
- How could you tell?