We’re continuing the POV Writing Challenge for another three weeks.
In Week 1’s challenge we discovered a few things. First of all, 3rd person omnicient is all but void. We write it, but omnicient only sells in high fantasy, and that genre isn’t a high seller. Very few people buy those books and few read them.
There’s a greater use of deep third and third limited. Of the two, deep third was the hardest.
In deep third, we, the reader, experience everything in the story as it happens. We don’t necessarily need all the physical directions. We don’t need to know that we’re watching someone, for instance. We just see what we’re watching.
In Writing Deep Point of View by Raine Hall, she talks about barrier words and phrases. Those barrier words and phrases are things like:
They’re barriers because we’re telling that we watched, thought, saw, or smelled. Instead of saying those, in deep third, you would just state what you saw, thought, or smelled.
That was the biggest challenge that everyone seemed to have overall.
So, to help face that, we’re going to write in 1st person this week.
I know. We really didn’t touch on it too much in the original assignment post, but 1st person uses “I” instead of “he or she”. That’s the easiest thing.
The thing that will really help in this exercise, though, is that in 1st person, you, the author, are the character. We experience things as the character does and there are no reasons for barrier words.
The other thing we’re going to focus on for the next three weeks is Voice. Voice is how the character talks and narrates. Sometime in the next few months, we’re going to go to downtown–hopefully when the temperature is above zero degrees–and we’re all going to write what we experience the way we perceive it. This will show our own, individual voices.
Rayne Hall has an exercise in her book. She says to go to a window and describe what you see. Then write it as another person. Each person will see different things and will perceive different things. Some people are very visual. Others are very audiocentric. While others are more kenetic or intuitive. People’s pasts also reflect what they pick out and how they perceive things.
My best friend was hit by a car once, so now she’s hyper aware of cars in a cross-walk, for instance. I have another friend who was raped in an alley in broad daylight, so she’s hyper aware of men wearing red–because her attacker wore red. I used to be a smoker and after I quit smoking, I could smell, so smells will pull my attention away from a scene if it sticks out there.
Photo owned and copyrighted by Katie Johnson. Photo credit: https://katierenejohnson.com/
Sometime in the next week–so before Sunday–write (2) flash fiction scenes (less than 650 words). Describe the picture above using 1st person POV and one of the following people in each post without telling us which one your chose by using any of the descriptor words provided:
The carpenter who is verbally abusive, socially awkward, and afraid of a common situation
The college student who is greedy, judgmental, and egocentric
The nurse who is addicted to adreneline
The lawyer trying to make a difference
The mother seriously considering jail time in exchange for murder
- The rock star in search of Big Break
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?
- Was the POV deep and immersive?
- What did the Voice tell you that wasn’t directly provided in the story?