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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Learning from the Best: POV

Here is a post by Linda Urban that I come back to often. 
With each re-reading, I pick up another, finer point.

My favorite book by Linda Urban is HOUND DOG TRUE. I've also read that middle-grade novel more than once. I sped through it the first time and if you'd asked me what "person" she'd written in, I would have answered, without a beat, First Person. Mattie's voice is so strong, it had to be. Right?


But it's very close Third Person. And it works.

Now that I'm noodling around a new story idea, the first thing that needs struggling with:  
Who the heck is telling this story anyhow? 
At first, I had two POV characters. Struggle, struggle! Hard work!
Not succeeding too well.

So I switched to the young girl, whose voice I heard clearly.
But now I'm vacillating. Maybe that other character needs to be heard. 
He sure is trying to tell me something.

So, what did I do? I reread Linda's fantastic post. And I'm going to really think about what she says about THEMES and narrator's voice influencing POV.

Her most recent novel is told by more than one character. I've only read it once. I didn't love it like I loved HOUND DOG TRUE, but it intrigued me. (And truthfully, there aren't a lot of books I loved as much as that one.)
Having read her writing process, I have the book out to reread. Because I'm interested in thinking more about how those characters tell the same story, from different perspectives. 

Here's a bit of Linda's post on POV, about this multi-POV book, THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING:

In the next chapter, we experience that same moment through Ruby’s eyes.  We see her draw conclusions about the banker’s actions that are completely different from the motivations we have been privy to pages earlier.  I could not have made this work in a first person novel, or even one told in close third, but these overlapping moments were useful in the exploration of another of the book’s themes: the question of whether or not things happen as they are “supposed to” or whether there is a “supposed to” at all (and if so, can we ever know what that “supposed to” is?).

Check out the blog post by Linda.
Here's the link, again, in case you forgot to click on it up there.

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