Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Point of View - Again

This topic was covered expertly by Kathy Sullivan back in June of 2011. But because POV is one of my personal demons, I thought I would take another shot at it. From my point of view, so to speak.

In the series I am writing, I use third person. I think it's more third person close than third person omniscient, but to tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure. Whatever I'm doing, if I get any negative feedback from readers, it certainly has nothing to do with point of view!

Still, now that I'm working on book three, I find myself thinking about varying the points of view I use. The first two books were told from the two main characters' perspectives, one belonging to my heroine, the other to my hero. Now in book three, I have been tempted to start using the outlooks of other characters, but at the same time I keep thinking that it feels wrong to do so. In all of my favorite series, which tend to be murder mysteries or thrillers, the point of view has always been strictly from the protagonist except for occasional dark forays into the mind or minds of the murderer/s. Maybe because of this, I can't help feeling that starting to use any of my other characters' viewpoints seems somehow wrong. As if I should have started doing that in the very first book.

I recently tried writing a scene using someone else other than my two main characters, and even though this particular fellow has been in the series since it started, it felt wrong and awkward. So I guess they have let me know their preference. Never mind that I'm the author! I won't go against my character's wishes: I know better than that.

But I would be curious to know what other writers have done. Do any of you write a series that requires more than two points of view? And if so, did you start that from the first book? Do you find it easier to advance the story that way? Do you think it keeps the flow going a bit better? Have you ever tried limiting POV to just one or two characters or has it always felt better to use more than that? Most of all, do I sound like a crazy person???

Before I started the series, sweating out which point of view I needed was the worst thing about starting a new work. The WORST. When everything was new - the story, the setting, the characters themselves - trying to decide who got to carry the ball, and if he or she would be the only one to do so, was always terrible for me. Now that I have a universe in place and a group of people who return with every new story, I find myself once more in the position of trying to figure out who gets to carry the ball. Or will it always be the same two? I have a feeling it will be. That just seems to be the way I work.

But how do the rest of you do this? I'd love to know. Truly.

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