Novel Point of View is NOT Camera Angle

POV mixups for authorsI think the reason we have so much trouble nowadays with slippery POV (Point of View) in novels is that so many new writers were brought up on film and TV. And many of these people mix up POV with camera angle. They think that because the film camera jumps all over and shows us the action from different angles, the writer can jump all over and show the action from the point of view of different characters. But these two concepts are not the same, even in film. When you move to a novel, it’s a different technique altogether. Because POV is not about what anyone sees. It’s about feeling what the character feels.

Most camera shots, in literary terms, are omniscient. Fly on the wall. The director chooses the shot to be from the best position to reveal what the director wants us to see. There is no pretense that the viewer is actually in that position. Continue reading “Novel Point of View is NOT Camera Angle”

Writers’ Font: Point of View Esoterica

Writers font series advice for beginning authorsIn June, we looked at the most common Points-of-View used in fiction today: First Person, Third-Person Limited, and Third-Person Omniscient. In July, we examined some pitfalls to avoid in mastering POV.

Now let’s look at two POVs that aren’t so commonly used in fiction: Continue reading “Writers’ Font: Point of View Esoterica”

Writers’ Font: Point of View Confusion

Writers font series advice for beginning authorsLast month we looked at the most common Points-of-View used in fiction today: First Person, Third-Person Limited, and Third-Person Omniscient. Now let’s explore some pitfalls to avoid in mastering POV.

Head-Hopping. Switching the viewpoint back and forth between characters in the same scene without a, well, a “heads-up” alert to the reader, is called head-hopping. It’s something to avoid because first, it makes the reader pause in his enjoyment of your story to figure out whose “head” he’s in (whose viewpoint) and second, when a reader is pulled out of a story, even momentarily, it interrupts the flow and unnecessarily weakens the impact of the scene. Example: Continue reading “Writers’ Font: Point of View Confusion”

Writers’ Font: Point of View for Beginning Fiction Writers

Writers font series advice for beginning authorsIn last month’s Writers’ Font I said two essential elements in fiction writing are point-of-view (POV) and show vs. tell. With a level of mastery of these two elements of Craft, your writing will become more focused, clear, and exciting to read.

Let’s delve into POV first because you’ll save time and aggravation if you first decide which POV best fits the story. It can be confusing in the beginning if you’re not familiar with this part of the Craft. Just keep in mind that once you get it, it’s got. So, read on and don’t worry. Continue reading “Writers’ Font: Point of View for Beginning Fiction Writers”