Of Changing POV -Jami Gold

Head-hopping is something I do constantly–granted when I do it, it’s done though a scene change–however, I forget to mark it in some way.

For those who do head-hopping and want some advice on changing POV here’s helpful bit:

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Today’s a holiday in the U.S., so I’m dusting off and updating a post from the archives. While you’re here, don’t forget to comment on my Blogiversary post for a chance to win “me.” Want me to beta read for you or pick my brain about a writing or story problem? Now’s your chance! *grin*

The old version of this post recently came up in one of my writing loops because many beginning writers want to share everything they know about their characters and their story. We see this issue in information dumps of backstory or story research. And we also see this issue in the desire to share everything that every character is thinking and feeling.

However, once we gain experience, we realize it’s good for readers to have questions and to figure things out from the subtext. The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi is excellent at giving suggestion on how to show emotion, both from the point-of-view (POV) character as well as from a non-POV character. Simply wanting the reader to know the emotions of another character is not a reason to switch POV. *smile*

Once we’ve determined a POV change is really needed—think emotional arcs, plot turning points, or who has the most at risk—we need to know how to do changes in close third person POV properly. I hope you enjoy!

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Death in Fantasy

I’ve come across this phenomenon a lot in stories. Death is pretty much guaranteed in a fantasy story. A complaint (in any medium) from fans and critics of death in fantasy stories is that there are people who return, culminating in the idea that death is meaningless. Well, to me this isn’t always the case as dying and resurrection can lead to a physical and or mental/spiritual transformation.

This to me has been the big factor in if the character’s return is really warranted. Sometimes like with Gandalf, he returns as Gandalf the White. He is notably different both psychologically (A bit anyway) as well as magical power.

If you take the Jason Todd Robin who was beaten by the Joker and then blown up; he returns as Red Hood. This resurrection might seem as though it’s trivial–only it marks a psychological transformation. Fully realizing Jason Todd as a more interesting character. Sometimes it’s good to remember that characters follow a different sort of experiences and deaths that we do.

Death isn’t necessarily a physical phenomenon. We all go through deaths throughout our lives. Metal and psychological transformations. Forms of our ego die and new forms a born. The same goes for story characters. Sure it might seem alienating, but remember these characters aren’t living your life. They are different from you,and should be treasured for that very fact.

One can argue that having characters getting killed and resurrected as a new form is desensitizing, and I can agree to it in some regard. It depends on the story and characters.

It really boils down to your own subjective interests. At least that is my own opinion. So as far as I can tell, don’t just resurrect everyone making death meaningless–an when resurrecting/faking death, it’s best to give it some sort of weight not just, “Look she’s back–isn’t that coo’!?”

Death in Fantasy

trivializing fiction

When one realizes something isn’t a truth it is then categorized as such.

What then follows is a sort of degradation in the value of the content.

Societal expectations helps cook this into effectively neutralizing the impact of the work. As a story teller I aim to express ideologies and personae, which exist outside of my own. There is a theme yes, there are pervading philosophies of which I find interest,–but not all things I write are to be treated as a sort of, ‘Aw how cute,’ or ‘Oh my god that’s totally me.’ I can see parallels drawn between the reader, and the characters, irrespective of the nature of the character themselves.

That isn’t the problem so much as the thought provoking idea of understanding a sociopath, or the concept of wider sensory perception, being whittled down to, ‘it’s fiction,’ results in potentially useful meditations being lost in pop-cultural references, and ‘notes’ or ‘beats’ expected to be met within the narrative. Turning the work into a formulaic cliché ‘approved’ piece, and not presenting the full potential of the story teller.

Stories beloved outside the fashionable is a good insight into the person’s true interests. It is not to say that one can’t appreciate a work, which is approved by their society. Rather it is to say, a good test is when one finds a story that society has an indifference toward. For when society agrees upon a work as being good, then comes the potential of half-assed copies, which don’t understand the materiel. The possible perversion made by readers who assume to understand the concepts posed, and claim knowledge. Then always when society no longer has an eye for the content, such superficial claims, and bland stories, will wash away; leaving garbage upon the banks. It is then up to the truly interested, to sift though the rubbish, to find the works of passionate value.

 

trivializing fiction

Multilayered Stories

To tell a good immersive story requires multiple layers.  The sections that follow are evidently not the end all be all–their my thoughts and as such are much incomplete, and far from blanketing the topic entirely.

Construction of an immersive reading landscape is an incredibly diverse area of discussion. Me being me allows me only a small range of thoughts on the matter.

For me, I find several things to be key.

Memorable Characters

For me, I’ve met loads of characters in books, but few have left a mark in my mind. Perhaps it is similar to making friends. You click with some people. Same goes for characters, however, as an author, you can’t necessarily expect to become best friends with all your characters. They need diverse personalities and psychological textures. Imagine writing a character whose ethics are in opposition to your own–but rather than painting him/her as evil, you grant them understanding. Or you make the antagonist have moments which will make the reader endeared to them. Imagine antagonist who hates being cold because it makes them feel alone. The reader may relate.

But creating characters which have nothing significant about them, having a one-dimensional personality, stereotypical interests and ideologies probably isn’t going to win over any hearts. Or even earn the reader’s true hatred.

That which is considered morally good and morally evil tend to be circumstantial and perceptual. They aren’t universal. If your antagonist manipulates and murders, maybe he protects his daughter with his life? Maybe he does those terrible things to protect his daughter.

Contrast Global Ambience

I love Fallout for this. While in the post-apocalyptic world, filled with giant roaches, feral (and non-feral) ghouls, and so on. There are contrasting things. The characters are trying to survive the wastes; they don’t enjoy it. That gives the world character. Humor from people, sometimes friends/romances. Rebuilding. People acting in discord with the pervading  glum of post-nuclear war. Things also like Vault-Boy,and the optimism in the adverts, give more textures.

Sometimes it’s neat when a world which seems to drip with testosterone and piles of muscle have a protagonist who uses trickery and understanding. Sometimes it almost acts as an emphasis, such as when a character is emotionally devastated, they show happiness to the outside world.

 Present Humility

In my first book the MC has a sort of physical attack–like an anxiety attack (not an anxiety attack but), and it aside from resulting in weak limbs, and blood loss; it also involve him urinating all over himself.

I did this because it seemed right to happen–with what is internally going on with him. But afterward I realized something–making characters ‘cool’ too frequently with no diversion makes them seem too godlike. That is not to say make your protag urinate themselves–rather present them sometimes in less than desirable states. I want to see characters who get sick randomly. Not life-threatening, not plot-related–just them, getting a cold. Runny nose. That super attractive character? Make them have a soar throat sometime. Gives the MC the chance to see their potential love interests aren’t walking static, invulnerable,perpetually attractive miracles. Their people too.

Personally I adore flaws in people. When a girl I like gets sick–yeah I want her to get better, but the dip in normal character gives me a window into seeing more sides of her. She seems human.

Multiple Moralities

Writing about moralities you absolutely despise is really difficult(for some people I imagine it’s like a walk in the park. Aren’t those people coo’), especially if you want to really make the audience consider the antagonist’s point of view.

But,  the antagonist doesn’t have to harbor an ideology you hate. I have multiple characters express a bit of their philosophical outlook. Each contrast (more or less), some even are thinly linked. Giving the antagonist and the protagonist connection despite they are on essentially two different wave lengths.

Also not pointing the finger and saying which one is the good guy and which one is the bad one is superb. Keeping in mind that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are circumstantial and subjective allows you to play with the hero and the antagonist in more ways. Perhaps the MC is manipulative to the sex to which they are attracted. Maybe the antagonist is for a good cause but goes about it in horrific ways. Neither one need to be personifications of the high aspects of reality. Making such characters can be interesting but more often than not they come off as cartoonish–losing the flavor of being alive and become static. For some this works–for others it’s disappointing.

 

That’s it for now I think, I know there is more I could talk about but at the moment I am drawing a blank.

I hope this was thought-food for some people,

Good luck out there,

Multilayered Stories

Thoughts

Don’t be afraid to change your work. When you finish your ‘last’ draft and hand it out to BETAs, their comments will probably reshape your work (for the better), and then, when it’s polished like diamonds, the eventual edit before publication will reshape it further.

So don’t be afraid to change it, your work needs to continue to flourish. Change is universal. Just be mindful with your works’ transformations!

If I say this enough it’ll really stick in my head. X3

 

Status

Editing Using Voice Command

So as I was revising my book (like-ya-do) I came across the necessity of reading it aloud. Like everyone.

However, as I soon discovered, the glory of using voice command. It’s not just hearing it through another’s voice (albeit a robot), but rather it’s outside you. When you read it aloud you will hear mistakes but you already know what is written down. But by having someone else read it aloud will put it in a slightly different perspective. I’ve found myself finding loads more mistakes with this method.

The editing process is a long and tedious one, but using speech commands can make it a bit of fun and help editing. At least for me it has.

That’s all, tiny little insignificant entry.

Editing Using Voice Command