Writers Wednesday

Who’s Talking?

Sometimes it may seem that all the characters in your story are shouting - This is my scene!!! I want the POV!!!!

Sometimes it may seem that all the characters in your story are shouting – This is my scene!!! I want the POV!!!!

Since I have never written a story in single POV or from first person, I have to decide what character is going to reveal what information. Often it’s fairly easy to determine what POV will be used for each scene. The general rule of thumb is whoever has the most to lose is whose POV should be used. BUT sometimes it’s just doesn’t work.

For example in The Inheritance when Beth is kidnapped and Duncan comes to the rescue – because he’s a good hero ;p – I had to write that scene several times. My first thought it would be from Beth’s POV. Her fear for herself, her shock when she realizes who has her, her relief when she sees Duncan, her fear when Duncan has to fight the ‘bad guy’ (can’t reveal the name), and her struggle to push through all these emotions and free herself. Sounds like a great scene huh? Well…. Not so much. It was very flat and felt overused (like you read one of these in every suspense).

What??? Of course this is my scene. Don't steal my POV!

What??? Of course this is my scene. Don’t steal my POV!

So I tried it from Duncan’s POV. His anger at seeing Beth tied up. His surprised to see who has her. His decision to rescue her instead of calling for help. His struggle with the bad guy. Still didn’t work.

I just couldn’t get the edge I wanted for this scene. Everything seemed cardboard. Over done. There is third POV in The Inheritance. He is actually the most removed from this scene – or so I thought. But once I started writing the scene in his POV it popped with tension and sizzled with surprised.

It was totally unexpected from his POV. The reader knew Beth had been kidnapped but not by who. So it was expected to have the next scene in Beth or Duncan’s POV.

Also if I’m struggling with a pivotal scene being flat, I write the same scene from all the characters present even if they don’t have a POV in the story. This lets me see how ‘everyone’ views what is going on. Then I can what ‘key’ elements needs to be included from the character’s POV that the is scene is being written from.

For example, in the kidnapped scene in The Inheritance, I would make three list. One for Beth – what does she feel, what does she see (setting and people), what does see she smell, and how does she reaction. One for Duncan and the kidnapper listing the same things. These are done in telling form, I just want to get an idea of what I want to pull in.



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