Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Whose Eyes Tell the story? #MFRWauthor #amwriting


When Reading Robert Meredith and John Fitzgerald's book on writing, they talk about the author using omniscient powers to show characters, setting and story scenes. Just what do they mean. I figure it this way. The author chooses what to tell and who to tell the story. This can be a difficult decision. Will the viewpoint be restricted to a single person or will many people give a bird's eye view into the intricacies of the story?

To choose the writer needs to remember that choosing a viewpoint character or characters only what that character sees. hears, touches, tastes and smells can be shown. For some stories this becomes difficult. The writer might want the reader to see things the chosen character doesn't experience. This means a more unrestricted approach.

So what can the writer choose. There are four more common ways. First person singular, limited to one person. I've used this in mysteries because I've wanted the reader to learn along with the main character the answers to the mystery. There is first person plural. I've never tried this but I've noticed in the New Adult stories the writers are choosing to show in first person from the two main characters in this romance sum-genre.

Third person singular is similar to first person singular in that the entire story is told from his or her viewpoint. The he or she being the main character in the story. I've used this once and the story was never published and was lost somewhere in the mail. Third person plural means more than one character has a viewpoint. There can be two as in some romances or there can be more. I think the most viewpoints I ever used in a novel was eight and the juggling was fun, not to repeat what was seen and learned.

2 comments:

James D said...

I'd add a distinction when talking about third person. There's "tight" where it's third person but, as you describe, the story is told from that character's viewpoint, and then there's what's sometimes called "third person omniscient" where the story is being told from the perspective of a "narrator" (for lack of a better word) who knows everything, and dips into different character perspectives as needed.

Janet Walters said...

Thanks for stopping by. There will be more about choosing the viewpoint character next week