“point of view” in Write Away by Elizabeth George

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 15, 2007

·  must be clear about point of view in each scene   Objective viewpoint ·  writing is journalistic, like a reporter; provides facts, but not thoughts and feelings of characters – tough to carry off well  ·  objective narrative can create an aura of intrigue about a character or a situation – precisely because the reader does not know inner thoughts or feelings, but it also minimizes the reader’s intimacy    Omniscient viewpoint. · Must be adept to remain truly omniscient and not just slip in and out of different characters points of view  ·  the narrator knows, sees, hears all  ·  the narrator enters into the mind of every character  ·  the viewpoint of the narrator is not necessarily that of the author  ·  omniscient narrator is a story teller; the reader sinks into the story; the narrator is not confined to the time or place of the individual scene (like a reporter would be) but can provide history about the characters as well as what’s in their hearts and minds  Character viewpoints. ·  Reveal only what the chosen character would see, know, think, feel in each scene in which the character is participating  First person. ·  Stay with one narrator throughout the novel. In that character’s head and none other. Terrific intimacy, authenticity. BUT this one character must be in every scene, which is a challenge to plotting  ·  Shifting first person. Multiple first character viewpoints. Each section or alternating chapters told by a different first person narrator. Challenge: each “I” must be utterly distinct  ·  Shifting third person. NOTE: no viewpoint shift within a scene, unless …  ·  can combine first person with shifting third person (that’s what I did in A Good Conviction·  too many narrators slows down the pace of a novel  ·  narrator can be reliable or a devilishly clever liar, likable or not  


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