Points of View: What and When

Everyone who has taken an English class has heard of Points of View in Literature. There are so many articles out there written about POV, I don’t really feel the need to write yet another one. This said, I will do a quick overview to refresh your memory.

What is POV

Point of View(POV) is a literary device used mainly in fiction writing. It’s used to help draw the reader into the story. There are three main POVs:

  1. 1st Person – Narrator’s Perspective “I”
  2. 2nd Person – Your Perspective – “you”
  3. 3rd Person – Someone Else’s Perspective – “he/she”

The above is a very simplistic definition. In my humble opinion, the best definition and examples can be found at Lit Charts.

When Should They Be Used

Now that you know what the different POVs are, you can decide which one(s) to use when. It all depends on the story you’re writing and what impact you want it to have on your reader.

A great many famous authors have used 1st Person POV to great effect, some of these being

  1. Samuel Clemens(Mark Twain) – Huckleberry Finn
  2. Herman Melville – Moby Dick
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

This POV allows the reader to follow a great deal of action from the role of an observer, but they won’t be able to tell what the actors in the story are feeling/thinking unless it’s through the use of dialogue. Still, this POV has proven to make the above stories memorable to the reader.

2nd Person POV allows the reader to become the main character through the use of “you” as well as writing as if you, the reader, are seeing/hearing etc. what is going on. Some of the famous authors who used this are:

  1. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Haunted Mind
  2. William Faulkner – Absalom, Absalom!
  3. Leo Tolstoy – Sevastopol Sketches

To me, this perspective brings the action closer, you can experience the story on a more personal level, especially when you can see what the main character is thinking and feeling without the use of dialogue. Horror stories are scarier, to me, when written in this POV.

3rd Person POV is the one a lot of writers use, and the following famous writers wrote some truly memorable stories using this literary device:

  1. J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan
  2. William Golding – Lord of the Flies
  3. Louisa May Alcott – Little Women

Of course, there are times when two or more POVs are used, and they can enrich the experience of the story being read. Some authors who have used multiple POVs are:

  1. Stephanie Oakes – The Arsonist
  2. Marie Lu – The Young Elites
  3. Morgan Rhodes – Falling Kingdoms

If done right and with a great deal of focus, the use of multiple POVs can make your book a best seller or a flop.

It just takes a bit of thought to decide what POV(s) your story needs and then, you need to be consistent. Constantly changing POVs without clear direction to the reader can leave them confused and exhausted. This means your story won’t get finished, the reader may not even go beyond the first chapter! Even with multiple POVs, you must be clear what’s going on.

I hope this was an interesting read for you this week.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Prompt: Write a Short Scene

with you favorite Disney character. It can be anything you want. Have them meet you in our world or theirs. Have them meet someone else . Describe them walking into a room or reading a love letter. Whatever you like.

The main thing in this exercise is to make it 300 words or less and SHOW don’t TELL. Yes, there is a difference.

This is just meant to be another fun exercise to help you develop your SHOW skills. Feel free to post your results in the comment below or link to them where you have posted them. I would love to see what you come up with!

Also, don’t forget the raffle going on! There’s still time for you to get in on it. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out the link to the post below

Raffle

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Prompt: Descriptions

Every writer, at some point, has to describe someone or something in their work. Anne Rice wrote pages describing how a room looked, to the smallest detail. Other writers are minimalists when it comes to description, preferring to allow the reader to use their imagination. Case in point was Stephen King describing the demon in IT and not Pennywise.

For this exercise, I’d like you to describe something or someone without coming out and saying who/what they are. Let us, as the readers, try to figure it out. The description can be as long as 500 words or as short as 12 as long as they are descriptive and not cryptic! 🙂

Here is my attempt:

Standing by the water’s edge, eyes on the open water, it shone in the light of the rising sun. Tall yet sleek and powerfully built, it stood in complete stillness, waiting.

Put your answers in the comments below to see if you guess what it is!

Quick reminder I am raffling off a throw/accent pillow to help me offset the costs of Mimi’s recent vet bills – she has bronchitis but is on the mend. Each entry is 50 cents American. For more information, check out the original post:

https://wordpress.com/post/bkgriffinsnest.com/1480

Mimi and I greatly appreciate all the help you can give us!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt: Making a List

Writing isn’t all about writing fiction/non fiction stories. It’s about making a plan, making a list, and even brainstorming. Taking a break from your novel by making a list, or anything else not related to your novel will actually improve your writing efforts on your main project.

In this prompt just choose a project you want to make in the future – even if you don’t really want to. This could be anything from making a book nook to rebuilding a car. Whatever you might be interested in at this time. Once you have a project in mind, make a list of all the materials you’ll need to complete the project. You could also make a list of the steps needed to complete the project instead. Whichever you choose. It doesn’t need to be a complete list. Write one off the top of your head, this is supposed to be fun not stressful. Here’s mine:

“IT” book nook

  1. 2 Ramen Noodle boxes
  2. Paint
  3. Foam
  4. A pair of toy rubber boots/rain boots
  5. Paper boat
  6. Resin
  7. Glue
  8. Light
  9. Toothpicks
  10. Cat litter/sand
  11. Mod podge

I hope you enjoyed this prompt. Let me know in the comments below.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Prompt: Flash Fiction!

Flash Fiction is a very short story with a word count from a handful of words to 1,000 words. It’s a complete story in any genre you so choose to write in. They, like regular stories, contain a beginning, a middle, and an end with a fully developed plot and at least one main character.

I challenge you all to write a flash fiction story with a cap of 1,000 words. I’ll be writing mine on Wattpadd, and I’ll put the link in this post when I’m done with it.

Please, feel free to share links to your own flash fiction stories. These can be f;an fiction as well as your own work with your own characters and story line.

Most of all, HAVE FUN!!! This is something that’s supposed to be fun, not stressful!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Prompt : Alien Visitation

This is meant to be a fun little exercise. You can use your favorite character or make a new one. You can have it be from the POV of the alien, from the POV of your character or the all knowing POV – it doesn’t matter. Dark, funny, absurd, shocking – however you want it to be. Just keep it fairly short so you don’t get stressed out. As I said, this is supposed to be a fun exercise. My attempt is below:

Mira’s skin tingled as she materialized in a cramped, smelly area of what research had revealed was called an alley. Research had also shown that materializing in full view of the planet’s inhabitants could prove fatal if not quite uncomfortable.

She stepped around a puddle of especially pungent smelling liquid, her six toes curling to avoid touching it.

“It smells,” she muttered into her comm unit; a tiny bit of silver inside the two foot tall ear on the left side of her rather small head.

“You knew it would,” came the reply. “Are you okay?”

“So far things are well. You’re certain most are in their sleep cycle?” she asked in a low voice.

Research had shown the majority of the beings were diurnal, sleeping during the dark phase of their planet’s rotation around their star. They called it “Night”. It also showed that the younger of the species as well as certain workers were nocturnal yet slept during some of the “Morning” hours. It had been determined the best time to visit was during the early phase of this time.

“Scanners show there are beings about but not many. This is a small enclave,” her commander told her.

Mina’s nose twitched, wrinkling at the smell in the alley even as she made her way towards the road. She wanted fresh air. Carefully, she stepped out to the mouth of the alley and sniffed. She was looking for a specific smell, and she had the best nose of her entire ship.

“Are you sure this is the correct enclave?” she muttered, her lips barely moving as she stepped to her right onto the sidewalk.

Research had shown sidewalks were the safest place to walk to prevent being murdered by the fossil fuel vehicles this species still employed for travel. The beings moved very fast and were not always aware of their surroundings while in these conveyances. Care had to be taken while on the sidewalk not to be “mugged” by beings who were want to accost and rob other beings rather than procure things for themselves in the proper fashion.

This had Mina touching the skin toned pouch on her left hip. It blended in with the paleness of her skin, but she didn’t want to take any chances. Her mission was very important.

“Scanners show it to be,” came the reply.

Mina started walking, scenting the air as she went. She tried to ignore the beings who were staring back at her as she walked along. She’d been taught they were called Human, and they were an emerging species. Contact was to be minimal, and those visiting needed to blend in as much as possible to avoid difficulties with the species. Many had proven to be quite aggressive. It was another reason this small “Village” had been chosen.

A scent caught her attention, and she froze, face tilted up so she could breathe deeply.

“I’ve got it!” she said and began to hurry forward.

She knew she was being followed by a good dozen beings by now, all of various age, as well as two companion animals who had the good sense not to challenge her, and she didn’t care.

“Are you sure?” the commander sounded excited.

“The queen will be most pleased,” Mina purred.

She stopped at the end of the sidewalk and looked around. The road was quite wide, and she could see the vehicles, the “cars” on either side. She was afraid to cross to the other side, to the sidewalk across the street. Her ears quivered.

“Here,” a soft voice said, “I’ll take you across,”

Mina froze and slowly looked down at where the voice had come from. She had a translator pressed against her throat so she could understand and be understood by the locals. The voice came from a small being, one of the offspring of the bigger beings.

“You want to cross the street, don’t you?” the little being asked, its blue eyes big and gentle.

It waved a hairless paw at the busy road. Mina slowly nodded, the scent making her nose twitch. She dipped an ear tip at the sidewalk across the road.

“Cross street,” she managed.

The little being took her hand in its paw and when the cars stopped in the road, leaving a wide channel to cross, it led her across. Mina’s ears dropped as noise filled the air, raucous and painful. She mewled softly, and the being patted the hand it held with its free paw.

“It’ll be ok,” it said in a tone meant to reassure.

Finally they got to the other side, more beings gathering to stare. Mina dipped an ear at the little being even as she sniffed the air again. The scent was stronger here. Without thinking, she started off down the sidewalk, the little being still holding her hand. They traveled a short ways before Mina stopped and took a deep breath just outside an open portal to a dwelling. The scent came from here.

“Do you want sweets?” the little being asked.

“I have found the source!” Mina burbled into her comm, thrilled to be close to ending her mission.

Aside from the small being, she wasn’t comfortable around the other beings.

“Good! Do you have the currency they require for exchange?” her commander asked.

Mina touched the pouch on her hip again.

“Yes,” she said. “There are quite a few beings here, a small one is quite close,” she reported. “I hope we won’t have any mishaps with extraction.”

“Things will be fine,” her commander assured her. “Complete your mission.”

Mina dipped her ears as she stepped carefully into the dwelling. The little being still held her hand and so, it joined her.

“This is my gran’s shop,” the little one said. “She makes the best sweets.”

She released Mina to bounce ahead into the “shop”. Mina would need to remember this was not a dwelling, it was a shop when she wrote her report.

“Gran!” the little being called out even as Mina followed her nose away from it.

She heard the little one murmuring to someone else, but she wasn’t concerned. She walked over to glass case with several shelves holding what she sought. It was a dark brown to black substance that was mostly in long rectangular shaped and stacked together. Others were small and round, sitting in bowls. MIna’s nose twitched, and her mouth watered.

“It’s almost magical!” she breathed, leaning down to sniff and look.

“This is my Gran,” the little being was back, and it was leading an elderly looking being by a paw.

Mina turned, still half bent over, and she dipped an ear tip at the case.

“Are you wanting some chocolate dear?” the Gran asked in a gentle voice. “Have a taste first. I make these myself.”

The elderly being went around behind the case and moved about the shelves on the wall behind it. She brought out a small box and put it on the glass case. Mina’s nose twitched. The smell came from the box too. She chuffed softly when the being opened the box to show small squares of the brown substance inside. The being offered the box to her.

“Try one,” she said.

Mina hesitated, unsure what to do. The elderly being took a square out of the box and handed it to the little being who was reaching up for one from Mina’s side of the case. The little one took the square and bit into it. Mina watched with wide eyes and turned back to the box which was offered to her again. Careful not to touch the other squares, Mina gingerly picked one up. She bit gently into the squared and hummed with pleasure as the best taste she’d ever experienced flooded her mouth.

Still humming and chewing, Mina tapped the case with a fingertip.

“How much would you like?” the elderly being asked.

Mina pulled out the round thing she was told was called a “gold coin”. The beings on this planet valued this object and would happily trade anything for it. She placed it on the glass and as she did, a loud murmuring rose from the crowd of beings peering into the shop from the sidewalk. The elderly woman made a shushing noise as she rang a small bell Mina hadn’t noticed.

Another being, one much younger than the elderly but older, and taller, than the youngling appeared from a portal.

“Shelia, close and lock the door pet<” Gran ordered, waving a paw at the front of the store. “Then help me bag up the chocolate,”

The being stared at Mina who was looking back at the contents in the case.

“It’s called chocolate,” Mina murmured into her comm, the word awkward yet oddly delightful to say. “It’s very good.”

“You consumed some!” the commander was outraged.

“Shelia get on with you lazy girl!” Gran’s sharp tone had Mina wincing, but she relaxed when she opened the case and began pulling out the trays and howls the chocolate was in.

“The coin is worth a great deal apparently,” Mina assured him. “I am receiving a large quantity.”

The being, Shelia, finally did as she was told, and the chocolate was placed in boxes that were heaped onto the top of the glass case.

“Why do you want so much chocolate?” the little being asked.

“Queen’s birth day celebration.” Mina spoke carefully; human speech was full of different dialects, and she tended to confuse some. She didn’t want to be misunderstood and offend. “Gift to her.”

“You’ll be wanting a cake then too” Gran announced. She handed Mina the little box, the eaten chocolates having been replaced. “Here, you can keep this for yourself.”

“Cake?” Mina asked even as she tool the box.

“I’ll go get the big one, yeah?” Shelia asked Gran who nodded.

Soon Gran nodded and made a face at Mina research had shown to be a smile, a look of happiness.

“That’s all my chocolate though for the coin, you could have anything else you’d like as well.” the elderly being told her.

The case was covered in boxes and bags full of the substance Mina had been sent to get.

“I’d suggest having her try the Dark Chocolate first,” Gran told Mina, nodding at the box she still held. “That’s what’s in the box.”

Mina dipped both of her ears even as she carefully placed a silver disc in the middle of the pile. She hummed as she looked over what Gran and Shelia had given her.

“Good gift,” she said, ears dipping again even as the disc began to hum itself. “You have confirmation?”

“Scanners show a large amount of the substance you call chocolate within the boundary of the teleporter. Is this correct?” her commander asked. “That’s quite a lot of it.”

“Confirmed,” Mina answered.

The pile dematerialized, bringing muted noises from outside again.

“Are you going now too?” the little being asked, tugging on Mina’s tunic.

“My mission is complete,” Mina announced, relieved to be going even as she looked down at the little being.

She was surprised to see water shimmering in the being’s eyes as it gave her what was assuredly a sad look.

“You can’t stay and play with me?” the little one asked.

Mina’s left ear dipped, and she was at a loss for words.

“Nuani leave our guest be. They have a birthday party to get to no doubt,” Gran bade the little one, coming out from around the counter to take the little one’s paw in one of her own. She nodded at Mina. “I hope your queen likes the sweets.”

Mina’s ears dipped low even as she felt herself dematerializing.

“Thank you and good bye.” she barely remembered to say.

If you’re here with me now, thank you so much!! My little story took on a mind of its own. I’m liking it so much, I’m going to add it to Wattpadd as part of my story collection there. I’d love to see what you’ve done with this writing prompt yourself so please, post a link in the comments below!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt: Monster?

Write a short piece starring a monster not being a monster. It doesn’t matter what kind of monster or what kind of world or anything else. It’s your choice. The only constraint is to keep it short Under 300 words short. Feel free to share your work here.

Redgurrrr stomped into his lair with his mace on one shoulder. The mace was stained with blood as was a great deal of his black scales.

“Oh pus bucket, you’re home!” a voice snarled at him as he set the on a ring set into a wall.

Redgurrrr growled as he turned in time to be cuffed on the side of the head with a huge clawed hand. He bared his teeth at his mate even as he smacked her right back.

“What’s for dinner bile spewer?” he asked before grabbing her in a bear hug and squeezing hard.

She bit his shoulder, and he let her go again.

“Two kobolds are on the spit<” she said.

He grunted.

“Good, I’m starved. I had to chase some humans around those old ruins up by out favorite swamp,” he snarled.

A small scaled creature came scrabbling into the room on all fours, screeching. Redgurrrr kicked it when it got close to one of his back legs before snatching it up.

“Pup is horrid?” he asked it.

It bared a full mouth of teeth at him and snapped at him.

“Yes sire!” it snarled.

Redgurrrr threw it onto the ground with a grunt.

“Good. We eat soon,” he told it.

His child clung to his leg as he led the way to their dining cave where the two kodolds were roasting on a spit, waiting for him to finish them off.

A bit rough but it stands. I hope you have fun with this one.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Writing Prompt #1 Switching Genders

I’ve decided to step away from the Writer Igniter and the book I was getting my prompts from because I want to try something a bit different. Something I hope will get your juices flowing if nothing else. This week’s prompt is thus:

Think of your favorite fictional character – doesn’t matter if they’re from a book, a movie or a television series. They just can’t be real.

Think about how they look, how they move, and how they behave.

Now, change their gender. If they’re male, they become female. If they’re female, they become male.

Without saying their name, use them in a scene. Describe them in such a way we would be able to tell who they are without knowing their name. If they have a companion, don’t say their companion’s name either.

Once you’re done with the scene, you can say who the character is, if you want. I’ll be letting you all post your guesses in the comments after my attempt at this. Let me know if you like this prompt or not too. Be sure to keep the scene fairly short. Too much detail, like too many cooks spoiling the soup, will spoil the surprise.

She flicked a piece of lint off the sleeve of her tweed coat with a blunt tipped finger, the nail trimmed so it barely rose about the nailbed. Her eyes fell on her legs, and she eyed them critically. Despite the generous cut of the trouser legs, she could still see the contours of her calves.

I need to walk more, she told herself. The muscle tone is off. Can’t have that.

She lit a thin cigarette and looked about her. Her companion frowned at her, but they remained silent.

“You enjoy the occasional cigar,” she said, flicking ash onto the sidewalk.

“I am not a woman,” they reminded her.

“Indeed not,” she replied, her attention on the traffic. “We have a visitor. Let us return to our rooms.”

She turned on her heel and headed inside, a hand briefly touching the hat perched neatly on her thick bun.

“I hate this hat,” she muttered.

Her companion chuckled.

“It becomes you,” they said. “Besides, people expect to see you wear it.”

Her full lips thinned, but she stayed silent.

So, do you know who the character is?

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt: Book Exercise #5

I’ve decided to do a dozen prompts using this book and then, I’m going to look elsewhere for another source. The book, What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter is a good book, and I’m not doing it full justice by simply offering prompts from its lessons. I encourage everyone to read the book to get the valuable lessons its teaching fully. That said, let’s get to today’s prompt.

This prompt is taken from Lesson #38 and deals with storytelling. Specifically, one story told to five different people. People tend to tell stories, recount events etc in different ways depending on whom they are talking to. In this exercise, you will choose something that happened to you recently; a trip to the store, a meeting you had with someone, a show you watched – whatever you like. Then, you are to tell this story to the following five people:

  1. Your mother/father – you may choose one
  2. Your spouse or significant other
  3. Your best friend
  4. Your therapist – even if you don’t have one, pretend
  5. Your spiritual advisor

I’d suggest writing a max of 300 words per person just to keep things easy. I won’t be sharing my own work on this prompt this time because it would make this post far too long. However, I may update with a link to Wordpadd when I get it posted there. I hope you all enjoy this and please, link to wherever you post your own work on this prompt so we can all see how well you did. There is no write or wrong way to do any of the prompts so please, don’t feel shy about sharing!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Prompt: Writer Igniter

This week’s prompt is using DIY MFA’s Writer Igniter, a random generator that chooses Character, Situation, Prop and Setting. I have chosen to start leaving one of these elements out to make the prompts a bit easier. Last time I did the Writer Igniter prompt I left out the Prop. This time, I’m leaving out the Character. So, here’s the prompt:

Situation: Hosts a Wedding

Prop: Someone else’s spouse

Setting: Dirt country back road

PJ chewed on a piece of straw from one of the hay bales being used to hold up the wedding arch. The arch was two poles with some paper strung across saying Wedding in big silver letters. There was just enough room under the arch for the preacher and the happy couple.

“You’ve done a great job, PJ!” a woman gushed as she hurried up to PJ.

The woman was packed into a blue dress, and it made her look like an overstuffed sausage. Davy did like his wives plump though so who was she to judge.

“Thank you kindly Mrs. Cleete,” she said around her straw and nodded at the woman. “Nice dress.”

Mrs. Cleete blushed and gave her an aw shucks look.

“My husband helped me pick it out,” she simpered and then, she looked concerned. “You don’t think the bride will be late do you?”

“Considerin’ how Bobby Sue’s daddy is guarding Junior by the preacher and Junior’s sisters are guarding Bobby Sue at my house, I doubt it,” PJ replied, and she shot a look at the darkening sky. “Shouldn’t be much longer now. Bobby Sue wanted to get hitched as the sun was going down, and it’s starting to go now.”

There was the sound of an engine roaring down the dirt road alongside the field the wedding was being held at, along with a lot of shouting and yelling. PJ turned to see a big jacked up truck race up the road. It did a donut in the road and then, it ejected the bridesmaids and the bride. PJ shook her head.

“Didn’t think they’d all fit the heifers,” she muttered, watching the girls puling their dresses down and smartening up. The bride was a bit giggly, but she was beaming with joy. She ran over to PJ and threw her arms around her. PJ almost choked on the smell of moonshine coming off the girl.

“You’ve given me a wedding to remember, PJ!” the girl said, managing not to slur her words.

“You’ve given us one to remember too, Bobby Sue,” PJ assured her, letting the girl’s mother peel her off of her before the girl could go on.

They got the wedding underway, and the couple kissed just as the sun set, it’s fiery rays bathing them in its lurid light.

“Well that’s gonna last.” PJ muttered, and she walked away as the couple was being cheered.

I’d love to see what you did with this prompt so please, either post below or share the link to where you posted. I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!