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!

Some Changes to Wednesday

I usually do writing prompts on Wednesday, but I’ve decided to expand to include anything writing related. This means I’ll be discussing Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts in writing as well as sharing articles and editorials about writing. I’ll propose writing exercises as well – what’s the point of learning something if you can’t practice it. Practice is a way of making something permanent, and writing is no different.

I’ll be back next week with something writing related I think you’ll like, and I hope you will discuss it with me.

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

Scrivener: Writing Program Review

Many years ago, I was one of the winners of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which is held every November and has participants from around the world. That year, one of the prizes for winning was a free copy of Scrivener. That was about ten years ago, when I wrote the rough draft for Crimson Knight.

I have only had to update and pay for the right to use the program three times, and the program has gotten better in many ways and in others, it needs more work.

One of the issues I’ve found with it is that you practically have to take a course to learn how to use the program. In fact, there are quite a few online classes as well as books teaching you how to use Scrivener. I didn’t have those resources so, I wasted quite a few hours learning how to do things correctly. It was a lot of trial and error, mostly error, and I am still not fully sure of what I’m doing.

That said, let’s talk about the program a bit.

What is Scrivener?

Scrivener is a program designed to help writers write. Sounds like a word processor from back in the day, but it does a great deal more than that. In addition to helping you format your work using either the presets provided or custom elements, it also:

  1. Assists with editing during the writing process by highlighting words spelled incorrectly and missing punctuation.
  2. Allows you to choose how you want to set up your project by choosing either a blank page for a custom project or choosing presets like manuscript, recipe, play, journal, etc.
  3. Saves your work as almost a dozen different formats including .docx and .pdf

Manuscript Production

This is the main reason I chose to use Scrivener many years ago. Once you decide to write a manuscript, it allows you to choose which kind: fiction or non-fiction as well as play/movie script. Then it:

a. Set up Title Page and Chapters

b. Separates Chapters into Scenes

c. Provides a Corkboard view so you can check each scene individually with ease

d. Has places for notes and research

e. Saves everything in one file so you don’t have to worry about losing your notes or forgetting where you found something.

f. Compiles the finished project according to choice: print or e-book.

My Experiences

My main issue was learning how to format and make sure all the formatting was done to the entire body of work. I have found you have to preset all the formatting vales before you start writing because if you don’t, it’s a major headache having to go back and fix everything.

Also, formatting for an e-book is much different than formatting for a print book, and you have to pay attention to the space around your text so you don’t use more than an e-book creator program will allow you to. Same with print, many self publishing programs have boundaries on the book pages you can’t put anything in because it will be damaged during the printing and cutting process.

Conclusion

Scrivener is a great program and despite all my issues learning how to use it, I don’t want to use anything else. The only error in this program that I’ve found is user error. I suggest buying a book and taking a course to learn how to use the program unless you’re hands on like me and don’t mind finding out how to use it on your own.

Don’t take my word for it, of course. Try out the program for yourself. I think there are trial versions available. If you like it, it’s well worth the price of the licensing.

If you already use the program, feel free to let me know your thought/feelings about the program. I’d love to hear from you.

Before I go, I want to remind everyone of the raffle I have going on for a few more days! If you’re new here, check out the full story at the link below:

https://wordpress.com/post/bkgriffinsnest.com/1546

Thank you so much for reading down this far!

See you on the flipside and 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 #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!!

Art, Writing, and the Pursuit of Expression

Another interesting blog to share!

Adam west

Death would have been better…

If only for a fleeting span…

Clouded, blind, and flailing.

Moments, like days, can trip near any foot. Toe-catchers we’ll call them. There is something unique about moments, they lie beyond measured time, they endure minutes. The painting above has something to do with that, in an obscure, far-off, and unexplained way…

There are moments that bend toward a drawn out stuckness, a mire of trapping, that elusive span of time can grab hold and dwell. Some should be held. Others still, hold darker lingerings.

Why do I write? Or paint?

It’s because of these very moments… the ones that threaten who we wish to be, those breaths where everything seems to snatch away… and sometimes do. When we are left with only ourselves.

I write for the notion of expression. For the harried moments that breathe life into a heart-wrecked soul.

This painting is…

View original post 211 more words

Writing Prompt: Book Exercise #3

This week, we’re doing another exercise from the book, What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter. This is from Chapter 68 about Adverbs and Adjectives.

It’s a long standing debate between using adverbs in dialogue or not :

“To be or not to be,” quoteth Hamlet sadly. vs “To be or not to be,” quoteth Hamlet.

*Yes I know that’s not a perfect quote. It’s just an example.*

Personally, I try very hard not to use adverbs in my dialogue. I try to let my words convey meaning and feeling though it’s all open to interpretation by the reader.

In this exercise, the focus isn’t on using adverbs in dialogue. It’s about using adverbs and adjectives in everything else, and mostly about the detrimental effects of using weak ones. These descriptors should be used to enhance the mood, the scene, whatever they’re a part of – not detract. Here’s an example used in the book where they were used well:

She had been to Germany, Italy, everywhere that one visits acquisitively. – Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September.

Within the parson’s house death was zealously kept in view and lectured on. – Isak Dinesen, “Peter and Rosa”

Page 190 Exercise 68 Taboos: Weak Adverbs and Adjectives

Exercise:

Find a story you really like and go to page at random. On this page, find all the adjectives and adverbs,circle them and determine if they’re weak or strong. If you think they’re weak, change them to those you think are strong.

The objective is to learn how to avoid using them unless they add to what you’re trying to say and then, using only strong ones.

While I reluctantly leave you now, I eagerly await our next meeting.

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

Blog Sharing Saturday: The Writing on the Padded Wall

Jack Canfora is the author of this fantastic blog, and I am amazed by him. He’s not just a blogger, he’s also a playwright. An Award Winning playwright!!! I was floored when I read that about him because his posts are just so straightforward and simple. There’s no hubris, no beating his chest and demanding attention – none of that.

What’s more, he has the same issues a lot of other people have, not just writers and playwrights. I guess it makes him more relatable to me. I care about the things he writes about. I highly recommend you check out his blog and see what he’s all about. He’s begun a new project involving theatre you can find out more about in his blog.

The Writing on the Padded Wall

I hope you enjoy reading his blog as much as I did.

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

Writing Prompts Wednesday – #1

For starters, I’ll be using two sources for my writing prompts:

Writer Igniter – this is a fantastic random generator that chooses Character, Situation, Prop, and Setting.

What If? – a book written by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter and published in 1990. It’s a book full of writing exercises I think you’ll enjoy.

This first prompt is from Writer Igniter

Apothecary – Character

Stands Up To A Bully – Situation

Filthy Shirt – Prop

Fishing Dock – Setting

Please post your own writing in the comments below as I’d love to see what you came up with.

Jean Paul didn’t much care for his job as an Apothecary when he had to leave his shop. He much preferred its quiet and orderly environs to the noise and chaos of the outside world. Still, once a month he ventured forth to the fishing docks of Himys Bay to deliver medicine to a very old sea captain who lived on one of the boats.

“Ho the ship!” Jean Paul called out to the boat even as he eyed the seagulls circling overhead.

Nasty buggers are just waiting to take a shite on me, he thought, covering his satchel of medicine as best he could.

“Ho the visitor!” came a muffled reply from the mess on the deck.

Jean Paul frowned.

“Captain Bilak?” he asked.

“Aye and who else might it be ye daft son of a he goat!” came the retort. “Come aboard and give me a hand!”

Jean Paul swallowed nervously even as he looked around for a way to board the boat. Captain Bilak was an old and well respected client whose wishes were carried out as best as could be done.

“Lily livered land lubber that one be!” came a laughing roar, and Jean Paul jumped before hunching his shoulders in shame.”Where ye be tryin to go eh Jean Paul?”

Jean Paul’s nerves jangled and turned to face the new speaker. The man wasn’t very big, but he was all muscle. He was also unkempt, always in a filthy shirt and pants. He was a drunk and a bully, and he looked in the mood to be both just then.

“I’m tending to my business Pierre, something you are not,” Jean Paul said, squaring his shoulders and tightening the strap on his satchel.

“What did you say to me!”Pierre roared, his blood shot eyes narrowing with anger.

“You heard me perfectly well though I’m sure your wits are befuddled by your drink. I’ll bid you good day,” the apothecary said.

The sober man turned and stepped over to the side of the boat where it was tied up to the dock. Peering over the side, he saw Captain Bilak was tangled in some rope and not looking his best.

“Ware that Pierre!” Captain Bilak called out to him.

Jean Paul half turned and ducked as Pierre swung a bottle at him.

“Now see here!” Jean Paul was scared of Pierre, but he was even more afraid of something happening to good Captain Bilak, a man of finer character than anyone Jean Paul knew. “Leave off or else!”

“Or else what?” Pierre sneered at him.

Before the smaller man could reply, Pierre rushed at him. Jean Paul grabbed up some fishing net and threw it at him. The drunk man swore and crashed about trying to get the net off of him. He ran headfirst into one ofthe mooring posts and knocked himself out cold.

Straightening his clothes, Jean Paul carefully boarded Captain Bilak’s boat and set the old man to rights once more.

“Well done young Jean Paul!” the old man said, smiling and patting his rescuer. “You finally stood up for yourself!”

“You needed help, and he wasn’t helping,” Jean Paul explained.”Here is your medicine.”

Making a wide berth around the loudly snoring Pierre, Jean Paul made his way back to his shop once again.

There you have it. A short scene using all of the elements of the prompt. 🙂

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

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 11

My word count dropped again today – it was 3,214 when I was done. While this does bring my overall total up to 41,588, I’m not competely satisfied with the count. I wanted to do more.

This said, I have noted many times in this project where I can split chapters and beef them both up so the count is higher overall. There are some scenes I do want to add to once the main project is done. Since I’m projected to hit the event goal of 50,000 words in 3 more days – if my daily word count stays above 3,000 – I’ll have time to do a rework of the overall project.

I plan to split up chapters, beef up scenes and add scenes where needed, and I plan to make sure formatting is the same throughout the entire project. I’m having issues with Crimson Knight right now, and I plan to fix it before Christmas.

As you can see, writing involves more than just stringing words together. 🙂

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