Friday, January 14, 2011

Who’s View is the Right View?

I don't proclaim to the world's greatest writer and I'm definitely not proficient in all of the ins and outs of grammar and punctuation—in fact, I've been having a mad love affair with commas for years, but I do know the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd POV (Point of View).

My first attempt at writing a novel resulted in mass confusion, an inability to stay within the boundaries of just one character's mind, and a feeling of complete and utter failure due to a confusing bout of head hopping. I realized immediately that writing in 3rd person perspective was not as easy as it had originally looked. And I am by no means free of its clutches even now. As Stacey and I have moved forward with Age of Eden, particularly now that were are in the revision phase, it has become more obvious than ever that my many imperfections are still blatantly present in my brain. It's made me wonder if perhaps a change in POV is in order. I've never attempted to write a book featuring 1st person POV, but I've had friends who have attempted it and succeeded beautifully. So, how hard can it be, right?

Oh man…it's harder than you can possibly imagine.

Since finishing my last read of AoE, and seeing that Stacey is going forward with writing her independent book, I thought to myself, maybe now is the time to get back into my first novel as well and finished what I started. About five years ago, I began writing a book with the working title of "The Psychic Effect" or "Psychic" as it has affectionately been shortened to. I admit, I was on fire when I first starting planning and writing it, and the words just seemed to flow so easily because at that time I wasn't focused on POV or whose head I was writing from or that I was head hopping like a professional leap frog player. The story is what I was focused on, which isn't necessarily wrong, but in focusing on one thing I neglected the other.

That's why, I've decided to completely rewrite everything that I had written before and this time, I'm going to try my hand at 1st person POV. I'm going to say good bye to head hopping and confusion about POV. In other words, I'm going to be trading in one set of complications for another set entirely. But since when has being a writer even been easy? There's always something that needs conquering and there will always be imperfections that need to be smoothed out. And who knows, maybe writing in the 1st person won't turn out as well as when I wrote in 3rd, but the point is it never hurts to try something new.

I don't know if 3rd person POV is better than 1st, but I do know that no one ever gained success by refusing to step outside of the box and try something new, beyond the boundaries of their comfort zone. No guts no glory, right? I'm going to keep on keeping on until I find out one way or another, whether or not my decision to change POV has worked the way I want it to. Then and only then will I be able to say, from personal experience, which view is the right view for me. Wish me luck!

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