It’s Called Perspective

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I lied. It is actually called Point of View, or POV for short. Though the two are not so unrelated as all that. As I sit here and attempt to work diligently on Coming Home (Prequel to Sara’s Moon), I find that I am struggling with this; not so much in what to say as how to say it. Yes, I often toy with the concept of “How would this scene go told from a different POV?” and while that is a fantastic exercise, it isn’t helping me too much at the moment.

As any one who has read the vast majority of what I have currently compiled can attest, most of my stories are told from a very straightforward first person POV. All in all, that’s great, but that is not the case in Coming Home nor will it be for any of the Raladar tales. Such a major shift in perspective is proving harder than I would have imagined. Of course, the real irony of my current predicament, is that I used to write solely in third person, unsatisfied with a singular perspective narrative.

When all of this started in earnest, I actually had to force myself to maintain first person POV. I won’t lie (again), the first few chapters of Sara’s Moon, Charline’s Solstice, Charlotte’s Midnight, and Darkness Defined all had obvious slip ups. Determined to really get going though, I ignored the blatant and numerous blunders in POV and kept going, vowing to come back and fix it later. Which I did. So, yeah, props.

Except, that is not so easily done when it needs to be more omniscient. You are not solely in one character’s head, you are absorbing the scene and experiencing the emotions from every relevant facet. Now many a writer will tell you, that is against the rules. Lies and slander. Welcome to the written word, where the author is a god in their own right and can do as they please with one tiny, crazy-important, caveat: it has to work. If shifting around doesn’t aid anything, don’t do it; you’ll only confuse people.

For the record, let’s assume that I, at least, believe it is warranted in this book. The trouble is, I’m having to unlearn seven books worth of forced first person, and it is hard. I want, no I need, this world to be dynamic. Yet time and again, I find that at some point I forgot that I was allowed to reach into another character’s head to pull their take on the situation and have landed myself with over a thousand words of first person POV. Sigh. Scrap. Let’s try this again. Nope. Now, it is first person, but from a different character.

I honestly don’t know why I am struggling with this so much. Maybe it is because for many passages the POV/perspective seems to toe the line. Either way, I will persevere. In the mean time, here is a little nugget from the current frustration–I mean project.

She was working on disentangling a particularly gnarly vine from her crop of carrots when she heard a strange sound from the house that could have been a scream. Panic poured through her like a bucket of ice. She was desperately trying to un-stick herself from the mud and muck when Peter came tearing out of the house, the screen door snapping shut behind him. He froze a few feet from her, bare toes sinking in the mud. His chest was heaving and his eyes were wild. It was the most alive she had seen him since she had arrived at his house to tell him his parents had died—and he was absolutely terrified.

 

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