Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Which POV Is Right...For Me?

Point(s) of View, the POV, the biggest decision a writer has to make before actually writing that first page.

For me, it's not a hard decision. Since I don't write instruction manuals or Choose Your Adventure books, I don't use Second Person (see James's article from yesterday for the definitions).  I write in Limited Third Person, some might say "deep POV." It's not the "I, Me" of First Person, but has the same constraints of the story being told from how the protagonist perceives the world.

Why Limited instead of Omniscient? High Fantasy often uses The All Knowing Narrator, so I wouldn't be breaking the Contract of Expectations with readers if I chose Omniscient. The reason I choose Limited is because it is intimate. It more easily allows the reader to become the character. And, frankly, allows me, as the writer, to stay in my protagonist's headspace. To remain true to her motivations, actions, and reactions.

I have Under the Bed books written in First Person--one an Epic Fantasy, and more than one Urban Fantasy. At the time I wrote the books, First Person was a "must" for Urban Fantasy. There were whispers about that spreading into the Epic genre, so I gave it a go. (No wonder it's languishing in the dark with dust bunnies!) But trends changed and sub-sub-genres emerged. Industry pros relented in their fervent demands, and now the sub-sub-genres are a mix of First and Third POVs.

For now, my creativity is firmly seated in the High Fantasy sub-genre, so my stories will continue to be written in Third Person Limited.  What will likely change from one series to the next is the number of POVs in each book. Don't worry, dear readers, I'm a fervid believer in head-hopping being a literary sin.

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