Tag Archives: POV

The Sly Brilliance of 90 Days

I am working through a writing craft book called 90 Days to Your Novel.

Being the diligent student, I began at the beginning. Each time the author gives an assignment, I do it. No cheating.

From Clipart Guide: Images by Pamela Perry

At first, the assignments were too basic, but I did them anyway. Then I decided to apply an existing story line to the assignments. Suddenly, even the super basic instruction have become brilliant. Because I already have a plan I am working toward, each exercise is pre-writing part of my novel.

Day 9 was all about picking 1st or 3rd person to write in. Again, the assignment was to choose a scene and write it in both 1st and 3rd person and choose which fit the story better. I switch pretty regularly between the two styles. I chose 3rd this time because I am hoping to add some comedy to this manuscript. Not being a funny person, I may fail horribly, but I’d like to try just once.

Day 10 wants me to flesh out the main characters. It involves free writing about the main characters to learn more than just a character sheet about their personality, physical description, and motives. Then, the second part of the assignment is to write a scene introducing the main character. Sound like an opening scene to anyone else?

By the time this book tells me to write my first chapter, I will have a snippet from almost every scene in the book. Very sly Ms. Domet. I’m on to your tricks. 😉

90 Days – Days 7 and 8

Alright. I’m still trucking through these days, but they are getting harder and longer. I might be giving up and taking them one day at a time for a while. We’ll see.

Day 7 is a discussion of dialog. I’ve never had too many problems with dialog, and the examples of what not to do are atrocious. That being said, Ms. Domet tells me I shouldn’t start a scene with dialog because the reader has no background, setting, or base characters to provide their footing. Oops. My last novel starts with dialog. My high school creative writing teacher liked dialog as an opener if it included a hook.

So now I am going to be dialog conscious. In the next few books I pick up, I’m going to see if they start with narrative or dialog. Here’s a fun game. Go to the library. Pick a stack of fiction and open to the first page of every tenth book you see. Read just the first paragraph. The first, first paragraph, not a random opening to chapter 9. It’s how I started to learn about hooks. I’m not sure I have them right, but I’ve read more hooks than middles or ends of books.

Recently I have started doing the same game but with last paragraphs. I really need to learn how to end a story better.

Day 8 focuses on point of view. — The pesky shifting point of view. My current WIP (work in progress) has three POV’s , but I am debating on the need. Someone once told me, the mark of a good story teller is being able to make the story happen from one POV. I don’t believe it, and I do believe it. When one POV leads to a person randomly showing up conveniently outside a diner door to hear the pivotal conversation between two side characters, it feels weak to stick to the one POV, but when there are interesting hooks and hints throughout the book to reveal what happened off page or when the character actions really would have lead to spying outside that diner, single POVs are more interesting to me. Most of my favorite authors write from a single POV. — Now that I’ve written all this, Day 8 is not about single versus multiple POVs. It is about choosing the right POV. The interesting, reliable, relevant one.

The Kiss – Gustav Klimt

For the novel I plan to do on the 90 day schedule, I think I’ll use 2 POVs. There is a romance to the story that would lend itself to 2 POVs, but the way it is currently outlined I could do it in one. It will be interesting to see what happens.