I used to be a fly-into-the-mist writer. These days, I’m taking those inspirational odysseys on blogs instead of books. Watch me go…. or see if I crash and burn…
When we started this blog, we weren’t certain what kind of questions would interest our readers. At the moment, it seems to be writing related questions, so I’ll take those as my guide today.
Kim asked about my approach to point of view. Actually, I think she’s better educated than I am and knows way more about this subject than I do. <G> (one of these days, I’ll figure out smiley face icons) My approach to POV is one of those odysseys…I do what feels right. And if it doesn’t work, I do it another way. Probably not a satisfactory approach for those of you who prefer more organization. Sorry. Technically, I think the theory is that a scene should be set in the POV of the person most affected by the action. Heck if I know who that is until I write the scene. And since I sometimes like to have one character’s reaction immediately, I have been known to switch from one POV to another within the same scene—just once, mind you, or it gets confusing.
Which brings us to the subject of structure, which Cathy inquired about. I think structure is great. I wish I had some. I mean it. I really, really am trying to reform my mist-flying ways so I don’t have so much re-writing, but my imagination needs that word flow to let loose. So I’ve found a compromise that requires I have a complete character sketch, a list of conflicts, and three emotional turning points to my plot before I jump into the pilot’s seat and take off. I may have scenes in mind for those turning points, but sometimes, action happens and the characters run away with their own ideas, which are usually better than mine. As long as I know what kind of emotional leap they have to take at those points, the story stays on track.
Everyone, feel free to ask what you will. We have no idea how this blogging business will work out, so we’re winging it right now. Several of our members are out of town, but the stars said it was time to launch the blog, and from the number of responses we received our opening day, the stars were right.
So if you don’t get the answer you want this week, wait until next week!
Pat Rice, the Leo