Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Point of View.

        One of the most important choices you have to make early on in developing your manuscript is who is telling the story. Is there a specific character narrating everything with only knowledge of what they can see or a third-person narration aware of everything that’s going on? Who is the voice that will relate the rest of the characters and the plot and the setting to your audience?
       You can draw someone in from the first page with a clear point of view or a unique perspective. You can also lose them just as quickly with a voice that is not very interesting or is difficult to follow. Make sure you are part of the first group and not the latter.
       Be consistent. If you choose to tell the story from the point of view of one of your characters, decide whether they are relating the events as they happen or reflecting back on something that has already passed. Don’t let them tell the reader anything they wouldn’t actually know. There are few things more distracting in a story than inconsistencies in voice.
      Be compelling. Even in a third-person narrative it is important to have a strong, clear sense of who is telling the story. It doesn’t matter if the story being relayed is the most simple, mundane task or the most exciting event to ever happen, the way it is told and who is telling will make or break whether someone reads on.
     Most of all, don’t be afraid to start over! If you realize halfway through that your story really would have been better served with a third-person narrative and you’ve been writing from the point of view of your main character, switch it up! The time it takes to rewrite those pages will be well worth it in the end if you have a more polished manuscript with a more compelling voice when you are finished. Don’t become so invested in your point of view that you let it ruin the rest of the story.

     As always, good luck!

      Intern Emily.

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