Laura Smith



Posted by lsmith335 on July 23, 2012 at 9:50 PM

I like to write from numerous points of view. I’ve written from first person, third person, men, women, children, you name it. I like howa point of view can restrict the narration to a concentrated area, creating a limited but specific telling of events. I like how it can become bodiless andwander through characters’ minds and above the action. I use it like a camera, zooming in and out of scenes, narrating from different angles, bouncing arounda story.

I think that a point of view can make or break a story. I have actually rewritten entire stories and poems because I hated the point of view. I tend to avoid daring viewpoints, leaving them for more accomplished writers, the kind who can write unreliable narrators, those who aren’t directly involved in the story or relies on a noteor letter format to tell a story.

A good point of view will come naturally and be the onlyviewpoint that feels right to the story. It is the one element that shouldn’t be forced. Even on off days, you should be able to write a page of description or a filler paragraph. I tend to rely on my narrators too much. The evil act of“telling” over “showing” can come out in a narrator from my end. That’s my weakness showing through and the passages that I most heavily edit. It can also affect the content. When given writing exercises to complete from a specific viewpoint, I have sometimes neglected to include conflict or explanations or important details. An uncomfortable point of view can be distracting.

My first novel is written from the first person point ofview of the protagonist. My second novel is written in the third person and shifts from character to character with the main focus being on my protagonist.I think I made the choice I did with each novel based on the kind of story each is. My first novel is character-driven. So, I needed to be inside of her head.The second novel is story-driven so I needed to be able to maneuver through thecharacters to reveal how the story plays out and the characters interconnect.  I think that each one works best for that particular story.

Which stories or pieces contain your most favorite points ofviews? Which do you write most often?  Does it depend on the genre, story, character, etc?


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