Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am OZ...the great and powerful...

So I read something really interesting in Dummies last night.  I was reading about POV.  You know, whether you write in the 1st person, 3rd person, or that ever elusive 2nd person POV (I know, right?  Who's ever read anything in the second person POV...except maybe cookbooks or instruction manuals - apparently, there are one or two authors out there who do it quite successfully <grin>)  Anyway...so then there's this omnipotent POV that you are *never* supposed to use but...yup; you guessed it, most of us newbies use constantly. 

So, what you might ask, is this all powerful, all knowing, omnipotent POV that is so bad, and do I do it (you ask yourself) - see how I used 2nd person there? <poke poke>  Well, I definitely do it.  It's that thing you do where you are trying to add sufficient detail to your writing - when you are trying to give your reader a look inside your characters' heads, so after every line you add some little phrase like

As he thumbed through the records on the rack he looked at the woman standing behind the register and wondered if she was available for lunch the next day.  Grabbing a record without looking at the title, he wandered to the counter.  As he watched her delicate fingers tap the keys he asked in his sexiest voice "Would you like to go to lunch with me tomorrow?"

Point here being that - we didn't need to know that he was wondering about asking the cashier to lunch the next day *when he was going to ask her in the next breath!*  Geez y'all!  Leave some mystery.  Let him leaf through the records (for any of you  young'uns out there - those would be these big giant vinyl CD like thingies that plop on a stick and spin round and round(like a record baby right, round round round <cough> excuse me) and play music with kind of an odd scratchy sound using a needle made of diamond - sounds romantic doesn't it?) ummm....what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, let him leaf through the records and stare at the cashier, but you don't have to let the reader know his every thought.  Just because you are omnipotent doesn't mean the reader has to be.  Let the reader wonder at what he might be thinking, then BAM!  Have him grab a record and check (her) out.  Isn't that what reading is all about? It's about filling in the blanks.  I mean seriously, that's one of the reasons I hate movies is because they fill in the blanks all wrong.

Of course, there are some writers that do the whole inner dialogue fabulously.  Look at Stephen King.  His inner dialogue *makes* the book.  I've often commented that his books don't translate well to movies because you lose so much of that inner dialogue, but hey - he still leaves so much unsaid....

Just sayin'!



©2009 Red Velvet Reads | by TNB