Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Voice and Viewpoint
With viewpoint it is better not to be original but, to let your story do the talking. A lot of teenage books are written in first person. When writing in the first person and present tense you have to consider how much you are supposed to know at any one time.
The omniscient narrator, such as the Victorian, 'My dear reader', can work in a different way. However, if you talk to the reader you distance them. The omniscient narrator where you don't even change scenes to change viewpoint can suit a big saga. But, it is important to make sure the character is mentioned before you change viewpoint.
Back-story can slow the pace. When adding back-story, the writer needs to seriously consider if it is really needed. It slows the tension and you may find you do not need all the detail. Ask yourself why you are putting it in, as it losses the ability to catch the reader early on. It is better to take out this narrator intrusion.
It is good to experiment with viewpoint within a story. Keep in mind it is the book we are really concerned about. What makes it great is the hard draft of the writing. You can read a book and not remember what person it is written in - it is the essence of the story you remember. You can do anything as long as your reader like it. Elizabeth suggested we ask the children what they prefer to read.
Elizabeth had many little gems of wisdom, which she conveyed to us during her talk Last week. Many of them I have included in my write-up. One of my favourites was: 'Write what is right for you, as you will write well what you like writing.'