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Friday, February 28, 2014

Guest Blog: Tory Richards Indie Authors and POV

No, it’s not some disease. Well, it’s not contagious anyway. It could be considered a writer’s disease, though, and one many authors have suffered with: POV, or point of view. When I first began submitting manuscripts I can’t tell you how many times I received rejection letters that said, “Your POV issues keep this from being a manuscript we would be interested in.” And guess what, I had no idea what it was. So I bought a POV book and studied it.

I wish a lot of indie authors would do the same thing. Now that self-publishing has been made so easy everyone and anyone can publish a book. I’ve been reading a lot of indie books lately, some really good ones. However, most of them all have one thing in common: point of view issues. It’s so frustrating and confusing when you’re reading a story where the author is jumping back and forth between characters’ thoughts in the same paragraph or scene.

So what is POV? Like I said in the paragraph above, it’s picking the character through whose thoughts the reader will view the scene. Below are examples of what I’m talking about.

Wrong way:
“Don’t open the door, Dolly.” Ron knew she would be in for a big shock if she did, and he wanted to prepare her first. He’d been unable to locate her mother, but he had found her twin sister, Anne. (his thoughts, or POV)

Dolly wondered what was behind the door that he didn’t want her to see. Was it her long lost mother? Has Ron finally found her? She felt excitement over the possibility, and a little nervousness. “Why? What will I find?” (switched to her thoughts, or POV)

Ron knew if he wasn’t careful he could easily fall for a sweet girl like Dolly. “Not exactly,” he said, shaking his head. “I found your twin sister, though.” He watched as pure happiness spread across her face. (back to his thoughts, or POV)

Right way:
“Don’t open the door, Dolly.” Ron knew she would be in for a big shock if she did, and he wanted to prepare her first. He’d been unable to locate her mother, but he had found her twin sister, Anne. (his POV)

“Why? What will I find?” He heard the excitement in her tone, saw a glimmer of it in her sparkling eyes. “Did you find my mother?”(his POV)

Ron knew if he wasn’t careful he could easily fall for a sweet girl like Dolly. “Not exactly,” he said, shaking his head. “I found your twin sister, though.” He watched as pure happiness spread across her face. (his POV)

I’ve written for publishers who don’t want me switching POV except at the beginning of a new chapter. So if chapter one has the heroine’s POV, then chapter two can have the hero’s POV. But then I have another publisher who says it’s okay to switch POV after a couple of pages. So before you go crazy trying to figure out what your publisher wants I’d either ask, or stick to switching POV at each new chapter. That keeps it neat and simple.

I hope this article helps all of you new authors out there. If you’re really passionate about writing, and putting the best product out there – which helps build your fan base – then take this information to heart.

BIO:
Tory Richards lives in Florida. She retired from Disney to spend time with her family, friends, and to focus on writing. She shares a good sized woman-cave with four cats in her daughter’s home in Deltona. Good coffee, sweet iced tea, chocolate and any kind of sandwich are some of her favorite things.

Now I’d like to take a moment to plug my next release, which comes out on March first at Smashwords, Amazon and All Romance Ebooks.Scent of a Wolf’s Mate is my second erotic paranormal romance.

BLURB:
Accepting a job as a wildlife veterinarian at the Savage Hills Wolf Sanctuary is Serena's dream job. Finding out she's the mate of Savage Hill's alpha werewolf turns her world as she knows it upside down. Trying to resist the sexy man is impossible. She's in heat, and he's more than ready to claim what's his.

Links
Website/Blog: toryrichards.com
All Romance Ebooks
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/397086
Amazon author page
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortoryrichards
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToryRichards
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2291635.Tory_Richards
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/authorat

9 comments:

Sandy said...

Thanks for a great post on POV, Tory. When I first began writing it was one of my problems, too.

Your story sounds great. It must have been fun working at Disney. Smile!

Rose Anderson said...

Great post Tory. Perhaps today's pov issues stem from all those romance novels from yesteryear. Off the top of my head I can think of a half-dozen well-known beloved authors from the 1980's who hopped all over the place. We still managed to figure out who was talking and enjoyed the stories for their romance. Thanks for joining us today. Best luck. :)

Debbie Haupt said...

Thanks for this post, very informative and the cover and premise of the book, smokin!
deb

jean hart stewart said...

I had so much trouble figuring out POV when I first started writing. I still think it's an issue that's over rated by editors. But I've learned to give them what they want..

Renee Vincent said...

Hey Tory! Great post on POV. Over the years I've learned a lot about POV and headhopping. Before I became published, I learned the craft from authors like Nora Roberts and Amanda Quick, when headhopping was accepted and widely done. Now it drives me crazy to see it.

Wishing you the best!

J.S. Wayne said...

You raise some excellent points, Tory! I just started reading a novel by an NYT-bestselling author last night that head-hopped so badly I made it about 30 pages and couldn't stomach the thought of reading anymore. I will more than likely not finish this book unless I get really desperate for fresh reading matter. (No, I'm not naming names. She's making more money than I am, which suggests she must be doing SOMETHING right. :) )

I like to give a visual indicator that a POV switch is coming, and in some scenes, particularly fight sequences, this works well when there's a lot going on at one time with multiple characters that needs to be addressed. However, as a rule of thumb, I think the "pick a POV you like and run with it" rule works well for general purpose usage. (There are exceptions to every rule, something I take great delight in pointing out to my professors when they try to invoke Da Rulez of writing.)

Thanks for the excellent post, Tory!

Best,

J.S. Wayne

Cara Marsi said...

That is one hot cover! I enjoyed your post. Before I started writing, I had no idea what POV was. Now it bothers me if a writer head hops. I try to use space breaks with I change POV. I know many authors who pooh-pooh that head jumping is bad. They feel if a certain big name romance author can do it, they can too. But that big name author does it well. Most others don't.

Melissa Keir said...

POV is hard to master. We naturally know everything as the author and jump around. What book did you get and recommend?

Loved the blurb for the new book. Best wishes!

Janice Seagraves said...

Great lesson. When I first started writing, I head hopped like crazy.

That all stopped when I found a mentor who told me: one scene, one POV.

Janice~

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