"You're too young to know what love is. You don't love me. You're infatuated with me." -- Sir Aric, The Prince's Knight

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Importance of POV

I'm working on Chapter 4 of A Christmas Dream now. Usually when I start working on a project, the first three chapters are a breeze, because the story is just starting out. It's still young, fresh, anxious to grow. As soon as I hit the fourth chapter, the struggle begins. Now, I am climbing uphill, fighting a difficult battle to reach the top and slide the rest of the way to the ending.

I started the book in Cayden's point-of-view. He's a unique character, and I always do well with those. I understand them better and their thoughts are very clear to me. He's somewhat of an outcast, or at least he feels that way. Alone and lonely. I relate well to him. He wants something he thinks he can never have.

Chapters 2 and 3 were told from Noelle's POV, to introduce the horror elements of the story. She has no idea what's going on around her, whereas Cayden does. But with the lack of understanding, it's easy to weave in the horror in her chapters.

I started writing Chapter 4 from her POV as well, but started struggling at the start of the very first paragraph. I was no longer feeling the story. I wanted to continue the horror elements where I left off in Ch 3, but it just wasn't meant to be. Noelle was no longer speaking to me and I couldn't force her to. I can always tell when I've started writing a bad scene -- one that I'm going to need to go back and rewrite, which seems wasteful to me. I'd rather get it right the first time. But then I thought, why not switch back to Cayden's POV and see what happens?

So I did, and the story started flowing easily once more. Cayden needs to tell this chapter, to share some of his insights with the reader.

I know I talk as if these characters are living, breathing people. I'm not crazy -- I know a lot of writers are like that. The good writers are. If you can't hear your characters speaking to you, then you're just not listening clearly.