Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Use a Point of View Change in Fiction to Reveal Your Characters

A POV change deepens your fiction
An MFA colleague recently explained how switching point of view (POV) from third person to first helped him relate to his main character. "I really got inside her head," he said.

The idea for the shift began as an exercise to deepen the story's main squeeze. In this case, what started as an exercise resulted in a much stronger character so much so the writer revised the manuscript to reflect the new perspective.

To deepen your main character, try switching to first person from third, and from a distant perspective to one that's close, as in the following examples:

John walked into the crowed room and looked around at the unfamiliar faces. How could he make a personal call in front of all these people?

He edged into the crowded room. He couldn't make the call now, not with everyone listening.

You may not revise your entire story to reflect the new POV, but revising a pivotal scene will reveal and enrich your character, and your story. The approach also works for going from one gender to another, and one age or stage of life to another.

What story are you writing that could benefit from a deeper main or key secondary character?

Happy writing! For more tips, visit Word for Words, or visit Adele's blog.

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