P.O.V Step 8

25 Aug

P.O.V. – Step Eight – Write a Novel with Me


As I developed the story and characters for this project, I had made a decision to try writing in the first person point of view.  I was so excited to start writing that I automatically wrote the first chapter in third person.  I realized it as I was walking in the parking lot of our local Borders to meet with my critique group.  I had planned to share what I had written, only wanting to run the beginning by them to get their feel as to whether it hooked them. 

I explained what I had done and they encouraged me to share it anyway and then go home and re-write it in first person, so I did.  I found later that as I re-wrote in first person P.O.V. that I was able to add more details to the story. 

So far, my protagonist, Rachel has won a prestigious writing award, returned home to find her fiancé dead.  She decides rather than face the humiliation of others finding out that, he’d been cheating on her, that she would let everyone think that she was with him when he died.  That was the premise of my story.  Now I have to go on and show the sinister truth of what is happening to her.

My first chapter is two scenes and is about 10 pages double-spaced, in length.

While working this week, I continued to work on my outline and develop my characters. I tried to develop scenes that would reveal more of each character and I did some brainstorming for my Act 1 turning points to make them more plausible.

            I think one of the things I find difficult about writing, is that there are so many choices.  I start out writing and as I go, I wander off into other story lines.  By working on the outline as I go, I am hoping to curtail that little habit.

            I wanted to discuss hopping heads.  I keep running into other writers in critique who really don’t get it.  One critique group has told me that it is okay to switch point of view within a scene once.  I believe the writing is stronger if the author stays in one point of view throughout the scene.

            Let me know what you believe.  What are editors saying about switching point of view within a scene?


I will be adding an author interview later this week.  The author is Debra Gibson and I absolutely loved her novel Blind Submission.


Until next time,




Posted by on August 25, 2009 in Writing a Novel


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3 responses to “P.O.V Step 8

  1. dirtywhitecandy

    September 5, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I agree that a consistent viewpoint is easier for the reader to cope with, but it isn’t wrong to head-hop if you handle it well. if you have a novel with five main characters and they’re all together in one scene you have to show their thoughts somehow! There is no such thing as a rule in writing, more an effect you do want versus an effect you don’t want. To illustrate, although we all have ‘show not tell’ drummed into us, sometimes ‘telling’ suits our purposes better than ‘showing’.

    Cheryl, you’re right that writers notice viewpoint more than other types of reader. I think this is because we are tuned to it. But where it’s wrong, ‘lay’ readers probalby notice it too – only they can’t put their finger on what’s up. Writers can diagnose it because we know what to look for, but where it doesn’t work, I think the lay reader also notices. Like any of the techniques we learn, really!


    • virginiagruver

      September 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks for commenting. As you can see by my author interviews, I am facinated by the way writer’s write. I do appreciate the fact that everyone has their own methods and I look forward to hearing from you often.


  2. Cheryl

    August 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I agree with you–I think a scene is stronger if you stay in one viewpoint for the entire scene. Though I do think as writers, we notice viewpoint more where just readers may not. In looking back at some of my favorite books from years ago, only now do I realize the authors were sometimes jumping viewpoint every other sentence. At the time, it didn’t register or matter to me. Now it does and I don’t like the viewpoints jumps within a scene. I prefer one viewpoint per scene, so I can keep things straight on who’s doing and thinking what.



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