Thursday, June 27, 2013
Bobbie Grant has no idea of how the world turns when she is hired as a waitress at Mama Trucker’s, a truckstop just off the interstate. Newly separated from her fickle musician husband, Bobbie vows to make better choices in her life.
Question from the e-mail: I had some readers complain that I had problems with point of view. I always write in first person (saw your tip last week) so isn't that just the difference between I and She? My character, Shirley, always writes as if she is the one talking to the reader, not me.
Answer: Well, not always. Basically, your viewpoint character is the one the reader lives inside. When writing fiction, it is the writer’s job to create a dream experience for the reader. To do that the writer must put the reader inside the main character.
The reader should be able to see, touch, taste, and feel whatever your character does (as long as it’s important to the story). And NEVER know what any other character thinks and feels except through Shirley's observation. That is viewpoint. It is easy to slip up and say, "John thought Shirley was nuts!" instead of "John looked at me as if he thought I was nuts!"
To speak of what John thinks, puts the reader INSIDE John's body, as only John knows what he is thinking.
Whether in first person (I) or third person (she) in your story, the reader should become Shirley for the time they are reading. The reader should live inside Shirley’s body, think with Shirley’s mind, and feel with Shirley’s heart.