Thoughts about POV

Karalee’s Post #34

I was walking my dogs on Jericho Beach in Vancouver last weekend and a yellow kayak was pulled up onto the rocks and sand, its owner somewhere on land.

kayak1

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At first it almost blended in with the scenery.

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kayak2

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Then it was a definite part of the scenery.

kayak4

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And closer up, it became a major part of the scenery.

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kayak5

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Even closer, it is the scenery.

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Of course this made me think about writing and what we have our characters actually focus on in the scenes we write.

In general, the less intense the scene is the more of the surrounding world (as opposed to the close-up view) our character can be aware of. That said, if a sniper is on a building a block away, a long-shot view can be very intense indeed.

No matter the focal point, the world is seen through the eyes of the point-of-view-character. I’m blessed with the ability to envision that perspective with vivid imagery in my head. My tendency is to be too precise, too focused, and not bring in the outside world enough to capture the sounds and smells and all the other senses of where my character is.

For some reason this walk on the beach drew my attention to how the world really does look different at a distance versus closer up and all the in-between stages. Now, take two characters in your book on the same walk and they would each see their world differently. To me that is the essence of developing our characters; how they view their world depends not only on their physical characteristics, but also through their past experiences and how they have dealt with them.

Of course I already knew this, but don’t we all have those “aha” moments when the obvious becomes, well, obvious? It’s fun too, to look at the world and know that you know how to describe it from various points-of-view. Every one of them will be right, but only one will be the right one  for the scene we’re writing.

Now that is where the skill of a writer lies.

I read a blog http://www.livewritethrive.com and the author addresses the topic of Shoot Your Novel. It’s a good read. Topics the author includes are :

Sometimes just taking a walk with no expectations (other than to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and watch my dogs have fun) allows the mind to wander and notice things a bit differently. Now I can use that yellow kayak in my mind’s eye as a vivid reminder of who is focusing on what in my writing. Then, as a more experienced writer, I will ask myself if that point-of-view is the right one for the scene or is there a better one?

Happy writing.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts about POV

  1. Excellent points Karalee, and I love the way you’ve illustrated this perspective progression. A picture really is worth 1,000 words (perhaps unfortunately for writers?)

  2. “In general, the less intense the scene is the more of the surrounding world (as opposed to the close-up view) our character can be aware of. That said, if a sniper is on a building a block away, a long-shot view can be very intense indeed.”

    So succinctly put. Writers may inuit this, but having it explained so well brings it to full consciousness, and makes it so much more helpful. I get so much out of following this blog (even though I sometimes fail to keep current).

    • Thanks for the great feedback. I find that even though we all have books that give info about all aspects of writing, a different perspective brings it together in a way that we can remember. The yellow kayak will stay vivid for me for awhile.

  3. Pingback: Another POV: What do you see in your scenes? | 5 Writers 5 Novels 5 Months

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