#amwriting: What about Point of View?

We’ve all heard the standard “There’s First Person, Third Person Omniscient, but most genre fiction is written in Limited Third Person. Don’t mix them and — whatever you do — don’t write in Second Person.”

Allow me to let my freak flag fly: I LOVE (lovelovelovelove) reading (well-written) Second Person. Stuff like BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY or Stephen Graham Jones’ NOT FOR NOTHING. A number of short fictions that I have read in A-tier LitMags. My first pro-rate sale was a (VERY) short piece written in Second Person.

I also don’t mind mixed First/Third. Say what you want about him, James Patterson sells a lot of books and he’s been mixing POV forever. Richard Thomas mixed First and Third to great effect in his recent book BREAKER (go buy it).

My rants about POV are, however, just that and aren’t what I wanted to tell you about.

I was listening to the Odyssey Podcasts last night and came across an old episode featuring Robert J. Sawyer talking about POV. Talking about how it is the great advantage fiction writers have over screenwriters: the ability to bring the reader inside the character. He also has some great examples of “POV violations” — subtle errors we make that pull the reader out of POV.

Check it out: http://www.sff.net/odyssey/podcasts1.html (scroll down to Episode #4)

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