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Omniscience
Written by Paul   
Friday, 31 October 2014 02:38
There's a new post up at The Writer's Brain:

The biggest, wooliest, scariest POV of them all is Third Person Omniscient.  It is actually not used as often as you might think, despite it being a POV that is often used by amateurs who do not know what they are getting into.  Among published works it has seen a general decline from its 19th-century heyday.  There are two reasons why this is the easiest POV to write, and the hardest one to write well

The first reason is strictly technical: because it forces you back to the drawing board of choosing what characters to use for the POV over and over throughout the work.  Because in an omniscient POV you can move daemonically in and out of the minds of anybody - the main character, the villain, the villain’s henchman, the dog… anybody.  This means those decisions you made at the beginning of the story about who was a POV character and who is not have to be remade constantly, because anybody can be a POV character.  It is even possible for you to enter the POV of inanimate objects - though that should be undertaken with caution.

This grants you a tremendous amount of freedom.  Not only can you choose whatever person is best suited to describe a given event moment by moment, but you can also go into their minds and tell us exactly what they are thinking.  No longer are you bound to the thoughts of one person in a scene - you can show us everything and be truly omniscient.

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New Post
Written by Paul   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 22:56
There's another post up over at The Writer's Brain:

Third Person is by far the more flexible and widely-used POV in fiction, and as such, you really cannot go wrong using it as your default point of view unless there is a really compelling reason why your story needs to be in First Person.  Too often authors reach for First Person simply because they love the sound of the narrator’s voice - and this can indeed make for a rich narrative style.  But richness can distract rather than enhance if applied injudiciously, and voice will not solve all your narrative problems.

Third Person comes in two major flavors, and today we shall discuss the easier and more often-used Limited rather than the more demanding Omniscient.  Limited means that you choose one, or at most a few viewpoint characters and show us your story through their eyes.  You can make this, in essence, simply a First-Person story with “She” in place of “I”, but this is a disservice to the form, and robs you of the charm of a really engaging narrator while not granting any of the benefits of a wider view.

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Point of View
Written by Paul D. Batteiger   
Friday, 24 October 2014 01:36
I have a new post up over at my Writer's Brain blog about Point of View:

Point of view is something that often gets neglected in writing instructions, and I suppose this is part of why so many professional writers are quite bad at it.  I’m guilty of those sins myself, so I’m not claiming to be perfect either.  Point of view is extremely important to a coherent and powerful narrative, and it is often one of the last things a writer thinks about.

On the surface, it’s an easy decision, as there are just not that many choices for POV.  You have First-Person, Third Person Limited, and Third Person Omniscient.  (There is also Second-Person Limited, which is technically a real thing but almost unusable - basically, try writing a story in First Person and using “you” instead of “I”)

Three choices seems like an easy process to sort through, but you would be surprised how many writers do not really make a considered decision, just grabbing for the one that “feels right” without really thinking about it.

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