Thursday, April 28, 2011

POV – Rules? Pshaw!

Well, the good news is out. I just signed a two book contract with Decadent, for the rest of the kraken’s Caribbean trilogy. I’ve already delivered the initial draft of The Chameleon Goggles, but expect to be dealing with edits and edits and edits on it. Which is good. Last time I learned a great deal and I’m hoping my edits will be less because I learned so much.

Knock on wood.

*clunk, clunk

Now, I’m working on the third book and have about 15k done. I want to shoot for around 70k, so there is work to be done. My agent gave them a date about mid June, but I hope to see it in their hands by the end of May. I know how fast e-publishing works!


Now, in The Kraken’s Caribbean, I stuck to two POVs. Mostly deep third. (Ideally.) The hero and the heroine. Until I slipped a third POV in toward the end. That of the hero for the next book. Added him, then let him slip away and returned to the H/H.

In The Chameleon Goggles, I had the new hero. His heroine and … Emily from the first book. (She was needed!) By the end, it was all H/H.


Now, the third, The Pirate Circus. Well, I have the H/H, of course. Janey was part of the first two books, her hero is a brand new character, though he is related to the hero of book one, Captain Silvestri. And the hero from book one also…I use his POV.

Now, don’t hit me! I’m not head-hopping, I need Silvestri the elder or there will be gaping holes in the plot. But his POV will fade to almost nothing in the middle third of the book and only slip back in at the very end as part of the climax. The problem I’m having is this rotten 14 year old girl that plays a major part in the crises that brings the H/H together. Her identity issues are a huge part of things with the villain of the piece.

And I find I want to include her POV.



Can I get away with it? If Silvestri Sr. is ‘off camera’ for the middle third of the book and really only seen partially in the climax…can I let Lee show what she goes through? Should I? I mean, if I don’t use her the sense of urgency might be lost.

It’s not like I want to write like a 14 year old. Heaven knows, angst isn’t my strength. I fear if I don’t sneak her experiences ‘off camera’ into the action, the H/H aren’t going to … wait…it’s not like they’ll be able to read what she’s going through…

Damn. How am I gonna do this?

Okay, looks like maybe I’m going to have to settle for something like a letter from her to explain why they need to hurry before she does something really heinous in her drive to solve her identity issues. Maybe a diary…or someone who gets away from the Circus and warns them of what Lee is mixed up in…


No, it’s not an argh. I didn’t want to write the 14 year olds POV… Maybe I could toss in a tiny bit of villain POV… No!

Stop it!

Just write it with the three you have!


I’m not listening!!!!

*pant, pant…

Sometimes the biggest problem with ignoring the rules is the temptation to not just bend them, but break them into little tiny pieces and so destroy the very framework needed to make a story work.

Lesson learned. I hope.

How many POVs are bad? Not necessarily wrong, but bad-bad. What do you think?

I know, the wedding. We'll see how many are serious about this blog and how many are wedding serious! HA! I'll be here all day. By myself if necessary.


Hal said...

It took me several seconds of blinking stupidly at the screen to remember what wedding you were talking about, so I guess that answers that question for me :)

It's funny. As a writer, I'm like you. I want to add in the other POV's. In my WIP, I have probably 80-85% of the scenes from the H/H POV. But there are four (maybe five?) other POV's. The villain, the guy you think is the villain, the really bad guy who's not a villain, and an important secondary character (who is the heroine of the 2nd book).

So that's a *lot*. Granted, I write romantic suspense, which I would think probably has more flexibility in the # of POV's allowed than many other sub-genres. Still. That's 6 or 7.

And worse, as a reader, I almost always skip any scene that isn't in the hero/heroine's POV. Only rarely will a secondary character hold my interest. Usually I'm so twitchy to find out what's going with the h/h, I jump forward until I find them again. And I always feel slightly betrayed that someone tried to take them away from me. It's funny really - I'm all sitting up straight and frantically flipping through pages, panicking that they're gone forever and I'll never know if they found true love!

Marnee said...

The wedding!! Her dress!! Le sigh!

I'd imagine there's going to be a glut of Victorian style dresses on the market this fall. She looked stunning and so feminine. Gorgeous.

Anyway. What's this blog about again? *smiles innocently*

Oh, POVs.

I think that three is fine. I've read some UF that has four, five, even more POVs and it gets confusing. And I'm American. I need my instant gratification. Get back to the main story, already!

But three is fine. Four, maybe. More than that I think gets confusing.

Di R said...

Hello, Pirates!

What a great week of blogs. One of my cp's got a request for a full, so we've been doing a final read through of her ms, and my husband has been on vacation this week. Needless to say, I haven't done much of anything else.

I think as long as you don't lose sight of whose story it is and the pov you're using adds to it, you can use as many as necessary.

Congrats to Marnee and Terri! Woo-hoo! Way to go ladies. Also HUGE congrats on 2 more books from Chance!

The NFL draft--My husband has been waiting for the draft, and saying things that don't make any sense to me.But he patiently explains it to me.

The wedding was beautiful, I'm just waiting for the official first kiss.

My writing for the month of April has been dismal. I've had a migraine most every day. It is so hard to think when your head hurts. But I think I've figured out how to fill in a plot hole I discovered. Count me in for May.


Hellion said...

I haven't seen anything yet! Don't tell me! My friend DVR'd it!

As for POVs too many--I don't know. I'd say it gets too many when the POVs get distracting. I wouldn't think having 4 POVs would be the end of the world, and as long as all four were not bouncing around in the same 2 pages of scene, I think it'd be good.

I read the Jane Austen Book Club--DIFFERENT KIND OF BOOK, I KNOW--and there were five or six people and everyone one had a POV. I think it stuck to a chapter rotation so you could stay in deep POV. I think so long as your scene with the teenager was truly HER scene and didn't bounce to the other characters, it would be fine. And later, once the story is written and in edits, you could decide if the information she imparts or the tension her information brings truly helps the story. If it doesn't, it wouldn't be difficult to extract her scene (than if she was blended into a scene.)

I don't know if that made sense. I think you're worrying too much. You're doing great--and I know you'll have that book to them ASAP! :)

Every story is different. Don't you say that? *LOL*

2nd Chance said...

Oh, Hal! I feel so much better! I had myself on this hook that said don't use anything but the H/H POV and here you go, using 6-7!

Good sigh! ;-)

I somehow doubt I'll actually use the 14 year old's point of view but I might toss in someone to fill the gap.

I have no faith in my ability to write her POV and do it nice. I mean, I put her in a terrible mental place... I might go with the villains though I like the idea of someone trying to help and being thrown from the circus for it and found by the H/H and relating the 'terrible' things going on!

When multiple POVs are done well, I don't even notice the when Nora does it. But I have been known to skip sections of other books. Not because of POV, but too much description.

Especially of cotillions and the like.

But that's me!

Yeah, what wedding? ;-)

2nd Chance said...

Marn - I'm already tripping over having two Silvestris...the younger and the I know how easy it would be to trip over POVs. Which is generally why I slip one away and off camera when things start to get all action oriented.

Victorian style dress, eh? Wonder if she reads steamunk? Boy, that's gonna send all the steampunk people into kittenfits...

Quantum said...

I know, the wedding. We’ll see how many are serious about this blog and how many are wedding serious! HA! I’ll be here all day. By myself if necessary.

Philistine! How could you possibly miss such a fabulously romantic occasion. The pomp, ceremony and visual splendor was out of this world. West Minster Abbey is awesome and Kate and William looked amazing and so in love ... straight out of a fairy tale.

The only thing missing IMO was the lack of a soloist song during the signing. In the marriage of Charles and Diana, Kiri Te Kanawa sang a beautiful aria, which for me was the icing on the cake.

Still the blog! *grin*
Revellion in her latest release 'Replica' uses first person POV for the doppelganger and third person for the rest. That worked beautifully in keeping the time line clear.

As a reader I don't care how many POV are used, as long as everything is clear so I don't have to puzzle over who is talking to who or who is doing what to what/who. :lol:

2nd Chance said...

Di, a vacationing husband fixated on the NFL draft...I'm so sorry! I even heard John Madden on the radio yesterday saying how he thought the excitement about the draft stuff was terribly silly...get to the games, that's exciting! The rest was made up drama!

Funny, I feel a bit like that about weddings... ;-)

Hope the migraine fades and you can get back into the writing. And welcome to Maymoarapaho-zoola.

2nd Chance said...

Yeah, Hels...wait... I thought you were on vacation watching the wedding? Eating crumpets and all...

I'm still waffling on doing any actual scenes in her POV... It won't add anything to the H/H quest as they won't know what is going on so it won't contribute to their sense of urgency. It might heighten the 'horror' the reader is feeling, which wouldn't be a bad thing...

2nd Chance said...

Ah, Q! Yer such a romantic! Watching the wedding, I see... Well, I'm not but I would agree with you, a soloist would have been sweet. They are a modern couple, perhaps the Queen objected to a hip hop beat admist the pomp and circumstance...

I admit, I will enjoy looking at the wedding dress pics. ;-)

Good to be getting such a concensus on the number of POVs...that if I just don't head hop, no one is going to scream... I'll just write and see what flows...

Donna said...

Chance, sounds like you've got your work cut out for you! We'll crack the whip to keep you going. :)

I think I would lose interest if there were too many POVs. I want to focus on the H/H and what's happening with them. If there is no other way to get the info across, then the other POVs would be essential. But I'd be more interested in action that shows that info, or the main characters talking with the person, that sort of thing.

I didn't get up to watch the wedding, since I knew the internetz would have plenty of recaps. I think my fave part so far is Harry telling William as they walk into Westminster, "Wait til you see her". That just makes me swoon!

I also like that Harry is having a "survivor's breakfast" tomorrow for everyone partying tonight. He's such a rake!

2nd Chance said...

Donna - Well, if they are broadcasting the lads chatting with each other...I see a flood of royal wedding books on the horizon!

I think for me, I have to decide if I want to focus soley on the H/H and the HEA/HFN or dance around with the adventure that is going on.

Contemplating it all, I may hold off and let the shocking events of the 14 year old come from another source than from her... I think part of this is my reticence to write 14.

Donna said...

Chance, they're actually using lip readers to tell us what the folks are saying. LOL Which is cool for us, but I feel bad for them not having a bit of privacy.

2nd Chance said...

Uh oh, I hope they are being ... circumspect ... with what they translate for the public. Could get dicey, they are lads...

Donna said...

It's all been very sweet. :) Obviously they're used to being constantly watched.

And I'm off to work. I need to finish this story.

2nd Chance said...

Oh, I did promise the captain to serve the strawberry shooters today, in honor of the wedding. Let me haul out my strawberry core-er thing...

Okay, let's make some room in these babies...

Now, where is the chocolate liqueur?

Ah, some for the berry, some for the bartender...


Whipped cream! Top this baby off and...

Man, that was good!

Line 'em up ladies, I'll do more!

Julie said...

The problem I’m having is this rotten 14 year old girl that plays a major part in the crises that brings the H/H together. Her identity issues are a huge part of things with the villain of the piece.

And I find I want to include her POV.

WELL she's a teenager for gosh sakes! And its a teens nature to A. Talk. B. Want someone to really listen to said "talk".

So. Her wanting to add her two cents makes sense to me. Which isn't to say that her desire to be Heard isn't annoying you! LOL

2nd Chance said...

I haven't figured out whether I really want to dwelve into her identity crisis ... seeing how it's a sexual identity crisis. I have this sense it could hijack the book...and I don't want to go there.

It's an interesting conflict and I'm gonna toy with it but if I let her open her you say, it's gonna be all about the girl...

And I write about women.

Julie said...

I just signed a two book contract with Decadent, for the rest of the kraken’s Caribbean trilogy.

Congratulations, Chance. I knew once your first story got out there, They’d be clamoring for more.

Julie said...

Good luck with your Rebellious Teen, chance. Maybe you Better give that one a curfew.

Julie said...

Oh? the question!
My answer: What Q said.

As a reader I don’t care how many POV are used, as long as everything is clear so I don’t have to puzzle over who is talking to who or who is doing what to what/who.

2nd Chance said...

It's good to hear from so many pirates that the POV question isn't one written in stone...not that that would stop me...but I am reassured. And will dive into today's writings with some food for thought!

And thank you, Julie! It's pretty exciting! ;-)

2nd Chance said...

Ah...such a nice day on the ship...and all these wonderful strawberries...all MINE!

But first...time to walk the dog!

Janga said...

Congrats on the two-book deal, Chance!

I've spent years reading Faulkner; multiple points of view don't bother me at all. He uses 15 in As I Lay Dying.:) The only time I complain is when I don't know whose pov I'm seeing.

Q, I wrote an essay on Kiri Te Kanawa for Women in Today's World, and the only thing I knew about her when I started was that she sang at that wedding. LOl

2nd Chance said...

I'm feeling so much better about this! I still think I'm going to avoid the girl's POV...maybe!

P. Kirby said...

As with other things, it's not what ya have, but how ya use it. One of my favorite series, George R.R. Martin's, A Song of Ice and Fire has several POV's per book. He goes with a POV per chapter.

In my mind it isn't head hopping if you don't change POVs in the middle of a scene. Mileage may vary. I'm not a fan of in-scene, POV changes, but that too, can be done well.

Me, I'd suggest writing the other POV and evaluating how it works when you're done. At the very least, it will serve as a writing/backstory exercise. (Also, you might be able to use it in another story.)

Congratulations on the book deal. That's awesome!

2nd Chance said...

Thanks, Pat! I'm thinking of tossing in some old friend of Silvestri's from the circus who risks his life to talk of the changes the circus has undergone and how there is more to the new admiral than is seen. Have him observe the girl's running away with the circus and preparing to make a deal with the devil... Yeah, that will set things up nicely!

I was never one to notice POV changes until I started writing. And it usually doesn't bother me... I'm uncertain of my doing it without appearing clumsy...but I'm working on it!


2nd Chance said...

Wow, wedding day hangover! Where have all the pirates gone? To Buckingham Palace?

Be sure to snatch some sparklies, crew!

Me? I'm taking lunch and walking the dog. And polishing off these strawberry shooters... I hate waste!


Bosun said...

I am so, so late. My apologies. Started the morning watching bits of the wedding (saw the kiss!) then moved on to my chaperoning duties. I had forgotten that A school bus seats are like cement and B school buses have NO shocks. My ass still hurts. But the military tattoo was very good. Add a whole other element when you see it in a military town with about 800 school kids, most of whom have a parent (or two) serving in one way or another.

I recorded the actual wedding so I need to FF forward through that tonight for the good parts. The bit from Donna about what Harry said is making my heart pitter patter. That is straight out of a Romance novel!

I told you last night what I thought on this topic. LOL! Use it if it MUST be in to make the story better. Leave it out if it serves no real purpose. For me, that's the deciding factor. If five POVs make the story better, then five it is!

2nd Chance said...

I forwarded your link of the tattoo to my husband...he loves that sort of stuff!

I know we talked this over, but I needed a fast topic for today since the Assassin was unavailable... OMG, I just ate a Dove milk chocolate piece and I swear, it tastes like caramel is in there.


Bosun said...

Was it Dove or Bliss, those are two different chocolates. LOL! And I just had eggs, bacon, and pancakes for dinner. Don't mention food!