May 11, 2012

Attaining a Point of View

One of the things I learned at the conference I attended was the importance of always thinking about point of view.  See, I have this habit of having my characters move in my head, but I forget to have them move on paper.  In case you were wondering, this makes the reader more than slightly confused.  So, I'm developing the habit of blocking out my scenes like actors do in plays.  If Johnny walks through the door, unless he is in a setting that is NOT contemporary Women's Lit, he's not just going to magically end up sitting on the couch.  And if I say he is supposed to be on the couch, I'd better show him getting there.

It really is trickier than it seems sometimes.

This captures their personalities so well!!!
The other thing about point of view is that we as authors need one too.  It is really easy to get caught up in the writing and querying and publishing do's and don't's and lists and edits and lose sight of who we are as people. 

It's the weekend, you know, the one if you forget, you will probably get dirty looks and sighs of disappointment from the women you love.  (By the way, the cute homemade coupon books that you throw together lose their value after you hit the age of anything-teen). 

These are three of my very favorite people and sometimes, when I get all writerly and frustrated that I can't get just five minutes to attempt a brilliant thought, I need to take a step back and realize, in just 11 short years, all three of them will have graduated high school and be moving on with their lives and needing a little less of mine.

I need to remember that this is truly my greatest creation, my greatest accomplishment and they deserve my greatest attention.

That doesn't mean they need it all, all the time.  Balance works both ways.  But I need to remember not to put the blinders on so often that they are out of my point of view.

What do you do to maintain your point of view in life?  Have you had issues with characters that magically show up in a different part of the story without getting there?  Is your Mother's Day shopping done?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Think I'm all right with characters moving within the story.
My mother is taken care of and don't have to worry about my wife. (And that is at her insistence, since she isn't a mother.)
Happy Mother's Day to you!

Angela Cothran said...

I try and remember that my purpose on this earth isn't necessarily to get published. I have a few more important jobs :)

S.P. Bowers said...

Excellent post. I too tend to wear blinders and spend time with what's on my mind as opposed to what's important.

Kelley Lynn said...

This is SO beautifully said. I hope you all have a great mothers day!

Cassie Mae said...

"They deserve my greatest attention."

For sure!

This is so what I needed today, my dear. :)

Happy Mother's Day!

Tonja said...

When I'm planning a novel, I never think about how the characters are going to move, but it always works itself out.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Balance can be tough especially when your children are you and seem to need more of your time--or think they do as soon as you sit down at the computer. But we can't just write about life; we have to live it, too.

Great post.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Working a full time teaching job and writing novels on the side can sometimes consume me to the point where I forget to look at things from the point of view of everybody else in the house.

It will be tough for me to remember that this weekend, since I feel as if I didn't have enough time to right this week, and I'd like to make up for it this weekend. BUT, I do have to pay some attention to my mother and my mother-in-law and be prepared to receive and enjoy any attention showered on me.

As you said, a few years from now, things might be entirely different and I'll wonder why I spent this time locking myself in a room to write.

Emily R. King said...

Wonderful thoughts! I am working on improving my POV, too. I need to dig deeper!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Hope you have a great mother's day,
We in the UK celebrate Mother;s Day in March.


Jess Stork said...

It's hard not to get lost in your characters. You're right, every once in awhile you have to pull back and enjoy real life. After all, how else would you get the material for stories?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Looking forward to tomorrow also. I expect to have some time with all six of my kids though only one is still in the teen years. Happy mom day to you.

Francene Stanley said...

As you say--it's all about ballance. Keep your own gift of writing as a personal attribute but live in the present moment. I wish I could return to those days where three importnant little people needed me.

Michelle Gregory said...

i struggle with showing too many actions in a scene to move people. it's a very fine line between giving stage directions and telling the story.

C.M.Brown said...

I have never actually given much thought to character actions, it just seems to flow along!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Your kids are adorable!!

I think it's easy to lose balance. Probably because it's so hard to STAY balanced! It's not just one of those things you figure out-- it's one of those things that you have to be constantly figuring out.