Saturday, September 08, 2007

Advice site.

KM Frontain has a wonderful writing advice site up. I try to read as much of these types of articles as possible. Not every piece of advice written on the net is worth heeding, but knowing what I disagree with and why I disagree with it is rather important and useful.

I need to work on POV transitions and I’m doing my best to learn what I can, but this has to be some of the best advice I’ve ever read about POV.

Here are some quotes from her POV article.

1A. Always lead away from one character POV to another using action, speech, or a "timing or placement" phrase.

What's a timing or placement phrase? Things like "Over on George's side of the table" or "When his friend looked into the kitchen". It's that simple. Actually, the timing and placement comes in if you use action to move away from a certain character's POV.

Personally, I love doing this. In Tainted Past the first POV transition is when the main POV character feels the effects of the morphine. Other times I have the character leave the scene or a new character enter as a transition marker. I see now that my transitions in Tainted Past are smoother than those in Full Circle.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of Full Circle. I think it’s good work, but it is a first novel. It’s the official starting point of my growth as a writer. I can only imagine how in 5 years I’d finesse the work I’m doing now.

Tainted Past is told mainly from Tyler’s POV. Most of the emotion and the power in the scenes will be from Tyler’s perspective. However, there is information critical to the story that is only known by the other characters and that’s why this story needs third person and not first person.

Here’s another quote from the article.

You had better not intrude one perspective or thought pattern belonging to one character into the thoughts of another, unless they're telepathically connected.

I’m glad KM included this. There are always exceptions to rules and telepathically connected characters are the exception. Well, it’s not really an exception is it? If they’re telepathically connected then the character B’s POV becomes character A’s POV. There’s a section in Full Circle, during a sex scene, where this briefly happens.

This is another gem from the article.

3. Be careful of your pronouns; do not leave your reader wondering who is speaking, acting or thinking.

What do I mean? Because multiple characters are acting or speaking, you can't just use "him" or "he" if all your characters are male.

When people read their first m/m it takes a while to become accustomed to the “name heavy” aspect of it. When het readers from a writing group I sometimes attend read one of my excerpts, I can count on them marking paragraphs as name heavy.

When I get that back, I’ll check it over and tweak it. I’ll also make a note about it and ask my editor to check it for being name heavy. My editor has never considered the paragraph name heavy. By het standards they would be name heavy, but by m/m standards they aren’t. It’s the nature of the beast. If there can be any doubt about the object of the preposition, use the name.

Thanks to KM for writing such informative articles!


kmfrontain said...

Thank you for blogging it, Cup. :D

For the name heaviness in mm, check out my Tarzan page. That page has advice that may help with name heavy passages. It's one of the things I noticed about mm, too, and the worst thing that's cropped up as a solution: only the POV character gets the pronouns. Ew!

LOL. I'd rather weed for names and tweek like you are doing. :-)

IM Cupnjava said...

I keep forgetting about your Tarzan page. Link please! *makes grabby hands*