Tuesday, 6 February 2007

My point of view...

I attend a novel writing class every Monday at the City Lit which is really good - I would recommend it to anyone who wants or needs a bit of guidance and direction with their novel. My tutor Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone is a Cambridge and Birbeck graduate and really knows what she's talking about.

Yesterday we were discussing point of view and me and another woman decided that we wrote in first person because we felt more comfortable with this. We wondered, perhaps, as our writing developed, would we be more confident to experiment with point of view, and write in the second or third person? Personally I'm not sure, I feel more in tune with a character when I’m inside their heads. But it does limit you somewhat when you’re in the first person, as you can only assume what other characters are thinking and their actions are told from only one person’s perspective. How does everybody else feel about point of view?

I have a deadline for Friday!! I have to send a chapter of my novel to everyone in my class, so that they can read it and give me some feedback next Monday. I’m nearly there – I wrote my first chapter ages ago, but now I know that writer’s eyes are going to be constructively criticising it I feel the need to edit it; make my characters more exciting, improve on the dialogue, make it flow better or just change the chapter completely. I’m looking forward to hearing the criticism; as I know it will only make my writing stronger. But in a way it’s always scary to let people read your writing! Suppose I’ll have to get used it though if I ever want to get published!


Hera said...

Welcome to the race! I am doing the baby 'what is an adverb' course at city lit, which is also fab. Can't imagine doing a course centred around a novel, is the idea that you have finished by the end? Good luck with the chapter.

SpiralSkies said...

Hello fellow Novel Racer!

Your course sounds greeat - I'm trying to pluck up the courage to join a writing group or somesuch but, ugh, the agony of letting other people read my stuff and/or have to read it out sounds vile.

I love 1st person POV - in fact, a lot of my novel kind of exploits the narrow conceptions of the 3 characters with their own POV. Kind of using the Anais Nin quote 'We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are'.

Writing 1st person is a little like acting... rather fun a character is horrible!!

coffeesnob said...

i remember andré gide telling oscar wilde "never use i". though i don't think he bothered to heed his own advice.

third person is much more versatile but requires more skill. that's why there are so few takers.

in "pride and prejudice" do you notice how effortlessly austen glides between the omniscient narrator, elizabeth's consciousness, and back again.

try third person on for size.