Making it Different? POV and Tense

Point of View

Point of View (Photo credit: g33k0)

This blog is about the little decisions I made before I began writing Absent Children. Small things that I hoped would help it stand out as something different from the millions of books available today. Here are the main three ideas I came up with:

  1. The majority of fictional books I read were written in Third Person, Past Tense. I wrote my first book in Third Person, Past Tense, but this time, to be different, I chose First Person Point of View. I know it’s been done plenty of times, everything has been done before, but I consider it a lot less common than Third Person. Then I took it a step further by writing it in Present Tense. 
  2. My next decision was to write the story with each odd chapter in Jessamy’s Point of View, and each even numbered chapter in Luke’s Point of View.
  3. The other special ingredient I chose, was to include some fanciful element. I liked the idea of some form of magic or psychic ability, something almost unbelievable, and yet…maybe not that far fetched. Enter Claude.

Photograph of Claude by Cindy Townsend

I follow writer, Joe Warnimont’s blog, and recently read his post, Writers Who Pick A Niche  where he mentions the difficulty of getting noticed. He says – …don’t think about creating something completely new. It rarely works. The greatest stories and inventions are a result of someone taking something that already existed and putting a new spin on it or making it better. Chances are you can’t create something completely new, and if you do it probably isn’t marketable.

I guess I was trying to put a new spin on something that already exists, and at this stage, I have no idea if I succeeded.

I have never regretted the decision to include Claude in my story. However, if I had been aware of the challenges involved in First Person, Present Tense and the alternate Point of View chapters, I may have reconsidered those ones.

Recently I was told that some writers have a strong dislike for First Person, and maybe even more so for Present Tense. They see it as an indication of an amateur writer. Maybe it was a poor choice, but I came to love writing in First Person, and I think Present Tense adds an immediacy to the story that appeals to me.

I began seriously getting words down for my next book during NaNoWriMo last November. innowrimo dinosaurIt was precisely what I needed to tear me away from yet ANOTHER edit of Absent Children. I wanted to write my new story in Third Person, Past Tense, but found I was so in the habit of First Person, Present Tense, that the new book insisted on being written the same way. I blame the time pressures of NaNoWriMo.

Sometimes, though… I wonder if I should begin again and write it in Third Person.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you dislike one POV over another? What POV and Tense do you write in, and why?



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