Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Keep It Clean (Your POV, That Is)

After you finish the first draft and begin revising to clean up your adjectives, be sure to clean up your POV, too. Too often, writers muddy up the POV waters by adding layers of perspective. Kristen Johnson Ingram explains in The Intruder.
This article was especially helpful within my critique group, and now we all use it as shorthand to point out the extra layer that the author should shave away. “Intruder!” we scribble next to the offensive words. An “intruder” positions the reader behind the protagonist, rather than in the protag’s head. Not so confusing when you analyze it, and Ms. Ingram provides helpful examples. Phrases such as “she could see” or “he noticed” and even “I remember” add that additional layer that keeps your readers an additional layer from the point of view. Instead, describe the scene from the protagonist’s perspective, rather than having the reader watch the protagonist from a distance.
Revision's all about cutting to the bone of your story, making every word count so your story keeps moving forward. Keeping your POV clean helps.

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