Tuesday, October 23, 2018

TRR Fall Contest Answer

     It's that time of the year for The Romance Reviews Fall Contest. I have donated an autographed copy of Goals for a Sinner, the first in my long running Sinners Sports romances (how appropriate for football season) that has now grown to nine books with a tenth, Heart of a Sinner, coming out early next year. It will be up for grabs on November 2nd by answering a multiple choice question about the book.  Drum roll: the answer is D.  The festivities continue for the entire month with lots of other prizes. Check it out at http://www.theromancereviews.com.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Deep, Deep POV

     Writing has its fads just like any other industry. For a while it was the Hero's Journey where each character had to have both an inner and outer reason for everything they did. Authors scurried to assign these motivations on charts before they wrote. For me, these things are revealed gradually and naturally as a book evolves and don't need to be spelled out. Trying too hard to do this actually damages the story.
     The latest is Deep POV (point of view). Only two characters are allowed to have any POV at all, especially in romance, only his and hers. A tree cannot fall in the woods if one of them is not present to remark upon it. A description of a smile experienced by the heroine might gush on for a full paragraph. Gone is the setting of a scene with description unless seen through his or her eyes. Otherwise, it is dubbed ambiguous. Who is seeing this? Well, my guess would be the folks in the next paragraph without having to add, she observed, said, etc.--"What a cloudy, miserable day."
     Every action must be propped up by several paragraphs of emotions. How did she feel about walking down that hall from one room to another? What did she see along the way? You know, sometimes, a walk down a hall is just a shortcut to the next scene, not a epic journey. Describing the tile underfoot, the vase of flowers, the doors passed simply slows the action to a crawl unless you are describing that passage for the first time as having some relevance.
     The reasoning behind all this is to intensify the experience for the reader and make them identify more strongly with the primary characters. If writing an intense romance, fine. If writing a story you want to be fast, light and fun, hauling along all these emotions slows it down to a crawl. Yes, your character should have feelings and motivations, just not doled out by the ton or repeated a dozen times.It has also been my personal observation that when people have sex, they surely have physical reactions, but if their minds are on their emotions, it is pretty bad sex as in "When will this be over?"
     I recently asked several people if they preferred deep POV. Heck no, they said. I skip all that stuff to get on with the story. All genres other than romance allow many characters to have a POV, the villain, the person about to get whacked on the next page of a Jeffery Deaver novel (big fan of his complex plots here). To me multiple POVs add to the story--but not all on the same page or at the same time. Give them their own chapter or scene and they work out just fine as long as there is a page break to set them apart.
      Okay, rant over. Simply tired of being told there is only one way to write and deep POV is it--for now.