Friday, December 18, 2009

Omniscient Point of View

Welcome to today's writing thought(s)! Are you ready? Okay, let's dive in.

Omniscient POV (point of view), don’t even get me started! But instead of launching into a lecture, let me tell you what I’m talking about and then I’ll explain why I don’t like it. :)

Here’s an example of omniscient POV: "Danny would remember this moment for the rest of his life." Did you as the reader want to know that tidbit yet? When you are reading a novel, do you want to be in the dark as you go, the writer slowly letting in more and more light as you travel through the pages? Or do you want the author continually jumping in and shouting, "Hey! Nothing bad happens here, because this guy is going to remember this moment for the rest of his life!" OPOV is also referred to as head hopping and is like the author playing God, knowing all things at all times.

I started a book riddled with OPOV, needless to say, I didn't finish it! What is the point of reading a novel when you are constantly being told what is going to happen? Imagine, you’re entering a Civil War battlefield, on tenderhooks, unsure if your hero is going to live through this fight. And suddenly the author jumps in with how our hero is going to tell his son all about this when the battle is over. Have I said I can’t STAND OPOV??

Then I found out I had some OPOV in my own writing. I couldn't believe it- I mean I am above such things right? Wrong ! LOL! I just hope I catch all of it, because while I don’t jump in with those certain author intrusion phrases, I do jump from one character to the other giving away thoughts, that shouldn’t be revealed yet. (headhopping)

Omniscient POV is an incredibly easy trap to fall into, but if you stay out of it, I will thank you and… so will your reader. :)

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