Focus! Writing from a character’s point of view
Today’s Brew: My Keurig is acting up and it only felt that it was necessary to spit out a half a cup of coconut mocha. I should wrap myself in caution tape until I get to a coffee shop.
My novel, Immortal Dilemma, is told from protagonist Callie’s point of view. To do this, I had to step out of my head and into hers. Probably even more accurate than that, I had to let her and her friends totally invade my head so I could tell their story.
Other writers and I’m sure actors as well can agree this is an interesting process. You have to think as though you are someone else. You have to look at the word through another set of eyes and walk through it in another set of shoes, no matter how badly they blister your feet. Most of all, you have to figure out what is important to them at any given moment and react appropriately.
Many times while I was writing the book, I wanted to go off in a direction of description that was important to me….but was this something that Callie would pick up on in this moment, when she is so focused on something else? If I decided she wouldn’t, the paragraph/sentence/or whatever it was got axed.
As I’m starting to get reviews, I am finding that some readers are expecting all the details in a particular setting. For example, smells and background noises. In the instances this was brought to my attention, Callie was nervous about the meeting or conversation. To me, I would think that would make her not notice some of her surroundings. Now, this might be me just not being able to take constructive criticism as well I would like to think (let’s face it, who does? Of course, I consider and appreciate all feedback. I just might not do anything about it. Believe me, I’m thrilled to death that anyone cares enough about my book that they want to offer suggestions to improve it.), or is it really what Callie would notice in the moment while she is fixated on her goal?
As people, we don’t have a 360 degree point of view, so should our characters have that ability? Does it take away from the realism of telling the story or does it really add benefit to the reader?
COMING MONDAY! A new excerpt from Immortal Dilemma! Missed the last one? You can read it here.