Monday, February 8, 2010

Point of View and Reading like a Writer

My writing group met this past Sunday. It's always so invigorating to go--to talk about wordsmithing with others struggling to make words do what they want, too.

This week, we got mired in Point of View. It turned out we have some pretty diverse opinions about what is and isn't "allowed" in point of view in a novel.

My novel, for example, is in multiple 3rd person point of view, changing which character we are close to chapter by chapter. However, in workshopping, I've found that there are times when I let that lapse and went into the wrong head during the wrong chapter. Some are okay with this; others are not.

Another writer in the group has a complete novel in first person. Another, in third person omniscient. Another is trying to alternate between first person and third person, wanting the best of both worlds.

As we discussed, we talked about examples and I realized that I don't read like a writer. When I read a novel I like, I should be able to article what I like about it, what it is that makes it work for me--techniques used, characters, sparkling dialogue, narrative humor . . .

So, now in February, I've found my new year's resolution: Read like a writer.