This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days at-home workshop (blog.janicehardy.com).
Today I will focus on making the most of POV and examine how my characters see the world around them.
I will look for areas of head-hopping (switching POV mid-scene), odd self-aware moments, knowing something the character cannot know, unsubstantiated emotional responses, stating the obvious and faulty character reactions.
Since I only have one POV throughout the book, I don’t have to worry about head-hopping. The rest, however, seems a little daunting to me. Do I have to read through the entire book to check every piece of dialogue, thought and reaction? It seems like this would take an inordinate amount of time and most of my day. I am overwhelmed.
Update and Results: I needed sleep. Several nights of just a few hours’ sleep had worn me down and today’s task wore me out. After a rejuvenating nap I was able to pick up where I left off. I did not have to go through the entire book page by page, as I feared, but instead referred to my outline and went to any scenes that had potential for misguided POV.
I made a change in Chapter 19 to delete a realization that shouldn’t come that early in the story. I will work on my Chapter 40 to show more of an expected emotional response to an unhappy decision.
POV comes from your character’s head. Look through their eyes and imagine you’re wearing a mask that blocks out everything except what’s in front of you. If you can’t see or hear something, then your character can’t know or react to it.
Editing requires focus and when you don’t get enough rest it is difficult to stay in the zone. Try to edit when you have the emotional and physical energy to keep moving forward. If you hit a wall, step back and reexamine your current situation. Creativity is a part of you; don’t let external circumstances overrule your passion.
I would love to know if any of these blogs have been helpful to you and hear any lessons you may want to share from your own journey.
See you on the next page.