Writing Diary – Point of View
Extract from my writing diary as I wrote book 2 in the Lake and Carver series:
Today, I decided to change the point of view of the killer. I’ve already written a number of scenes from his perspective, all in the third person (he thinks, etc), but it just wasn’t working. The pace was wrong; his thought processes seemed too portentous, and I simply wasn’t convinced (or disturbed) by him and the plans he was laying out. Which is odd, because, as far as I recall, I’ve always written killers’ scenes in the third person, and never had that problem. I was on the point of scrapping every scene, when I thought, Well, why not – give change of POV a try. If it doesn’t work, all you’ve you’ll lose is a day or so of writing. But it did work!
Point of view is incredibly important – it determines the voice of the narrator and the pace and tone of the scene. Author and literary critic, David Lodge, says, the choice of POV is “Arguably the most important single decision that the novelist has to make, for it fundamentally affects the way readers will respond, emotionally and morally, to the fictional characters and their actions.”
You can’t get more personal than the first person, or ‘I’ narrator. It draws the reader in, making them part of the action – which is particularly disturbing, when you have a a killer musing on his past crimes
and plotting the next. Which is just what I want for my readers’ encounters with the serial killer.
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