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Thursday, January 30, 2014

POV: The Keys to Your Kingdoms -Guest Julie Eberhart Painter


I like to share tips on writing craft on my blog, and today's post is from Julie Eberhart Painter, who is here to talk about that all-important POV. Thanks, Julie!


Point of View, the Keys to your Kingdoms
Julie Eberhart Painter


One of the most important aides to telling a story well is a clear and tight POV. It puts the readers in the moment and draws them in. Recently I’ve discovered an author who does this increasingly well. Jodi Picoult uses the character as the chapter heading in many of her novels. To read her work is like having a lover. You forget your obligations until her last page. (You can defrost meat in the microwave if you cook it within half an hour.)

In my current WIP, I’ve adopted this style/format. The POV is tight; the story continues linearly in the voice of the character who has the most to lose in the chapter’s scene. This can be shown in first, third or even second person, present or past tense.

Previously I wrote exclusively in third person omniscient.

My recent published book, Morning After Midnight shows two boys whose family portraits are reversed. Aaron who is white comes from a fractured family. Skillet, who is black, has a happy, functional two-parent home. His family is surviving together despite the winds of change that came late to buffet the South.

Tag line and synopsis: Unsettled times and dysfunctional families force the young lovers to rethink their values and find love between the States.

Two boys, Aaron who is white and Skillet who is black are bonded in a friendship forged in secret in the Deep South. Yet it is the white boy, who must adjust and readjust as his family splinters in the changing climate of Integration.

Aaron is hard on himself. With Skillet's vision he finds a place to rest his weary cautions as he struggles though 30 years of self-doubt and restarts to find his career with the love of his life.

Beth, makes the life she wants, one goal at a time. Her love, Aaron must resolve his life before she can add him to her future.


The excerpt, 1963:
           
            Aaron slipped through the hedge to the old depot entrance and sat down, making himself as small as possible.
Skillet circled the building until he found him. “Wondered how you were doin’ since you got back, Aaron?”
            “I couldn’t get away any sooner, Gram watches me.”
            “We got a phone now. I’ll give you the number.”
            “That would be great.”
            “You looked messed-with; what happened this time, another crisis? I thought you couldn’t wait to get back in the States.”
            “Skillet, I’ve got grandparents—”
            “Ah know…what about ‘em?”
            “Remember the ones that were dead?”
            “No way! They ain’t dead?”
            “Dead to us, Mom says.”
            Skillet shook his head. “That’s one messed up family you got, Aaron.”
            “Tell me about it. I talked to them on the phone. They’re real, Daddy’s folks. They live in Florida.”
            “Guess they’re real old?”
            “Daddy’s over forty, he’s old, too.” 
            “What’s gonna happen?”
            “Nuthin’ I guess. You know Mom and Gram, nothing happens in their world they don’t want to happen.”
            Skillet nodded. “Then that’s the way of it. Sometimes I’m glad I’m black.”
            “Yeah, sometimes I wish I was you. Your life is so…so simple.”
            “Don’t ever say that, man…”

If I had written this book in the manner of Jodi Picoult, it might have been more intimate but less believable coming from me, the DamnYankee. Selecting your POV is the most important decision you can make for focusing your book.

Your options are limitless; your selection is critical.

By Julie Eberhart Painter:
Morning After Midnight

Two boys, Aaron, who is white and Skillet, who is black, are bonded in a friendship forged in secret in the Deep South. Yet it is the white boy who must adjust and readjust as his family splinters in the changing climate of integration. 

Aaron is hard on himself. With Skillet's vision, he finds a place to rest his weary cautions as he struggles through 30 years of self-doubt and restarts to find his career with the love of his life.

About the Author
Julie Eberhart Painter raised in Bucks Count, Pennsylvania, boyhood home of James A Michener, is the author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and the 2011 Book of the Year, Kill Fee, and sequel, Medium Rare from www.champagnebooks.com. Daughters of the Sea. Julie’s first paranormal romance, and Morning After Midnight are available from MuseItUp Publishing. Find them on http://bit.ly/1gpaO4R , http://amzn.to/1cQ128L, http://bit.ly/19D8027, and other online ebook venues.
Twitter: @JulieEPainter
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Julie is a regular blogger on http://thewritersvineyard.com/ , and feature writer for http://cocktailsmagazine.wix.com/fictionandgossip, an online slick. Her flash fiction appears under http://bewilderingstories.com/bios/painter_bio.htm
Visit Julie's Web site at www.books-jepainter.com


4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Julie, for sharing this great advice on POV!

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  2. POV is one of the reasons I love a Gothic, especially to write one. It's all in the heroine's POV. It's her story, and if you are good at it, you feel everything she feels. Since there is usually trouble afoot, her fears should become your fears, the oppressive background as intimidating for you as for her. It's not easy but fun.

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    Replies
    1. Very true. I have only written one Gothic novel, The World, the Flesh and the Devil, but as you mentioned that single POV emerses the reader in "her story."

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