Saturday, April 12, 2008


A family member is critically ill so I won't be posting for a time.

Join my Yahoogroups if you'd like a hear about the return of the regular blog.

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In the meantime, please check out my earlier blog posts and all the articles and short stories available on my domain site

Marilynn Byerly

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shifting between Types of Point of View, CRAFT

QUESTION: I want to use first person point of view for my hero, and third person for my other characters. What do you think?

As a rule in popular fiction, you don't switch from first to third POV or vice versa.

Some writers have done this, and many readers and reviewers don't seem to like this because they find it so jarring it knocks them out of the story.

This would be a particularly dangerous for a newer writer who doesn't have the experience and control to handle these changes, or the reader's trust that they know what they are doing.

I can't suggest which type of POV to use. Only you can decide on that. Consider your comfort level with the different viewpoints, and the ease of telling the story with that POV.

With first person, you must also be certain you can hear the main character's voice well enough to stay in that voice for the whole novel.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Blogs for the next few days may be delayed or not posted because of a family health problem.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Maintaining the Tone of a Scene, CRAFT

QUESTION: I have very abbreviated writing time so I can only work in spurts so my mood comes into the text sometimes. How can I stop that?

The trick with holding the tone of the scene is to remember that you are the viewpoint character. You are seeing what she sees and feeling what she feels. Writing character is like immersion or method acting where you become the character.

This takes a bit of practice, but after a bit, you can switch between characters and personalities with ease as you change POV for a scene, and you can also inhabit the other characters in the scene so they continue to act as you've conceived them, and their dialogue is in character.

You also have to remember that your character should be reacting to what is happening at that moment rather than constantly sliding into introspection about the rest of her life. If you and she remains in the moment of the scene, neither of you will lose the right voice or tone of the scene.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Blogs for the next few days may be delayed or not posted because of a family health problem.