In my post about my struggle with period placement within or outside quotation marks, your comments sealed my knowledge better than published grammar sources. Perhaps it was the repetition of your responses; perhaps it was your real-life experiences; perhaps it was because I’m an idiot. Regardless, I am now a confident planter of periods, and I have you to thank.
But I’m greedy. I want to siphon more.
For you non-writers, please don’t glaze over. As always, I’ll try to make my inquiry fun.
Help a Girl Out With Her Point of View (POV)
When writing fiction, one must avoid unintentional shifting between points of view. If the writer chooses two different points of view with which to tell the story, then a chapter or scene change should ease the transition.
I do not have a problem with that. I can maintain POV almost as well as Viagra can maintain an erection. Where I need your guidance is with my POV choices in my current work-in-progress.
I want to use first-person POV for my main protagonist and third-person POV for my other essential character, making the transition through chapter changes. So it might go something like this (here’s the time for you non-writers to tune back in):*
Although reluctant to leave the shower, I knew the day called. Toweling off I went through my mental to-do list. Get chocolate for dinner, drop potty-mouthed teen off to concussion/football practice, locate magician preteen who made himself vanish, ignore husband, and plant ass on chair and write. Oh, and must remember that hubby said the Amish men would be by to finish the pergola in the backyard.
Replacing the towel, I realized I’d forgotten to bring clothes into the bathroom. No worries. I would shimmy into the bedroom au naturel and grab some skivvies and shorts. I was in a good mood; even did a little two-step. And why not? The day was warm, and sun streamed through the floor-to-ceiling windows, all four blinds raised to showcase the light.
As I hummed I’m Too Sexy, opening and closing drawers in search of the day’s Banana Republic options, my subconscious signaled an alarm. I froze, and a chill enveloped me. Something was off. With my back to the windows, I inched my spine into an upright position, my heart beating in my throat. Please say it ain’t so.
On wobbly legs that no longer two-stepped, I turned around. I swallowed. There, a mere six feet away, carrying two-by-fours and hammering nails, worked five bearded and suspendered Amish men, their unobstructed window view anything but biblical.
Who says a naked middle-aged woman can’t outrun a cheetah?
Jacob Yoder stood to full height and stretched his aching muscles. The job wasn’t difficult, but it was the second of four today. Lifting his hat, hammer still in hand, he wiped sweat from his brow and thought about the fried chicken and apple pie Rebecca would serve tonight. She was a good woman, his Rebecca. A good, God-fearing woman, modest and humble.
Jacob replaced his hat, and in between his men’s hammering, he heard loud music coming from the English home. The beat was heavy and pulsating and surely filled with sin.
Lifting his chin, he turned towards the source of the music and the bedroom before him. Why do the English need such big windows? But before Jacob could answer his own question, all thought ceased, and the hammer dropped from his hand and smashed his toes.
That there was no Rebecca.
Oh Mijn God!
So there you have it. Can I switch between first-person POV and third-person POV? Will that jar the reader too much? Or, if you are not a writer, have you ever stood naked in front of deeply religious men?
*For those of you wondering if this story is true, the answer is a mortifying yes. At least for chapter one. As for chapter two, luckily for this naked introvert, none of the men were looking. Which means one of two things:
1) They didn’t notice.
2) They noticed but were not the least bit interested.
You tell me which is worse…
Note to readers paying attention: I know in the past I promised to keep my posts less than 700 words, but I just couldn’t manage with this one. Please don’t stab my eye. It’s pretty darn close. And by the way, the above isn’t really my work-in-progress. I was just trying to illustrate my POV question in a less technical manner.
All images from Microsoft Clip Art
- The Mystical Gnome Writing Tips #8 ~ Point Of View (mjcache.wordpress.com)
- How Many POVs is Too Many? (worddreams.wordpress.com)
- POV – What Readers Don’t Notice (Unless it’s Wrong) (shannondonnelly.com)
- Questioning Use of Multiple Person Point of View (newauthors.wordpress.com)
- The POV Bane (newauthors.wordpress.com)
- Perfecting that Pesky Point of View (advancedfictionwriting.com)