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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Overview Voice: Third Person Point of View

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

The third person point of view, sometimes referred to as limited omniscient, chooses a central character and tells the story through her thoughts, feelings, and experience.

One advantage of this focus is the ability to give some distance for general information and also become a close-up for personal insight. For example, here’s an excerpt from my MG novel Betta’s Song.

“The sun was descending when Jael began to fuss again. After the song she rested quietly all afternoon on Narah’s back, even when the sun beat down on them hot and fierce. The hills had gradually been growing steeper. Narah’s whole body hurt.

“Look Jael, see the hill ahead. On the other side must be the village. It is a day’s walk and we have walked all day. Soon we will have food and water.”

Narah angled her body into the climb to balance Jael’s weight and slowly pushed upward eagerly. Finally the top! Then she slumped to her knees in disbelief. No village, no people, nothing, but instead miles of rolling hills with a heavy veil hanging over them. It was the Valley of Shimmering Heat.”

Hopefully, in this episode, I’ve connected the readers to the danger the girls are now in as well as Narah’s sense of responsibility and emotional exhaustion. And raised the question, what will happen next?

Nancy Lamb, Crafting Stories for Children, considers that the advantages for third person, single point of view, offer the advantages that the reader identifies with a specific character, and “your narrative horizons are expanded.” She adds that the “opportunity to interpret events is enlarged.”

This advantage became a strong factor in this novel as not only did Narah need to go deep emotionally, but also had to follow several relational threads and a mystery. It would not have been possible to track the perceptions she needed to identify and experience in her upheaval. in  a different point of view.

Action Steps:

            One disadvantage considered for this point of view is the same as for first person in that the story is limited to one character. However, when you do use multiple third person you can also risk losing a focal point with too many opinions.

1.     Choose a short story or scene that is told in a limited pov and expand it to be told from another’s viewpoint as well.
2.     Then take a chapter or scene that is using third person for two or three character and rewrite from only one.

            Share: What got lost or gained in each variation?

Read deep, marcy

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Betta’s Song Book Launch

Betta’s Song Book Launch

 Family, Faith, Mystery, Courage, Choices, Action and Adventure.

When bandit soldiers raid eleven-year-old Narah’s village, she finds herself abandoned except for toddler Jael. While attempting to reach her uncle in the next town, they are found by foreign Suman soldiers who send them to a hostile household as servants.

Can Narah overcome her fear enough to uncover hidden secrets and reach out to help others, including her enemies? Will her compassion for others, her desire to be reunited with her grandmother, and her growing faith in the Most High God be enough to sustain her through her trials?

E-book. Ages 8-12

Available now on Amazon: Marcy Weydemuller

Click on the cover and go straight to Amazon. Hope you enjoy her story. If so, please take a few minutes to post a review, or a star rating, or both. Thanks!

Read Deep


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Overview Voice: Omniscient Point of View

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

The omniscient author/narrator knows everything about everyone including each one’s thoughts and motivations, even when the characters themselves don’t know. It allows many views of viewing an incident from many personalities and perceptions. And this narrator assumes complete control as to what information to share.

Think of a detective taking down all the statements of witnesses at a robbery or accident scene. The reader will get a wide scope and insight that a single character cannot give. And it can show friction if the statements conflict with each other.

However this style also creates emotional distance. We don’t really know what the characters are feeling. Both tone and atmosphere are set by the narrator as to whether he unravels the story with a touch of amusement or sarcasm or compassion. Can the reader trust him?

For the younger audience the choice can be confusing if not done with great skill. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White, and Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne are two examples of the omniscient view done well for this age.

A YA audience may find this POV helpful when reading on a topic or activity that is painful or contradictory by giving them emotional space to process diverse ideas. However it can also cause disengagement or more confusion if lacking a strong thread.

Action Steps:

1.Take a key scene that you have written and re-write it as if a neutral observer fly on the wall detached narrator. You cannot enter your character’s thinking. Values and judgments are implied.

            2. Now reread your original scene and note what you lost and what you gained in understanding from this different perspective.

            3. Can you strengthen your choice version by implementing new insight?
Share: Did any details surprise you?

Read deep, marcy

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Overview Voice: Point of View

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“Any story could be written from any point of view.” Jack Hodgins

Then Hodgins asks, what effect does the material need to have?

Several weeks ago we looked at how tone is expressed throughout the story in several ways. It includes the writer’s voice in that it will be consistent with his/her work worldview and the point of view from which the story is being shared. Tone includes attitudes, the world at large, the genre, the age group, and the physical setting. Tone grows organically in response to the character’s background, attitudes, dynamics, and insights as well as purpose.

However the decision regarding the narrator’s point of view will determine the degree in which tone and voice influence both the story and the reader’s reception.  In fiction point of view is often either omniscient, third person, or first person. In non-fiction the point of view most often translates into informational, camera angle, or personal narrative.

Each perspective, each choice, has limitations and possibilities and, according to Hodgins, also carries a responsibility to deliver. The choice not only involves the material but also the reader’s experience.

So, how to choose?

First take a look at what feels most natural to you and your voice. What form do you gravitate to both as a reader and a writer?

Action Steps:

1.     Look at your current stack of books you are in the process of reading.  Make a list of the point of view perspectives.

2.     Do you have a variety or one in particular? By choice or not?

3.     Look for similarities and differences in particular genres or topics.

4.     Which appeals to you personally? Why?

            Share: What narrator persona do you want to be for this specific story you are writing? Why?

Read deep, marcy

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