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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Overview Voice: First Person Point of View

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

The strong advantage to a first person narrator is the personal connection. Sometime it is a deeply told personal story or is spoken as a witness or observer. However, even when shared as an observer the personal connection to the narrator informs the details and emotions.

For example, there are two children looking up at a roller coaster ride. One narrator finds it exciting so through his viewpoint the description has more positive and active details. The other potential narrator finds it frightening and although gives the exact visual information the tone and atmosphere may be completely opposite.

A first person view can add intensity and intimacy and explore a broad emotional mood spectrum. However the emotional relationship can also become a detriment to the reality of the story or situation if the main character is so personally involved that he cannot be discerning. Or if the character is acting from misunderstandings or information then as narrator he is also feeding the reader a ‘mistaken’ interpretation. And yet if it’s done on purpose the impact can be stunning. Katherine Paterson’s Jacob Have I Loved is an excellent example.

Another advantage of first person though is that the reader is experiencing the unfolding story right alongside the main character and experiencing the tension, and curiosity, and unexpected twists. It’s like sitting on Tinker’s Bell’s wing while she flits from scene to scene. We are immersed.

Action Steps:

1.     Take the following two excerpts from Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo and rewrite them as third person limited. Her name is India Opal Buloni.

“All the Winn-Dixie employees turned around and looked at me, and I knew I had done something big. And maybe stupid, too. But I couldn’t help it. I wouldn’t let that dog go to the pound.” (page 10)

“I found a dog,” I told him. “And I want to keep him.”
“No dogs,” the preacher said. “We’ve talked about this before. You don’t need a dog.”
“I know it,” I said. “I know I don’t need a dog. “But this dog needs me. Look,” I said. I went to the trailer door and I hollered, “Winn-Dixie!” (page 17)

            Share: What got lost in the viewpoint when you changed it, both in each scene and to the reader?

Read deep, marcy

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Invisible Light Novella Free for Five Days

           White Stone Series Special Free Giveaway July 1st to July 5th.

Invisible Light

Meet Ashia, a teenager uprooted from her home and family battles against depression and hopelessness to find God’s light.

When seventeen-year-old Ashia abruptly moves to San Francisco five months before her graduation, she is propelled into isolation both at home, and school, where she is seen as an intruder. When she uncovers a web of deceit exposing a counterfeit principal manipulating the school system for personal gain, her emotional darkness begins to close around her. Ashia attempts to battle depression and hopelessness. She searches for the Lord’s light and finds refuge in her poetry.

Book Two in the White Stone Series: Hope, Faith, Heart

Six young women face life transitions that create tense relationships and struggles of faith. Will they have the courage to challenge their personal fears and experience new beginnings that stretch their hearts into hope?

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 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

"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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