Solving the Mystery of the Male POV

The first part of my series on POV covered the basics of Point of View. If you missed it, you can find it here. The second part covered Deep POV, which you can find here.

Today we'll explore that deep, dark, often scary area known as the Male POV. No, that’s not the Male Power of Veto (you’ll find that on CBS’ show Big Brother). Instead, we’ll look at writing the Male Point of View, which may not be all that easy since most writers of romance are women. Here are a few links and snippets of articles I found online that I hope you'll find helpful and maybe a bit enlightening:

Anatomy of the Male Mind: Women Writing in the Male POV (Milton Grasle)

In my opinion, a woman would need to find out all she could about how men react to certain situations and explore the male process of reasoning. She might read what she considers to be accomplished men and women who write in male POV. I believe the biggest trap that a woman might fall into is… not remembering that most romance is not only written by women but read by women also.

Can Women Write from a Male POV? (Juanita McConnachie)

… you can edit your writing into a male POV. I think that with a little research, and a bit of help, I should be able to make my male POV, sound more... well... male. Keep in mind, I am not writing for a male audience (specifically). Nevertheless, an authentic male 'tone' is necessary for these chapters.

Make POV Work for You: Writing the Male POV (Kaye Dacus)

But one of the most important things to know about men is that they say what they mean and mean what they say. They don’t mince words, they don’t beat around the bush, they don’t drop hints and hope someone else will catch on and understand what they’re not saying. Now that doesn’t mean that they say everything that’s on their mind—they can be very judicious with the words they choose to let loose, which gives lots of opportunity for subtexting. But he’s not only not going to try to wheedle and hint his way into something, he’s going to get extremely frustrated by a woman who does.

Male POV (Keri Arthur)

When I first told my husband I was doing an article on writing from a male point of view, he said, why bother? According to him, men are easy. There’s one layer, nothing fancy. What you see is what you get. What they say is what they mean. Unlike woman. He reckons we’re the ones that should come with a manual, and even then, he doubts if males will ever have a chance of understanding us.

Man Up: Writing Male POV (Roni Griffin)

(Note from Penny: Be sure to check out the illustration at the top of this blog post!)

I personally find male characters fun and almost easier to write than my female characters. But that may be because in life, I've always been more comfortable around guys (well, when it comes to being friends, once I was romantically interested in a guy, I turned into an awkward mess). So, I've spent a lot of time with groups of guy friends, have seen how they interact, and of course, I'm married to one, so that helps. :)

Virginia’s Guide to Guy-Speak (Virginia Kantra)

Critics have argued that the romance genre portrays men not as they are but as women wish they would be. … To illustrate how gender impacts characterization, point of view, action, and dialogue - okay, pretty much everything - I offer this guide to guy-speak.

Write Like a Man! (Anita Mae Draper)

Some things are the same for both genders, like wanting to be loved, safe, happy, respected, honored and successful.But as writers who want to write using a male point of view (POV), we need to observe and listen to males in action.

Note from Penny: Wanna chuckle? Check out this video, Men’s Brains vs Women’s Brains

Writing from a Male Point of View (L. Diane Wolfe)

I read dozens of relationship books, seeking to comprehend the distinct qualities of the male gender. The books that provided me with the most insight were Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus and the Connecting With Your Husband/Wife series. Men and women really do view the world through different eyes!

(Note from Penny: Be sure to read the comments following the post!)

So I tried to apply what I know of men in an observational capacity. No overtalking. Check. Not as skilled at communicating as a woman, at least as a general. Check. A fix-it mentality about everything from broken toasters to complex life issues. Check.

That’s probably a pretty good start. But then I have to worry about getting said “male characterization” across for a generally female audience. Because in a romance, we don’t want the average beer-swilling, thinking-about-sex guy. We want the Prince Charmings. Believable Prince Charmings.

What we have is the complexity of writing the male character to appeal to the female fantasy. No easy task indeed.


In your own work, do you write in the male POV? Have any tips to share? Do you like to read stories featuring the male POV?

If you’re a guy and you’re reading this blog, do you have anything extra to share? Any opinions on the links I’ve shared?

A Writer's POV

Our subject this month is POV (Point of View), I think Penny hit the subject right on, way to go girl! You have an excellent way of digging through the layers to the heart with such finesse.

But I wonder if POV doesn't start first with the writer, for without them, there would be no story to read.

Writing is like a drug, seeping into our veins until it becomes the core of our being. We toil and struggle over the perfect word to fit what we are trying to say, then find it. It's very pronunciation delights and astounds us, oh the sweet music to our ears.

Everyone can remember the first time they jotted something down, a thought, the beginning of a story, or maybe even their diary. The act of writing took hold, leading them into a world of life long discovery. Becoming the drug they couldn't live without, much as, eating, sleeping, breathing, well you get the message.

Lot's of us have spent years improving our craft, while other's have just started on the journey. Writers who deny their gift will be haunted for the rest of their lives.

But then let's face it, sometimes life just creeps up on us and gets in the way, family illness, a death or maybe just raising a family and getting caught up in the day to day grind. I found I struggled for years trying to find time to write. I'd work all day, (because I still have bills to pay) then come home and be with my family, fixing dinner, a load of laundry because someone had to have their favorite shirt clean. Or the drug alluring me to my computer... And then just as the perfect thought almost came into my grasp someone would knock on the door, "Mom what's for dinner!" Either way the thought was snatched out of thin air and guilt besieged me, I wasn't doing my family or writing any justice.

This silent whirlwind of conflict pulled at me; Guilt kept me in it's clutches for a long time, until I feared I'd go crazy from fighting the loosing battle. I couldn't stop writing any more then eating, my gosh, I really had to figure this out and get it right. I can still remember complaining to my husband about it. The dear man looked at me and said, "Why don't you get up early in the morning when everyone is still asleep and write a couple of hours? See if that works, if not what do you have to loose?"

Are you kidding me? Why couldn't I see that? Something so simple completely missed. Well I did as he suggested and guess what, I've had several years now of harmony, my two worlds collided and became my friend.

Point of view starts with the author, then reaches to our characters, transforming them from stick figures into living, breathing, beings.


Going Deep...Deep POV, That Is (Penny Rader)

The first part of my series on POV covered the basics of Point of View. If you missed it, you can find it here. Today we'll explore Deep POV using links and snippets of articles I found online.

Deep Point of View (Camy Tang)

Camy has an excellent eleven-part series on Deep POV. Don’t panic. Each part is short and easy to digest. You can find links to the next part at the end of each article. Here are short bits from the first three:

Part One

It’s not that it’s wrong to name the emotion—in fact, sometimes it makes the sentence more powerful—but many times, when you rewrite the sentence without naming the emotion, the vision evoked in the reader’s mind is more emotionally impactful.

Part Two

“Telling” verbs tend to distance the reader from the character, and if you’re striving to stick the reader in the character’s skin, you want to be judicious with your words and ensure a tight point of view.

Part Three
Show immediate emotional reactions in physical, thought, dialogue, action.

Deep Point of View (Karen Kelley)

Picture this: You’re not writing about the character, you’ve now become the character. Say your heroine is running down a dark hallway, she knows a serial killer is after her. Instead of moving her down the hallway become your heroine. What do you see? Close your eyes for a moment and visualize it. Do you see the hallway? What are you feeling? Fear? Yes, but describe it. Is your heart pounding? Are you sweating? What emotions are going through you? As the heroine, what will you leave behind if the killer catches you?

When using deep penetration POV you see the scene through the character's eyes. You never leave his/her thoughts. Deep penetration is similar to first person giving the motivation behind an action. The character's attitude, at that moment is shown, not a memory of his/her feelings as they look back on what happened.

Deep POV (Wendy Marcus)

Deep POV … takes you deep inside your character, showing not only what he feels in response to a situation, but why he feels that way. It adds a depth of emotion to a scene. In order to achieve deep POV a writer must dig deep into their characters' personalities and motivations.

Deep POV, Anybody? (Joylene Nowell Butler)

Choosing the right point of view is like learning to ride a bicycle; once you learn, you never forget. Too many good writers struggle over POV because they make it more complicated than it needs to be. In simplest terms, it’s about first learning what choices you have, then trusting your instincts in choosing the right one for your story. Deep POV is just one more choice.

Deep POV Is Not Right for Every Story (Alicia Rasley)

Deep POV is a variety of single POV, where an entire scene (or chapter, or book) is told through the perspective (or point of view) of one of the characters in the scene. Deep POV takes this further—the narration is done not just in the perspective but in the voice of the POV character. It’s meant to establish almost no distance between the narrator and the reader—rather like a first-person feel with third-person pronouns.

…you shouldn’t feel you have to force yourself to write deep POV if every word feels wrong.

Deep POV Means (Angi Morgan)

People think in specifics. Letting characters think in specifics brings us closer to that character and WHY they’re thinking what they’re thinking at that exact moment. When you’re deep in a character’s POV, that character doesn’t keep secrets from himself (a Suzanne Brockmann tip).

Digging Deep and Writing Backstory, While Keeping Up the Pace (Karin Harlow)

When writing in your character’s deep POV, you have to dig into their past. To the events that shaped them, the things that angered them, made them love, made them hate and made them smile. As their storyteller, you have to be them, and convey their thoughts, actions and most importantly, their emotions to the page.

The Importance of Emotional Depth: Part 4 – Deep Point of View (Lisa Chaplin)

Deep POV is an art, because it's putting yourself so totally into the character you basically don't appear (and by this, I mean what is commonly known as "author intrusion"); it's all the character. What also disappears in deep POV to a great extent is "tags"—the "he said, she thought/ pondered/ wondered" that jerk readers out of the character's head, reminding them that they are not the hero or heroine—and that's what we, as writers, don't want!

Note from Penny: I highly recommend Lisa’s entire series of articles on Emotional Depth.

Some Deep Point of View Tips (Camy Tang)

Readers don’t fully feel the emotion when they simply read the words anxiety, anger, fear, etc.They feel the emotion when they’re in the character’s body and head, feeling the physical sensations, acting with the character, thinking their thoughts, speaking their words.
What are your feelings about Deep POV?

Point of View

Point of view. One of those pesky items of writing one needs to figure out early on. Choosing the right point of view can transform your story. Do you want to rewrite all those pages with “I” instead of “she” when the current point of view fails? Yeah, me neither.

In my current work in progress, I started with third person. By using third person, my central character did not have to be in every scene. Yes, when you write third person, you are in the heads of different people and may fell like you have a multiple personality disorder, but we are writers. We talk to ourselves, so people think we are crazy. Might as well embrace it.

As I said, I started with third person, but something did not feel right. Was it the point of view? Maybe. I did not want to rewrite pages and pages of scenarios that would not work with third person. Call it misfortune or something else, but my computer died and I lost everything. You would think I would have learned early on to back up everything, but I did not. I do now.

I found myself forced to start over and I am writing my story in first person, restrictions and all. Do you want to know something? I fell in love with my story. By using first person, I became my main character, saw her world through her eyes. This point of view works because my story is a historical mystery. How many of us have sat with our parents or grandparents and listened to their childhood or war stories. With my story being a first person mystery, the reader learns things when my main character does.

A few things to remember with first person. Can you trust what the person is saying is true? Agatha Christie's The Murder Roger Ackroyd, anyone? You can have more than one person talking. Robert Louis Stevenson did that with one of my childhood favorites, Treasure Island. Some contemporary examples would be Breaking Dawn, the last book of the Twilight Series (I see those eyes rolling.) and The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Caution needs to be taken when switching characters. You may confuse your readers and risk losing them. Each voice needs to be different.

I'll leave you with a homework assignment. Take a scene and change the narration. Does the altered point of view change the feel of the scene or characters? How?

Melissa Robbins

Know Thine Own Self

I have found that blogging is like public speaking…you know what you want to say until you actually do it. There are so many good posts on our assigned subject of POV that I am choosing another subject.

Being President of WARA has given me the urge to talk to strangers about writing. I hand out business cards everywhere, telling people, “If you or anyone you know wants to write, check out this group.” I am amazed at how many people have thought of writing a book! Several of the people that I talk to indicate that they would like to write a book. Some have said that they would like to attend a WARA meeting. Most find it difficult to make themselves walk through the door the first time, but everyone that does loves our group. Which brings me to the topic of this blog…

Where’s the motivation? Joining a group like WARA does help provide motivation... initially, just because we’ve taken the step to join a writing group, and later, because so much great information is provided to help us with our writing. A publishing deadline is probably the greatest motivator. I used to write for a newspaper and was on deadline all the time. I wrote because I had to…if I wanted to get paid and keep my job. Those in our group that are under contract know that they will finish a book by a certain date…because they have to. It is one of the greatest motivators.

We try to emulate this in our group by creating self-imposed deadlines and sacrificing a dollar to motivate ourselves. It’s a good ploy, but not nearly as powerful as a deadline imposed by an outside entity like a publisher or employer. It is imperative that we learn to motivate ourselves to write…since we are big girls and no one else is going to do it until we are under contract.

It is easy to get derailed in the beginning of ‘authorhood.’ We can get derailed by the technicalities of writing, GMC, POV, etc. These things are overwhelming to someone who hasn’t encountered them before. We can get derailed by comments that someone makes about our writing, contest results, or reading about how to write. To be self motivated, we have to find a way to keep writing in spite of all the things that would derail us.

Thus, an author needs some level of self-awareness. We have to know enough about ourselves to know what makes us write and what makes us not write. Then we have to have the courage to pursue the former and avoid the latter. What motivates me will not motivate another, and what motivates you may not motivate me. Finding what makes us write is so individualized that no one else can do it for us. People may suggest something that helps, but only we can determine what genuinely works for us.

In addition, we deceive ourselves. We create the perfect writing environment, get all the latest tools, gadgets, and software. We attend writing groups, blog, read about writing and do everything to attain the goal of authorship except write. In general, we buzz around the fringes of writing. More self awareness needed. The bottom line every day should be, “How much did I write today?” Adding words on a regular basis is the only way the story will ever get written.

So, know thine own self, author. We need to take a fresh look at ourselves and be brutally honest about what actually gets us to increase the word count of our story regularly. Then we must have the courage to eliminate the things that derail us, and embrace the things that actually make us write.

May your story grow daily,

What the Heck IS Point of View Anyway? (Penny Rader)

When I first began writing I had never heard of POV (point of view), so I suppose it's not surprising that I received many comments about POV from contest judges. Including those telling me to get out of my dog's POV. :D

I poked around online and found a wealth of information covering all aspects of POV. I hope you don't mind that I'm sharing the links with you as well as snippets from the articles that I hope will tempt you to click and read.

Basic Point of View (Cami Tang)
Cami has a fabulous series about Basic Point of View, which begins here.

Emotion is Physical (Alicia Rasley)

I want to discuss how using the action/perception levels of point of view, rather than the thinking and emotion levels, can actually let the readers FEEL the feeling, by putting them into the physical experience of emotion.

Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid "Stepping Out of Character" (by Marg Gilks)

Every scene should have only one POV character, and everything must be filtered through that POV character's perceptions. Only the POV character can know what he or she is thinking -- he can't know what anyone else is thinking, so the reader can't, either. The POV character can't see what's going on behind her or what the person on the other end of the phone line is doing while they are talking, so the reader can't know what's going on in those places, either. Keep that in mind -- stay firmly inside your POV character's head -- and you'll rarely have trouble with point of view.

An Explanation of Point of View (Emily Hanlon)

One of the best ways to experience the power of point of view is to write an emotionally strong scene between two people who, when they tell their story, have very different versions of the experience.

First Person (Keri Arthur)
In first person writing, you need a character with a really strong voice, so distinctive that the reader will know you couldn’t tell the story any other way. Attitude is what first-person is all about. The first-person narrator can be sassy or angry or contemplative or ironic or even insane. But they can NEVER be boring. The narrative has to interesting and it has to reflect the narrator’s attitudes and personality.

ANGER. In deep POV: your chest feels as though it might burst with fury; you breathe in short gasps; you want to punch or hurt someone; you feel like bursting into tears of rage; you feel the blood rush to your head. The onlooker sees: eyes glaring; a red face; lips thinning, words uttered in haste or a shout; a punch being thrown, objects being tossed aside; an aggressive stance (hands on hips).”

How to Write a Romance Novel – POV (Gabi Stevens)

In the course of writing you will also hear the term “head-hopping.” Head hopping is jumping from one character’s POV into another’s at a rapid pace. Most readers don’t know enough about POV to realize when it happens, but they might feel some dissatisfaction with a scene or a book because of it. They won’t feel as drawn to the characters; this is because they haven’t had a chance to live in the character’s head for long enough to identify with him or her. Staying in one character’s POV gives the reader the chance to know and understand the hero or heroine.

Narrowing in Your Point of View (Alicia Rasley)

You can add texture and intensity, not to mention character dimension, to a scene by focusing tightly on the internal and sensory experience of the point of view character. You’ll want to experiment, because different situations call for different approaches.

One requirement of more personal POV is to think about those perceptions that a person actually there in the scene would have.

Point of View (Lisa Binion)

Point of view (POV) is whose eyes the story is told through. There are four different POVs - first person, second person, third person, omniscient.

No matter what your story is about, realize that which point of view you choose to write in determines how your story will be told.

Point of View (Annie Grace)

POV is all about knowing and not knowing. Readers gain an intimacy with a POV character, an understanding not only of what they are seeing and thinking, but also how they are feeling. They learn most about the POV character and if it's done well, they'll bond emotionally with the character. When you can see what a person's doing and hear what they're saying but you don't know what they're thinking -- this creates a tension.

It is like light and shadow in a painting. The light reveals: in the shadows lie the mysteries. Use POV to reveal some aspects of character and also to hint at mystery.

POV: Rules of Thumb (Nan Jacobs)

The dramatic effect of a scene is heightened if experienced through the viewpoint of the character with the most at stake. Consider your characters' goals, motivations, and conflicts to determine who has more to win or lose. If a scene plays out flat, try changing the viewpoint character.

Point of View -- Whose Story Is This? (Kaye Dacus)

How do we decide whose story it is?
Determine who the stakeholders in the story are
Who has the most to learn/the most potential for growth?
Which characters are most compelling?

POV Advantages and Pitfalls (Roni Griffin)

When I started my first novel, I didn’t give POV much thought. I was going to write in first person. Why? I dunno…seemed obvious. I wanted my readers to feel close to my character. And that’s the best way to do it, right?

Well, maybe, but not necessarily. First person came with a lot of restrictions and forced me to tell the story from one character’s perspective. So making sure she “saw” everything that needed to be seen was a challenge. At the time, I didn’t even realize I had another option at my disposal.

POV: Yours, Mine, His, Hers (Janet Corcoran)

Point of view is the foundation of your novel, how your imaginative story is told to the reader. It can keep your ideas focused or, if used incorrectly, can clutter and confuse the plotline, pacing, and goals. If you want the reader to actively take part in your story, you need to give POV your undivided attention.

Who’s on First? (Alison Kent)

I do not care how lyrical an author's prose, how taut the suspense, how intense the dramatic moments, how hot the sex, if she changes viewpoint within a scene she loses me. If she head-hops, she loses me. If she throws in a line of omniscient narrative, she loses me. All because of the way I read. Oh, sure. I can go back, pick up where I lost my train of thought, and rejoin the story already in progress. I can even thoroughly enjoy the story. But I will never regain the same relationship I had with these characters. From that moment on, I will notice and subconsciously bookmark every viewpoint change. Nothing the author does will prevent this from happening, no matter her skill, her sales records, her reviews. This is the nature of my thought process.


What do you think? Find anything helpful? Want to share any tips?

I hope you'll come back on August 26 for Deep POV and on August 31 for Male POV.

For Love of A Ghost

The paranormal genre has exploded in the writing market – romance or not. Everywhere you look, vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, oh my! With the growing trend of the nocturnal continuing to climb, readers are becoming savvier in their knowledge of the darker side.

Many “experts” argue that there is a difference between a ghost and a spirit. To some, a ghost is not aware of its existence; that it is mainly residual energy and plays itself over and over in the same spot. A spirit is cognizant of its surroundings and may try to communicate with the living.

What about the popular poltergeist? It has been said that this ornery spirit draws its energy off of the living, especially from those between the ages of twelve and eighteen. For some reason, the fluctuation of hormones in the teenager (which is out of control) is an aphrodisiac to the obnoxious entity. The poltergeist apparently wants attention, but not to cause harm. It just wants to be noticed.

The definition of a haunting varies, but most experts agree that it occurs for no obvious purpose. It does not have to happen in a specific building or area. A haunting can attach itself to a human being, thus “being haunted.” It can last for weeks and suddenly disappear. It can also span for several years, unfortunately. Contrary to popular belief, a cemetery is not the best place to find a ghost or a spirit! Why would they hang out with the dead if they wanted to communicate with the living?

That pesky “orb.” It seems to be the most popular piece of “evidence” in the ghost world. Most experts will tell you that the orb can easily be explained in photos: dust, insects, shaking of the camera or created by a hoax. It is very rare to capture a true “orb” (a ball of energy or unexplained matter), and most paranormal investigators do not take stock in the orb evidence.

One area to steer clear of is demonology. You might be confused, but this is off limits to most people who study the ghost culture. Demonology is a separate category all together. It is the study of demons and those who worship it. It is considered a side of evil, and those who seek it are asking for trouble. This is in the realm of Christianity versus the Devil and it is part of the occult world. This is taboo! Do not mix up the paranormal of the ghost hunting enthusiast with this very malevolent area.

The ghost/spirit genre can be fascinating for readers and it is important to delve into the world of research before randomly inserting it into any romance you are creating. Be careful of internet websites and check your facts thoroughly. Below are some credited links you may find interesting. Halloween is just around the corner, so why not put yourself into the mood of the eerie, the fun and the booootiful world of the ghost! Happy Hauntings and Spooky Writings! (awesome site! 16 years in the running!) (fun place to visit) (Wichita’s very own group) (known as “TAPS” on the Syfy channel) (although a paranormal expert, he can also define demonology – the movie “A Haunting in Connecticut” was based off of his experience. He also was featured in “A Haunting” on the Discovery Channel and works with several paranormal organizations around the world)

What would we tell?

The purpose of this blog, when we began it, was for a couple of good reasons. However, they escaped me early on. What were we to accomplish? I forgot. I began to think it was more about what would we tell an aspiring writer.

I wanted to explain that the road ahead may look confusing, but it is about telling a story in your own words in your own way.

I wanted to reassure a new writer that it is the story that is important to readers, not the picture on the inside cover. (At least not until that writer has beguiled away many an hour with words from that author.) So don’t fret the small stuff.

I wanted to inform all unpublished writers who come our way that there are more ways than you can count to sabotage your future in this profession. From limited writing output because we’re so busy, to being such a perfectionist that we keep reworking the material. Either way, nothin’s being published.

I wanted to teach. That didn’t happen, but it was because I’m not such great shakes myself at some things. Grammar. It can be such a problem that writers would prefer to not use some words rather than fight to learn to use them. What could be so awful? Lie. Lye. Lay. Laid. Lain. Figuring out where and how to use them can be a nightmare for some of us. To, two, and too can be too much to bear, or is it bare?

I wanted to expose writers to the magic of the moment as the story unfolds from their fingers.

I wanted to encourage new writers to expose their hearts and efforts so that they could receive admirations for their work. Later comes other good things—like cash, but first some honest admiration sooths the wrinkles from a writer’s inner self worth.

Did we succeed in educating, supporting, and assisting new writers up the path a little farther? I’m not sure that we did as well as we wished. But I am sure that those who came went away a little richer for the experience.

Above all I wanted to entice writers to…

Come. Join us. We won’t bite.

POV and More (Rox Delaney)

This is the third start I've made on this blog post, not sure exactly what I want to blog about today.  POV is actually our 'topic for the month,' but we don't always stick to the topic.  Hey, we're individuals!

If you're struggling with POV, Joan Vincent has two fantastic blog posts on the subject that can put you on the path to understand.  Check them out!

Recently I've been reading YA novels.  Why?  Well, writing for middle readers (ages 10-12) and young adults is where I began my journey.  My oldest daughter, who is still a voracious reader, was inhaling Babysitters Club books at the time, and I decided I wanted to give it a try.  But instead of sticking with Babysitters Club type books, I searched for other books and authors.  I found some fantastic ones.  Mary Downing Hahn (who I actually met!), Cynthia Voigt, Norma Fox Mazer, Paula Danziger, Lois Duncan, Louis Sachar, and Jerry Spinelli (who I also met).  And that's a partial list, which is growing, now that I've begun reading YAs again.  I already have a favorite new author and am reading my way through her list.

So what does all that have to do with POV?  Books for children and teens are written primarily in one POV.  Not all, just the majority.  It's been quite a shift from romance to YA, but I'm enjoying this newest journey.  I can't think of once that I've wanted to know what one of the other characters is thinking or feeling, even when romance is involved.  If written well, I can guess.

Modern romance novels (especially series romance) also began with one POV--the heroine's.  We often had to wait until the end of the book for the hero's motivations and true emotions to be revealed.  Since that time, romance novels have evolved and now offer both the heroine's and hero's POV.  The hero has become a full and complete character, and we see him as we do the heroine, warts and all.  Suspense books often include brief glimpses into the villains POV.

Outside of romance, there are books that go into the POV of multiple characters.  These are usually books that have more than two main characters, each with their own POV.  Stephen King's The Stand is a popular example, where POV changes occur at chapter changes.  Because his characterization is so thorough and well done, with each character having his or her own distinct 'voice,' there's no question of who the new POV character is at the beginning of a new chapter.

If you're having problems understanding POV, there are tricks you can use to help.  Marking character POV with different color highlighters, as Joan did in her example, will help you see POV switches.  Another way is to write a scene in first person (I and my, instead of she and her), then change it to third person.  While reading published books, try being more aware of the POV of the characters.  Many authors switch characters only at a scene change and never within a scene, while others switch only by chapter.  Others, who have mastered POV switching, can do it within a scene, but most don't do it often.

It's fun to discover the likes and dislikes of other readers (and writers!)  So here are some questions:

In a romance novel, whose POV do you enjoy reading the most?  The hero's?  Or the heroine's? 

Which one do you enjoy writing the most?

Life Experience or Imagination? J Vincent

While I was writing my Let's Have a Coze (Regency speak for Chat) to post on my website for August I came across my topic for this blog. I had starting writing a piece on proofreading but you’ll see that some other time. My topic for my Coze was housing for the British Army during the Peninsular War circa 1810. That was brought on by our planning to head out camping at the headwaters of the Rio Grande next week if all goes better for me. (I’m truly looking forward to the temp range of 70-48!) I realized as I keyed the Coze that I had used my experiences camping when writing about the soldiers and cavalry officers when they bivouac. Once we set up camp in the pouring rain so I can describe in very accurate detail the discomfort and some of the problems involved.

Several years ago we took a cruise from Los Angeles to Hawaii. That involved five days at sea. One of our favorite activities was to walk on the promenade deck late in the evening. One night the ocean was fairly rough and the prow of the cruise ship was throwing up a huge fall of water and spray. I knew as we watched it that I would use this experience in a story. What follows is what I turned it into in Honour’s Compromise. Jamey and Cecilia were forced to marry. They have quarreled constantly but on the voyage from Portugal to England they have a moment of magic that shows them what could be.

Now accustomed to the gentle rise and fall of the deck, Cecilia walked with steady steps along the deck after she put the girls to bed. The waves rush against the hull, the sails flap, the yardarms creaks sounded a comforting symphony. The light from the night lantern muted the darkness, but not the tang of sea air. Cecilia stopped and gazed into the black night, nary a line separated water from sky but for small white caps that danced across the water’s surface. She watched them and imagined fairies skipping across the ocean as they sprinkled magic.

“Magic indeed,” mused Cecilia to the breeze. Even cross Mrs. Garret had been unable to mar the voyage. “If we could only stay aboard.” She let the thought trail away . Contemplation of the many memories she would treasure replaced it That Jamey had created them did not trouble Cecilia, for he had proven true to his word. In such close quarters he had not imposed upon her despite ample opportunity.

A sure measured tread approaching her added to the ship’s symphony. Even before his cologne of bay rum reached her, stirred her senses, she knew it was Jamey. When he halted behind her Cecilia she breathed in his scent without the usual struggle to resist. The weight of her cloak and then Jamey’s hands settled on her shoulders. When his hands dropped away, she frowned her regret and drew the wrap close.

“Julia and Harriet were asleep when I took up your cloak. I thought the wind would chill you.”

Cecilia watched two whitecaps race toward the packet. “It has a little. Thank you.”

“What do you watch so intently?” Jamey inquired as he stepped to the rail.

“The whitecaps.” Cecilia glanced at him. She grew weak in the knees beneath the charisma of his smile.

Jamey pried his gaze from her mesmerizing blue eyes and back to the water. He pointed toward the bow. “See that pair? They almost look like horses.” He chuckled. “That one is a juggler.”

“Some look like fairies,” Cecilia dared.

“Why, yes, they do,” he concurred.

Cecilia searched his features and voice for a jest and found none. “You agree?”

Jamey pointed to a whitecap. “See that one skimming along with an arm upraised?”

“Yes. Yes, I do.” Cecilia smiled at him and then looked back at the water. “There is another standing on his head.”

When her hand collided with his as both moved to point to a different whitecap, Jamey twined his fingers with hers. “How chilled you have become. We must go below.”

“Could we not take one turn about the deck before we do?”

With a gallant bow Jamey offered his arm. “I do as the queen of the fairies bids.”

Cecilia placed her hand on it and found he covered it with his.

“To warm it,” he said.

They strolled in companionable silence.

In my "darker" writing --I have a villain who has no qualms about torture or killing as he finds useful--that even in that there is the essence of reality drawn from anger, pain, and hurtful experiences. What experiences have you used in your writing? How do you alter them to accommodate fiction?


I have to admit and apologize that I've been AWOL for most of July. I had out of state company and spent the most wonderful month playing grandma to my three year old grandson. So, when I rolled the calendar over to August and saw the big red letters B L O G on the 4th, I emailed our resident blogging guru goddess, Roxann and asked what our topic was this month.

POV Point Of View!!!!

Seriously? I'm probably the worst one to give advice on this very important subject. I would never forgive myself for clouding the minds of aspiring writers with tainted information and misguided advice. Having decided this was a topic better left to the experts (you know who you are) I decided to approach this whole POV issue a different way and introduce you to a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. And other parts of my anatomy.

POVFTM Point Of View From The Mirror

That's right. Something new to consider. As writers we spend a good portion of our time in our comfortable Office Depot faux leather chairs. If we're lucky, our fascinating characters are behaving, the hamster wheels in our brains are turning, our fingers are flying over the keyboard in record speed and our backsides are spreading faster than wildfire.

Sad but true my dear friends and fellow writers. If given the choice we would spend all day in front of our computers drinking Coke and nibbling on chocolate long johns or eating chips and dip like there was no tomorrow. I know I would. We might be writing the great American novel, but our bodies are turning into the great American tragedy. We're not doing ourselves, or our mirrors, any favors.

I speak from experience.

Next time we get stuck and just can't think of what perils to thrust upon our characters, we need to get up and walk the dog. Do push ups against the wall. Attempt 25 jumping jacks. Walk around the house or to the park. Go downstairs and start another load in the washing machine. Dust off that treadmill and cruise for a mile or two. Exercise fuels the brain, strengthens the heart and gets the creative juices flowing.

Try this for a week or two. Set a timer and get up and move every thirty minutes. Your characters will still be there when you get back. Who says you can't plot while you're on the treadmill. Who cares what the neighbors think if you talk to yourself while walking down their street. Think of this as multitasking.

Remember, only you can change your Mirror's Point Of View.

Trust me on this.