aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Problems with manuscripts: POV

Most of the manuscripts I'm seeing for the class I'm teaching have one problem in common: POV issues. Written in third person, complete with the character's thoughts, they sometimes slip into the author's point of view. A woman runs "her hand through her red-gold hair." A man shifts "his muscular body." I think this problem stems from a writer being worried that their readers don't know what the character looks like. This is the same worry that often leads to character's catching sight of their own reflection.

Ljer Jaded Metaphor told she had a writing teacher who told her to imagine that the narrator is a tiny person perched up in the main character's head, looking out of his eyes, hearing through his ears, eavesdropping on his thoughts.

If you do, you'll avoid sentences like this one, "Tears rolled down his chiseled face." Because our narrator just stepped out of the guy's head and started talking from the author's POV.

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Tags: the man in the mirror
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