Thursday Thoughts: Universal POV

Sometimes, in writing, the hardest part is to decide which character should have the floor, so to speak. In other words, who is the POV (Point of View) character. A lot of publishers, editors, and readers like to be in only one character’s head a time. Me? I want to know what the whole love of them are thinking and doing from their POV. While I think the Universe is actually referring to real life, I prefer to talk about writing, but feel free to apply this advice to your world. ☺

In all tests of character, Silver, when two viewpoints are pitted against each other, in the final analysis, the thing that will strike you the most is not who was right or wrong, strong or weak, wise or foolish… but who went to the greater length in considering the other’s perspective.

Don’t you agree?
The Universe

Well, yeah, Silver, I did mean the final, final analysis, but you’ll see, that one really counts.

Some authors will write the same scene from both main characters’ POVs and then decided who has to most at stake and use that version. Others simply include both, one after the other, which seems a little repetitive to me but if done well (done WELL being the operative words), then i appreciate the conflicting veiwpoints. Me? When I’m writing what and how I want to write, I just let it fly. Every character has an opinion and they’re entitled to it. It’s important to me–as a writer AND a reader–to know the reasoning behind their words and actions. That’s what intrigues me. In practicality, when I write in first person POV (like in  Nightriders MC series), I’m limited but those guys insisted they tell their own stories in their own ways and it only seemed fair to allow their mates the same courtesy. In my “publisher” books, I have to follow their guidelines and it’s usually “she said/he said” each in turn. I can do that but the editing process is much longer because I do slip up and just throw it all out there. Cuz that’s how I roll. 🙄 And yes, I am happiest when I can just do my thing and use what I call “cinematic POV.” That means whoever has the “camera” angle gets the thoughts, facial expressions and reactions, and the words. Of course, the joy of that is I get to use multiple camera angles.

Writers? What POV/tense do you write in? And readers? What about an author’s use of POV really irritates you? Inquiring minds want to know!


About Silver James

I like walks on the wild side and coffee. Lots of coffee. Warning: My Muse runs with scissors. Author of several award-winning series--Moonstruck, Nightriders MC, The Penumbra Papers, and Red Dirt Royalty (Harlequin Desire) & other books! Purveyor of magic, mystery, mayhem and romance. Lots and lots of romance.
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2 Responses to Thursday Thoughts: Universal POV

  1. And your POV choices work very well. I never get lost or wonder whose POV we’re in now or feel like it’s ‘head-hopping’. Bravo.

    I used to write in a Universal POV, where you’re never in anyone’s head, but you know everything that’s going on everywhere. Now, I use Limited to sharpen the focus and make the reader feel more invested. (Or at least that’s the hope.) Sometimes first person, but mostly third. It depends on the genre and the story. Always past tense. As a reader, I read almost any type of thing, but present tense irritates me unless it’s done EXTREMELY well. I think it’s because when we’re telling a story in real life, it’s a story that already happened and while present tense is supposed to make you feel like you’re there and living it with the characters, it’s mostly just jarring. And it’s probably the quickest way to get me to DNF a book.

  2. Kathy B. says:

    Dear Silver, I love the Nightriders series!! The use of POV makes it interesting and keeps me glued to the story. It is captivating how the characters interact with each other. Truthfully, I have been waiting all series for the Russian’s story! I hope his story is next with more to come after him! Keep up your wonderful writing! Don’t change a thing!

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