Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Point of View

The magic words every author needs to know.
But what is point of view?
I have heard it described as the view through the camera lense.
But how does a camera relate to writing? Surely a writer trades in words?
But whose words? In short, it is the world as seen through the eyes of the person telling the story or relating a particular scene.
But that is you, isn't it? The author?
Actually, I have come to believe that fiction writing more like channelling. You know that mumbo-jumbo thing they do at seances, when the spiritualist goes all glassy eyed and twitches. Then speaks in a strange accent and a quavery voice. "Mary, it's meeeee."
The spiritualist is no longer in her own point of view, but is speaking the words, thoughts and feelings of someone from the beyond. At least, that is what they tell us.
If an author does this and does it well, the reader doesn't notice whose point of view the author is providing, s/he just knows that she fully understands what the character in the book is seeing, feeling, tasting, touching and smelling.
The reader can then become that character.
But, you may ask, how does a writer work that magic?
Next time I will try to answer that question and provide some concrete examples.
By the way ----- did you remember to vote?