point of view tagged posts

Critique Technique Table of Contents

Here’s a Table of Contents of all of the Critique Technique posts to make it easier to go directly to the post you want to read.

Introductory Posts

Part 1 of Many

Part 4: Series Preview

Reader Response

Part 2: How Do You Feel?

Part 3: Authorial Intentions and Tracking Your Own Responses

Beginnings and Endings

Part 5: Weak or Missing Hook

Part 6: The Wrong Beginning

Part 7: Scene and Chapter Endings

Part 7b: More on Scene and Chapter Endings

Part 8: Story Endings

Characterization

Part 9: Characters and Conflict

Part 10: Poor Characterization

Part 11: Lack of Character Development

Part 12: Showing and Telling in Character Development

Part 13: Timing the Reveal

Part 14: Out-of-Character Behavior

Part 15: Unclear Character Goals

Part 16: Unclear or Insufficient Obstacles

Part 17: Dialect...

Read More

The Art of War for Writers

Small 4-star rating on dark blue background

Put James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers next to Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style on your bookshelf—or better, within easy reach! It’s that good.

Using famous and long-ago Chinese general Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as his model, Bell presents vital and valuable information for writers in bite-size chunks. These nourishing and digestible non-chicken nuggets add up to a lot of chapters, yet only two are longer than five pages.

That’s what makes them so useful: you can read a few, set the book aside to ponder them, and then come back without being overwhelmed with information. These chapter titles will give you a sense of what I mean:

  • From Part I, “Reconnaissance”: 21. Put heart into everything you write.
  • From Part II, “Tactics”: 36...
Read More

Critique Technique, Part 51 — Point of View Shifts

By Ross B. Lampert

Two angry people sitting on a benchWhoops! Last time, when I wrote about head-hopping, I thought I had already written about point of view (POV) shifts. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Time to correct that error.

Let’s make sure right now that we’re clear on what POV is. The written-out term gives us a good start. Point of view, or viewpoint: whose eyes and other senses, in other words, the reader is seeing and experiencing the story through. Said another way, if you think of the reader as being the proverbial fly on the wall, where is that fly? That sounds simple enough, but there are at least four different POV options.

  • Omniscient. The word means all-knowing, and in this case, the fly is really on the wall...
Read More

Critique Technique, Part 50—Head-Hopping

By Ross B. Lampert

Funny frog

Image by Zela, from RGBstock.com

Today’s topic doesn’t have anything to do with drug-addled frogs (or any kind of frogs, for that matter), actress and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, or some strange horror movie. Or some even stranger Addams Family-meets-Mitch Miller sing-along show: “Follow the bouncing head and sing along to….” (Man, that’s really weird.)

No, fortunately, head-hopping in the context of writing is a form of point of view (POV) shifting. What happens is the writer jumps from the viewpoint of one character to another within a scene or even a paragraph. This is an easy trap for new writers to fall into (although more experienced ones can do it too)...

Read More

Great Stuff for Writers, May 27, 2013

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, one of the two holidays (two!) in which we honor and remember our military personnel, those serving today and those who have served in the past, especially those who were injured or killed in combat. As a veteran myself, I’ll be participating in a ceremony this evening. Courage in the face of mortal danger and sacrifice to it have long been—and should be!—staples of literature. James Scott Bell’s (@jamesscottbell) Of Miracles, Sacrifice and Story speak to this better than I can, so that’s where we’ll start this week’s Great Stuff.

And to my brothers and sisters in arms, thank you.

CRAFT

Nancy J. Cohen (@nancyjcohen) offers a veritable plethora of tips on how to make On-Site Research trips worth your time and expense...

Read More

Great Stuff for Writers, March 19 & 20, 2013

Holy hotcakes, Batman! Check out the Great Stuff we’ve got today! The first three posts qualify as Extra-Great Stuff in my mind, and the others are none too shabby themselves. Check ‘em out.

CRAFT

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s excellent Your Story Opening: Shock vs. Seduction on Jane Friedman’s blog opens today’s Great Stuff, and what an opening it is. This excerpt from her book Fine-Tuning Fiction actually starts with a brief discussion of pace and who drives it—antagonist early, protagonist later—then gets into those two types of openings. The shock opening grabs the reader’s interest and attention right away...

Read More

Great Stuff for Writers, March 12 & 13, 2013

Whoa! Is today a double, or even triple, unlucky day: 3-13-13? Not a bit! In fact, it’s your lucky day with the Great Stuff that’s waiting for you below, including news of a major shift in Random House’s proposed ebook contracts and 11 steps to creating a good looking CreateSpace POD book.

CRAFT

Keith Cronin (@KeithCronin) advocates a learning technique that a writer friend of mine swears by: Be a Copycat. Note that that’s copycat, NOT plagiarist. The idea is simple: by copying—word-for-word—particular passages—the opening scene, a chapter, the climax, whatever—of the work of an author whose work you admire and respect, you will gain insights into how they did what they did that you never would have simply by reading the same work...

Read More