Monday, March 10, 2014

A Solution for the Problem of Distant Characters

Sometimes revisions are a real pain. I wrote a novella at the end of last year, got some feedback, and revised it, heavily in some areas. But I felt like something was still fundamentally wrong.

I tend to write most often in third person with a tight point of view. In other words, I want the reader to really sink into the character's head and feel like he or she is along for the ride. But in the case of this novella, I ended up with what felt like a distant third person point of view, and it showed in comments from my beta readers. So after revisions at the end of last year, I put it aside to work on other projects and picked it up again recently. This time, I decided to rewrite the entire thing from first person.

Now the main character is coming more alive. I've cut a few lines as I've been going along, but mostly I've been adding more, and I think it's working. In the past, I've had trouble with getting readers to feel close to the point of view character. One of the ways I got around that was to rewrite the piece in first person, then switch it back to third. In this case, I think the story was just meant to be in first person all along.

I've got about three thousand more words on this story, then I'll set it aside for a bit and reread it before making final changes. If you've gotten some comments about readers feeling distant from your point of view character, try rewriting a scene or the entire story in first person and see if that changes things for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment