Monday, November 30, 2015

POV Revisited

I went out of town for Thanksgiving. Before I left, I was writing what I thought would be my weekly blog post only to discover (too late) that I was really writing a column. Hence—the lateness of this post.

While away, I started rereading Kate Atkinson’s When Will There Be Good News. This turned out to be a great thing. I had forgotten all about the structure she chose to tell her story—stories.

Atkinson has whole chapters dedicated to separate points of view, POVs. There are four: a doctor, the lone survivor of 30-year-old crime; a veteran who was police and is now a private detective; a currant police detective with marriage issues; and a 16-year-old orphan with the worst kind of brother. 

Each person receives ample time to reveal background, frame current conflicts, and then gets sent on their way. I presume they will all eventually meet up with each other.

I’m only halfway and there’s been a train wreck, the doctor’s husband is lying about her whereabouts, nasty thugs are looking for the brother, and the two detectives have more in common than their professions.

I have to finish so I can see how Atkinson makes all this come together. (My memory is a little murky… Well, a lot murky.)

It’s an academic point for me, since I’ve already taken out the multiple POVs from my novel. Let’s face it; I didn’t have this much drama going on. My story is set in—Bishop Hill, IL—the center of the grand American Midwest.

Donald Harstad can pull off demonic cults and foreign terrorists in northeast Iowa. I’m only managing a missing painting and the motives behind the heroes and villains searching for it. 

I will endeavor not to be late with the next post.

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