Friday, December 4, 2015

POV Revisited (Again)

I finished Kate Atkinson’s When Will There Be Good News. I’m impressed with how well she handled all the interconnected story lines. More than the story lines, she fully fleshed out the characters—warts and all.

Rereading it made me realize (again) that I did the right thing by limiting my novel to one main POV. I had given each of my four POV characters a good beginning, but having two of them suddenly become quiet after a pivotal scene had been a mistake. Atkinson had her three main POV characters speaking to the reader till the very end. They were allowed plenty of room to wrap up their subplots—for the most part. Some loose threads lingered. A few mysteries remained. Quite enough for her next work in the series.

Her attitude about the lingering mysteries of life:

“Everywhere you looked, there was unfinished business and unanswered questions…

…Everything would remain a mystery. Which meant, if you thought about it, that you should try and clear everything up as much as you could while you were still alive. Find the answers, solve the mysteries, be a good detective. Be a crusader.”

I think “try” is the operative word here. So, if I try this again, having multiple POVs, I’ll have a great example to fall back on. Another case where a writer doesn’t have to play by the strict rules of a genre to succeed. 

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