Hello everyone, I’m back with a post to detail a process I have not gone into before of mine. That is the process of using POV and characters your reader can relate to who drive the plot. This is be discussed after briefly discussing or even introducing my fellow writer to POV. The make or break, quality of your novel that could mean the difference between a reader flipping through, or an eternal damnation to the dusty book shelf. (Yes I can be as funny as I am serious, haha.)
This is especially the case if your novel is written in the first-person perspective (uses pronouns such as, I, me, my, Mine, We, Us, Our, Ours. Shares only one perspective also called limited perspective.) However, even if your novel is written in third-person perspective (uses pronouns, such as, he, she, him, her, his, hers, it, its, they, their, theirs. Which can either be limited, (one POV), or even Omniscient, (Multiple POV’s, birds-eye view.) it is still necessary for your reader to be able to see the world through your characters eyes in order to pique their interest.
Sorry for the drawn out definitions and descriptions but if you were like me you struggled with POV and 1st and 3rd. In fact, the first two drafts of my first novel ever I struggled with head hopping (jumping POV to POV without change of chapter.) Or incorrectly using a first pronoun when I should have used a third, or visa verse. With tools such as, search and replace, this is made easy in your drafting process. Character
Now onto the fun part. Creating a character is in a way giving a part of yourself into the character molding fires. This may involve listing your pains or traumas and seeing the effects that can have on a person psychologically to build your character. This is in part a research-based process. However, you must get to know yourself before you can get to know your characters.
I'm not preaching some meditation-based process or anything like that. But characters come from our pain and wounds and if you are like me they can help you sort through your past and become whole again. Because writing can be therapeutic, you just have to let it be. You have to be honest and authentic to your emotions and experiences you pour into the character.
I am not advocating for making your characters just like you because that would be a major mistake. The reason being is unless your book is an Autobiography, only include certain real-life details, experiences, or even people. Or better yet, use your life experience to only inspire your story and characters as I do. I was not originally going to share this, however, I believe it would be beneficial to you writers. It has carried me in my writing journey, so as long as this is our secret, here it is.
my secret to brainstorming is a combination of music while I imagine myself as the character. Recounting significant potential idea day-events. Music videos and short films that inspire my writing or have similar themes. Or sometimes I even watch an exhilarating movie or do something crazy then use that adrenaline rush to carry me through a very effective brainstorming session.
So there’s my secret, take it or leave it, it’s up to you. At the end of the day remember you can take all the advice in the world from me. However at the end of the day, it’s your story. You should let no one influence your story so every judgement call you make should also be your own. Because if I learned anything from script writing it is that the writing is not yours and can be changed. While authors have the final call which drew me to novel writing in the first place.
I hope this post has helped you understand both POV and character building. Let me know if you have any questions related to either in the comments. Or even send me some work to give feedback to. As much as it is my community it is Yours! So take advantage of the resources, blogs or even get into contact with fellow writers.
Till next time.
- Matt Gorrell (creator of mattgorrell.com)