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11.12.2012 01:26    Comments: 0    Categories: Writing Point Of View  Fiction Writing  Writing  Fiction Elements  Writing Craft      Tags: h. thomas milhorn  point of view  genre  fiction  guide  craft  

Key Elements (From Chapter 1 of  Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft by H.T. Milhorn)

 

To create a fictional world that seems real to readers, writers use a minimum of six key elements:

 

1. Plot, Story and Structure
2. Setting
3. Characters
4. Point of View
5. Prose
6. Theme and Subject

 

POINT OF VIEW

 

The point of view of a novel is the perspective from which the reader is allowed to view the action and the characters. As a writer, there are a number of points of view to choose from, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Various authors have categorized them in different ways, but the system used in this book is the most common one. The points of view most often used in genre fiction are first person and third person.

 

With FIRST-PERSON POINT OF VIEW, a single character narrates the story from his point of view (I pulled the trigger). This point of view is used most often by writers of mystery novels and short stories.2,28-31

 

THIRD-PERSON POINT OF VIEW is the one most commonly used by writers of genre fiction (He pulled the trigger). One problem with this point of view is that the character cannot describe himself physically, unless he describes his image in a mirror, but this has been used so much that it’s become a cliché and should be avoided.

 

A variant of third-person point of view used by most modern-day writers of genre fiction is to use the point of view of a single character, but let that character be different from scene to scene or chapter to chapter. For instance, in one scene the point of view might be that of the protagonist; in the next scene the point of view might be that of the antagonist; in a third scene it might be that of a foil character. A change in point of view in a published novel is usually indicated by skipped lines between scenes or by chapter breaks. In this way confusion is minimized.2,28-31

 

SECOND-PERSON POINT OF VIEW is rarely used because it is extremely difficult to pull off (You pulled the trigger). The reader may feel that he is the one spoken to and will find it difficult to accept that he is doing the things the narrator tells him he is doing. If used, second-person point of view must be done very carefully.2,28-31

 

References


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