Course dateline: October 18th
He is lurking in the third person? While I’m lost in first. Have you ever toyed with second before realising you’ve no idea who’s speaking, and what the hell is ‘the deep third‘?
Books need narrative viewpoints and nothing gives away a writer who’s not on his (or her) game as a viewpoint that slips mid-paragraph or (heaven forbid) mid-sentence. An ambitious approach to viewpoint, such as Wolf Hall can win awards but you don’t want to be so clever that you confuse your reader (or yourself) with a muddle of different viewpoints.
To quote writing professor Peter Selgin: ‘You may have all the ingredients—a plot, characters, dialogue, description, setting, conflict—but if they aren’t bound by a specific, consistent, and rigorously controlled viewpoint, you have nothing!’
And you don’t want writing blogger Jefferson Smith accusing you of ‘a POV violation’! His article on things that will make him fail your novel in an instant is a pretty scary read.
My novel keeps things fairly simple with a dual narrative, one in the first person and another in the third but maybe I should be braver.
In mid-October we get to find out.