A Serious Question about POV

For some reason–one I do not question but am deeply grateful for–recently people have been popping in to tell me how much they love the Sixth Sense series. They’ve also been sharing their hopes that I will finish it–and it is my intention to do so.

Without belaboring the point, I have started several drafts of the next installment, Deal with the Devil. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t gotten past the first couple of chapters. Personal losses, subsequent depression, and a demanding day job have all been factors in my inability to move forward with the planned finale–as well as fears that no one will be interested after such a long delay–including my publisher.

At least I can lay to rest the worries about fans of the series. Your words of encouragment are a balm to a weary soul, thank you.

But recently, it occurred to me there may be another issue tripping me up right now: decidind which POV to write in.

The first two books were written in limited third: Jerry/Lee’s POV. This meant that if Jerry wasn’t in the scene, the audience didn’t see it. Much like the Harry Potter books–if Harry wasn’t in the scene, the action took place “offstage” as it were.
The the third book of the series, Truth and Consequences, was written in first person from “Lee’s” POV. I felt this was necessary because of the plot. Without spoiling anyone, the story simply worked best from that POV/perspective.
 
It had long been my plan to write the final book from both Lee’s and Flynn’s perspective–in part because I planned to separate them for part of the story, but also because I felt it was time to get John Flynn’s POV as well. Having changed POV partway through the series, I wasn’t too concerned about doing it again. But I’ve drafted two openings to Deal with the Devil, and to be honest, continuing to write from first person Lee’s POV feels more natural.
 
How important is it to you as a reader to get Flynn’s POV at this point? And out of curiosity, is first person POV a deal-breaker for you?
Please weigh in with your thoughts. I’d really like to know.

16 thoughts on “A Serious Question about POV

  1. It’s not a deal breaker for me. How feels the best for you write I am good because I am so invested in the characters I wouldn’t mind which POV it comes from.

    • That’s good to know, thank you! I feel the same way myself, and the events of the last story meant 1st POV worked better than what I’d been doing before.

      This has been Jerry Lee’s story all along. My original plan for this last installment was to show John Flynn’s POV as well, but part of the conflict between the two of them has always been John knowing everything Jerry Lee is feeling and thinking while Jerry Lee knows only what John shows or tells him.

      Regardless of whether I go with first or third, I kind of wonder now if I shouldn’t stay with Jerry’s POV for that reason alone.
      Sarah Madison recently posted..A Serious Question about POVMy Profile

  2. I like POV, and I think it’s cool to switch POV’s between Flynn and Lee, so we’ll have a vision of both, which further enriches the plot and allows us to broaden our understanding of both feelings.
    POVs need to be well written to hold the reader, and you do this very well, with great talent.

    • Aw, thank you. That’s very kind of you to say. It *had* been my intention all along to show Fynn’s POV in this story, but now I wonder.

      It would allow me to show events that take place when Jerry isn’t present (and there are going to be times when this happens). On the other hand–Jerry *never* knows what Flynn is thinking or feeling–that’s one of the conflicts in their relationship. So I’m not sure it’s wise to give the reader more than Jerry gets. I might need to resolve that conflict in a manner that satisfies both the audience and Jerry! 🙂
      Sarah Madison recently posted..A Serious Question about POVMy Profile

  3. I can easily read any type of POV, provided it is written well, which you generally do. That being said, while I would enjoy getting Flynn’s POV, if he isn’t speaking to you then that struggle will come through to the reader. If the story wants to be told from Lee’s perspective then, I think, that is what you should stick with.

    • LOL! That’s the problem with Flynn–he plays things so close to the chest he doesn’t speak much to anyone–even me. 🙂

      I think you may be right about sticking with Lee’s POV–regardless of whether or not I keep it in third or first. (Lee’s voice is so strong in my head now, first may wind up being easier…)
      Sarah Madison recently posted..A Serious Question about POVMy Profile

  4. I enjoy first-person stories. They’re more intimate. Mysteries are usually told in first person, allowing the author to naturally hide what other characters are doing.

    That being said, many do it incorrectly. For instance, the author will write I saw him stash the gun in the dresser instead of He stashed the gun in the dresser. In first person, there’s no need to clarify who saw/watched/felt/etc. The reader already knows.

    Can you tell I’m an editor? 🙂
    theo fenraven recently posted..Yellow Warbler & SkippersMy Profile

    • I enjoy first person narratives myself, when they’re done well. I don’t particularly mind that the protagonist in the Dick Francis books is basically the same character over and over, despite different names and job descriptions. I like that narrative voice and therefore enjoy the books.

      I’ve only written in 1st POV a few times. My natural inclination is limited third, regardless if I change POV between characters or not. But I confess, I find it harder to write good sex scenes in first person. Probably because on some level I’m thinking, “Dude, why are you sharing that? I wouldn’t even tell my BFF that!” 😀

      I can definitely tell you’re an editor–one of the best!
      Sarah Madison recently posted..A Serious Question about POVMy Profile

  5. I like the way the series was written so far. And no matter how you decide I’ll probably will be okay with it. In general im pretty open, as long as the whole package (writing, editing, plot…) is to my liking.

  6. I think you have to go with what feels natural and best for you. You know these characters – you’ve invested a lot of time in them. Changing the narrator can spice things up, but… I think you have to go with you will comfortable writing. We trust you, we know you’re going to get it right 🙂

    Hell, nothing says you can’t write a book or short story from Flynn’s POV – maybe show some of the scenes from the first book from his POV as a bonus short – how he comes to terms with his ability to read thoughts. But only if it *feels* right to do so.

    • Someone else suggested that to me–writing a short and offering it as an Easter egg. 🙂 I do like that idea very much!

      I suspect the real issue is that I’m trying to get a feel for the guys–and writing in general–after so much time away from the keyboard. My confidence, never very strong, is fairly shaky right now. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. They help more than you could know!

  7. I like your writing. So I think you should write what’s come natural to you because it’s your writing style I want to read. But it’s sound you want to do both pov’s and that is sweet. However I think in all the books I have read… It’s the last chapter that you get anothers pov’s perspective thats are the sweetest. So take your time. I’ll still be here, waiting for you. Hug/ Your reader.

  8. I just finished reading the third book in this series, and wow! I’m in awe at your characterization. So, no, I don’t mind first person POV, I loved walking in Jerry Lee shoes, although I think part of my enjoyment was that I knew things he didn’t (Yes, I was less than happy with John for a while :P)
    And at this point of the series, I don’t think we really need John’s POV, we are used to him being all stoic and silent and inscrutable 😛
    If it is Jerry Lee who is talking to you, then let him tell the story 🙂

    • And at this point of the series, I don’t think we really need John’s POV, we are used to him being all stoic and silent and inscrutable

      This made me LOL! Thank you, I really appreciate the feedback! I hope I can get back to working on this series soon. Personal and health issues have derailed me like whoa!

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