K.L. Barnes ... Is Dreaming Up Suspense !

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It's my book and I'll Hop if I want to!

It's my book and I'll hop if I want to!

 

A wonderful friend and fellow author recently performed an in depth review of Pay Attention, the first book in the Maeve Tidewell, Pay Series. The review was amazingly detailed and more helpful than I ever imagined.

One of her recommendations (per her own editor) challenged me to think long and hard about what kind of author I am, and if my style of writing is something that a large enough audience would like to read.

She suggested that I take a second look at the way I handle point of view. You see, in many of my scenes (in every one of my books) I have a tendency to "brain hop." This means that the point of view shifts from one character in the scene to another.

She tells me that most editors and publishers believe that this shifting of point of view can be confusing to readers, and should be avoided. Phooey!

This insight prompted a round table conversation with my two most trusted "Beta" readers, and boy was it enlightening.

After dissecting several scenes containing more than one point of view, we all agreed that the shifting perspectives added excitement and tension, creating an intensity beyond what would be experienced from a single point of view.

But that wasn't the only thing these two brilliant readers had to say. Because we are all BIG Jonathan Kellerman fans, his Alex Delaware series was brought up as an example.

All of the stories in this series are told from a single, first person perspective. That of psychologist Alex Delaware. Now, this is certainly not a criticism as the man is a genius and far richer and more famous than I could ever hope to be. (Well, I do hope. But you get my point.) I devour Kellerman's books, going on days long binges of Alex Delaware escapades, then search for volumes I may have missed. But.

Sometimes I just want to know what Milo is thinking. I mean, I think I know what he's thinking, because his body language and witty quips let me know, but do I really know what's going on in his mind? I think not.

The conversation then vectored from fiction to reality, where one reader said, "Isn't that why we connect with, and build relationships with, other people? To hear how their perspectives differ from our own?"

"We want to know, as readers and as people, what others are thinking and experiencing. If we didn't then life would be very limited and dull," said the second.

A profound statement to be sure.

"But is the change in viewpoint confusing?" I ask. Neither one of my readers admitted to feeling the least bit puzzled as the story dances from one mind to another. They were adamant. Don't change it!

So this is what I have decided. I believe I can count on the fact that my readers are intelligent, interested people who can appreciate how different characters are reacting to adrenaline pumping situations.

And, they're my books, so I'll hop if I want to!

 

Comments

I personally think the 'brain hopping' is great. I get tired of only seeing things from the main character's point of view, and sometimes one other which is usually the bad guy. I feel that there is more intensity to the scenes. Obviously your beta readers are a huge help to you regarding plots and their consistency and that is good. My question is - do you have anyone reading for errors especially, in your case, the correct use of commas? It mostly has to do with where to put them with character names and some other places. I would be willing to help with this. I have done it for Sheron Wood Mccartha on her 7th book and will be doing the next one shortly. I am also going to be working with another author but my kindle keeps changing his last name. He has written 'Messages', 'Voices', and about four others. Let me know if you would be interested. I didn't notice this problem so much with the first book, but the second is driving me crazy. Commas are needed on almost every page. If you want, I can tell you a very simple way to know where to put them. Or I can mark every place with the corrections. I am sure you only wanted a comment on the POV issue but I don't know your e-mail address. Sincerely, Cathy Reynolds roscat4321@yahoo.com

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