Friday, May 4

POV: How Deep Are You Willing To Go?

I turned in my final edits for Life After a couple of days ago. The suggestions from my editor were pretty simple. They made sense and I finished them all in a couple of hours. All except one. As a matter of fact, this one suggestion took two days! There's a scene where the heroine is seeing her own death through somone elses eyes. She sees her own dead body, lying on top of a car, her bloody mangled face plastered to the windsheild, her eyes open and lifeless. I glossed over it, and my editor noticed. She thought I should delve into what the character was feeling at the sight of her own dead body. I had trouble with this. I couldn't imagine it. I kept telling myself, it's not your own death, it's Kalyste (heroine in the story). But aren't our characters a part of us? I've never thought of my own death. It's completely morbid. I tried everything from meditation to falling asleep while Final Destination was in the DVD player. That was going to an extreme. I never watch horror movies when I'm sleepy because I end up having nightmares. My husband thought I was going crazy when I suggested he put the movie in as soon as I started drifting off. I slept like a baby that night. Well, the scene is written now, and I can relax. My editor thought it worked. I had to be willing to step way out of my comfort zone. Bad asses I can do, no problem. Tortured characters? Bring 'em on! Facing your own death? Not so easy. I'm interested to know if any of you had to go into deep pov when it wasn't comfortable. What was the whackiest thing you ever did to get into deep pov? What was the story? Are you willing to do it again?

10 comments:

  1. Wow, I never thought of this. I did write about someone remembering a rape in One More Summer, and it was like you said: very, very hard. I don't remember how long it took, but I still don't like reading it.

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    1. I remember reading "The Lovely Bones." The scene where she was murdered was very dark, and hard to get through. I think the fact that it was told in first person is what made it so powerful. The author must have had a really hard time writing it.

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  2. Interesting topic! As a character-driven writer my characters are definitely part of me, but I've always been able to step outside of them too. I've written a lot of scenes that were hard to write and few that I scrapped because I felt they were too graphic. Those invovled a character who was abused. To this day, I don't even like that story!

    It's hard to step out of the comfort zone and stretch ourselves as writers, but we usually benefit from the growth. I'm glad the scene worked out in the end, Shawn. I'm sure it increased the emotional impact of what your character was experiencing!

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    1. I try not to step outside my characters while I'm writing. But when it came to that part, I couldn't identify. It gave me the creeps.

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  3. I stepped out of the box and really let my killer go wild. Then I went back and I took out the part that made me uncomfortable. And I don't regard it.

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    1. If it didn't change the pace of the story, you made a good choice. But I'm wondering why you took that part out.

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  4. I listened to an author talk about how he was also an actor in plays and how in one scene, he had to bring on tears. First time was easy. But subsequent times, it just wouldn't happen. He had to think of a time when he felt great sorrow. Every time that stopped working, he'd think of another time when he felt that gut wrenching sorrow.

    If I did that as an actor, I'd forget my lines. LOL But for writing, I thought it was a great idea!

    Like Maeclair, my characters are character-driven. I continually return to a scene to make it as dramatic as possible. What they are feeling, sensing, the 5 senses, how to make it as real as possible. If it's unique enough and powerful enough, readers will remember that scene!!!

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    1. And that's what I want more than anything. A memorable scene. I understand my I have to be in the moment with my characters to get the right emotional response from readers. Thanks God for the HEA!

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  5. Morbidly, I think about my own death a lot. Too much, really. The hardest scene I think I've written was the hate crime of two men branding a man's back. I could see it, smell it, taste the fear. I don't know if that came through or not, but I felt that scene.

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    1. And that's why it was so good! I know one day I'm going to die, I would just rather not think about it.

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