photo by David Seidman
EXCERPT from "Going Deeper: Point of View beyond the Basics" by W. H. Horner in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction:
The trend in fiction over the past century has been towards a highly immersive point of view, in which the reader is taken on a journey through the senses of the lead character (often referred to as the "POV character"). Unlike the omniscient point of view that has slowly fallen out of favor, the reader can only know what the point of view character knows and experiences "live" in the story. However, the benefit to this approach is that the reader will be drawn into the prose at an unconscious level, and will become deeply attached to the characters and their story.
In order to sustain the illusion that good fiction can create, it is important to eliminate any point of view shifts that could pull the reader out of the experience. The obvious examples of these blips include describing the thoughts of another character without the filter of the POV character, or simply shifting point of view in the middle of a scene without a discernible break. But there are subtler issues that take careful editing to eliminate.
W. H. Horner is publisher and editor-in-chief of Fantasist Enterprises, an independent publishing house specializing in fantasy and horror short fiction anthologies, novels, art, and music. Their latest releases are Vipers by Lawrence C. Connolly, and Blood & Devotion: Tales of Epic Fantasy. William is an adjunct faculty member with Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program, and with Wilmington University’s English Department. He is also the founder and director of the First Writes, a writing group that meets in Wilmington, Delaware. For more information about William and his freelance editorial and design services, please visit www.whhorner.com, and to learn more about his projects with Fantasist Enterprises, please go to www.fantasistent.com.