Sunday, June 2, 2013

POV and Cameras - Tracy L. Carbone - "Biggest 'Ah-Ha!' Moments in Writing"

     The best advice I got about writing came from two related sources, and I’m not sure who said what exactly, except that what I learned from them changed the way I write. The two people were F. Paul Wilson and Al Zuckerman of Wrtiters House, Inc. I took their advice, mixed it with my own experience, and in my words the lessons were:

     Think of your characters as actors. If you had a prostitute from South Boston, a seven year old kid, and a Harvard educated physician in a movie scene, would they talk alike? Of course not. But what hadn’t occurred to me is that their POV, their thoughts, would also be different. A child cannot think in big words. My tummy hurts. I’m gonna puke. -I’m having persistent cramping and nausea I can’t shake. Wonder if it was that shrimp scampi- If I’m pregnant again I’m gonna f’n kill someone. Can you guess whose heads we were in? Don’t just rely on dialogue to relay your characters’ thoughts. What’s in their heads, their viewpoints on anything from politics to money to marriage had better be as well defined as their dialogue or you’ve failed.

     Think of your reader as someone carrying the movie camera. They can only know what they are seeing right in front of them. So if you’ve only got one point of view and say, “Unbeknownst to Sara, on the other side of town…” That’s cheating. If you must reveal something your character cannot know, make a new character and let him reveal that to your reader. But don’t make one just for that and never use him again. That’s cheating too.

Tracy L. Carbone resides in Massachusetts with her daughter and a house full of pets. She writes in fiction in her spare time, setting most of her work in the fictional New England town of Bradfield. She’s published three novels and one collection of horror short stories. Her short stories have also been published in the U.S. and Canada in various anthologies and magazines. Please visit her website Amazon Page here or her personal site here.

No comments: