Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Monday...POV shift

My past is my wisdom to use today. . . my future is my wisdom yet to experience. Be in the present because that is where life resides.
Gene Oliver, Life and the Artistry of Change

Well as you know yesterday was Father’s Day. I didn’t get to see my dad but I called him just to let him know I was thinking of him. He received my card (Sunday’s poem) on Thursday, thanked me and he went on to have a nice day.

Steven got a tee shirt from Adam with all the Marvel comic heroes (and maybe some villains) on it and as he still loves comics, he loved the shirt. He also got a call from Bio-kid, first time in thirteen years, which I know made him happy. We went to church, and went to lunch afterward at a place of his choice, and Taco Johns was his choice.

All in all, it was a nice, sunny, windy Father’s Day.

I’m reading a book called Rose Madder by Stephen King. I’ve read it before but as in all of Kings novels, these need to be read more than two or three times in your lifetime. Being a writer it is sometimes hard to put on the ‘just a reader’ hat and I’m always dissecting elements of the book as I go along. Maybe this is why I read it two and three times, so I can really grasp the full story.

I think in this book, rules are broken but handled with delicate care as only a master crafter of writing can do. He jumps POV, and as you know POV is point of view. The book begins with Rose getting beat by her husband on a daily basis for too many years until she finally leaves.

She goes to a battered women shelter eight hundred miles away. Then there is Norman the battering husband. As we’re reading Rose’s POV and are virtually living in her head, the story shifts to Norman back home, wanting revenge because she left. This part of the story is in italics, so we know Norman from Rose.

I’m not going to tell you all of the things Rose does but really this book is all over the place. She leaves and a walk down the street can take three pages until she finally makes it to the bus stop. Like I said, King is a master. It lends to the story because we are deep into Rose, when Norman the madman, sits at his desk, seeking revenge.

Literally gripping storytelling. Is POV shift okay in a story? Apparently when done craftily it can be pulled off with style. A new writer should never attempt this because a lot of the times you lose a part of your story, but in Rose’s case, this was done thoughtfully as the story progressed because we the reader are thinking, “what did Norman do when he found out Rose left?” It works because not only is it what Norman DID when she left, it is what he DOES!

Weaved into the story, Norman’s POV is as important as Rose’s. We need both sides of the story and Mister King can make you squirm in your seat awaiting the next page.

Just as in any holiday, Father’s day to me is seen from my perspective, and Father’s have their own perspective. Shifts in POV, virtually imperative to making some stories work. :)


June said...

I've not read this SK book, Joni, so I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for pointing out a book that does something different with POV.



joni said...

It's an excellent book.
And yes, the master has done well with this POV shift because I find that we care about the thoughts of BOTH these characters (who are polar opposites)good girl meets bad guy. But oh the twists and turns.

Yes, I recommend it. :)