POV and Alley Rose

If you’re a writer, especially of fiction, you know something about point of view. You know it’s one of the most important choices you must make for your particular story. There are three main POVs to choose from.

First person- with this narrator you can build closeness, intrigue, and suspense. They can be reliable or unreliable. You may be able to trust everything they say because they’re honest. Or you may doubt their version of events because they’re trying to deceive you. Or else they are deceived themselves, thinking they’re speaking truth to you. The Screwtape Letters is a prime example of this POV. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is another classic written in the first person-from the view of a six year old girl.

Second Person-This is a rare POV for fiction. It is used in cookbooks and self-help books too. Below is an example from my non-fiction book, How To Be Really Street Smart’.

‘Have you ever been riding your bicycle down a narrow road and suddenly you see a car coming right toward you? If so, you were probably on a one way street. Whoever didn’t read and obey the street sign was the person going the wrong direction. Isn’t it common sense to read and follow the signs so you’ll be going the right way every time?

The world is filled with people trying to tell you the right way to think, to live, and to be. They may be preachers, teachers, scholars, coaches, movie stars, popular singers, politicians, parents, family members, or friends. You must be careful about who you let influence how you believe. Some may deceive you, others may confuse you, but hopefully, more than a few will tell you the truth.’

Third Person- There are two main types of this POV. Limited view is when the narrator only knows the thoughts and feelings of one character (at least one character at a time). Omniscient view is when the narrator knows and sees everything going on in the story.

There are other versions of these 3 types that you can learn about here and here.

The third person omniscient point of view has the most trustworthy narrator. They tend to be unbiased. And of course they know more than the other narrators do. In like manner the Spirit of God moved on godly men to write the books of the Holy Bible. Down through the years evil men have written corrupt versions of His Word but they have not succeeded in destroying the  True Living Word which will abide forever. 

Why wouldn’t we want our story to be penned by our Omniscient God, Savior, Deliverer, Healer, and soon coming King? We can trust Him. His Word is coming to pass more and more every day. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith and He desires for us to experience real life and life more abundantly. The reality of it can be found between the pages of His Book-which is written from His point of view-not ours. It takes the Holy Spirit to lead us to the true POV of abundant life in Jesus Christ. 

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  II Peter 1 kjv

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55  kjv

Update on Alley Rose, my work in progress: At the beginning of Corona virus season I had to take a hiatus from writing it because of family obligations. In the last few weeks I’ve had more time to write. So I’d like to share a few lines with you of ‘Alley Rose’ my second novel.

‘After feeding and petting Panther, Savannah walked off the porch and raised her head up toward the sky, expecting drops of rain to hit her in the face. Instead she spotted dense gray clouds moving swiftly in the direction of the midday sun which was shrouded in more clouds. It was disappointing not being able to see the ‘great eclipse’ everyone at school had been talking about.

Mom and Dylan didn’t seem interested in it. But it would’ve been so exciting to see it happen. A once in a lifetime event.  And all anybody has to do is look up into the sky at the right time. If I could’ve been at Mamaw Liza’s I’d be having so much fun. Maybe it’s not cloudy in Newport. Melia and her parents might be there. I wish I was.

Returning to the back of the house, she headed for the porch steps. At that moment a flash of light pierced through the gray gloom. The clouds in front of the sun rolled swiftly back and revealed the moon’s shadow engulfing the sunlight. A thin, silvery ring appeared from the edges of the giant fireball.

Untimely darkness enveloped everything in its midst, as the stars emerged in the background. Previously chirping birds and barking dogs were silenced as confused crickets and cicadas began their nightly rhythmic tunes. Feeling the effects of the immense temperature drop, Savannah wrapped her hands around her shivering arms. Forcing her eyes away from the cosmic scene above, she dropped her pants-clad knees into the wet dirt below and covered her face with her hands.

I looked at it! I saw the eclipse! Am I going to go blind now?’

As you can see this passage is in third person POV. The first half of AR is told in it. But I am writing the second part in first person and past tense too. It seems like the best POV for the story. Time will tell if I picked the right one. Thanks for coming by. Comment if you have anything to add to the subject.

Savannah’s Room-A vignette

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BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD

 

The following paragraphs are one of the first vignettes I have written for my work in progress-Alley Rose.

Ellie

Savannah never had much confidence in her talents, let alone her looks. So when Kate beat her out of the art contest that first year she decided she’d be better off giving it up. I tried to convince her that she was way better than Kate at drawing  or painting, but she didn’t believe it. The first time I saw her room I knew she had an eye for color. The lemon yellow curtains with violet flowers on them. A chenille, violet bedspread. Plus the round yellow shag rug at the foot of the bed. That’s where we used to play board games on the nights I’d get to stay over. 

But that orange, black, and red poster of a rocket ship that said ‘I need more space in my life’-well that was an eyesore. I never told her that though. And I never told her how I felt when I saw the poster of the sunrise hanging on the wall above her bed. A black script font read, ‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.’ For a moment I felt like I was in church. It was a rare thing  for me to see because God’s Word was forbidden in any form at my house.  Savannah was shocked to the core when I’d told her we didn’t have even one Bible.

Almost every time I went into her room, I had anxious thoughts my dad might somehow find out about it and ban me from ever visiting or staying all night with Savannah. My mom wouldn’t care but she’d never disagree with my dad. A Monkees Band poster hung over a small desk in the corner by her bed. And on the desk was a record player and small rack with about ten 45 records. Mostly Monkees hits. We used to watch the reruns of their show every Saturday that I spent at her house. She never got into the Beatles music. I asked her why she didn’t have any of their records. She said it was because of all the bad things John Lennon had said about Jesus and Christianity. And then I remembered hearing my parents talking about it to some of their friends one time. Of course my dad thought Lennon was cool for saying it. 

 

Vignettes are sort of a new concept for me. I have never focused much on them in the past. The one above gives a general description of Savannah’s bedroom. It also gives an impression of her personality. What’s more, it indirectly reveals her friend Ellie’s feelings and thoughts about various things.  In the future I plan to write more vignettes with figurative speech and some symbolism too.

 

 

Moving Mountains-A Healing Traveler’s Journey

Despite the fact that I rarely read Christian non-fiction books, I recently discovered one I was excited to buy. Written by Savannah Williamson, it’s entitled ‘Moving Mountains- Winning Tough Spiritual Battles’. Her story is a compelling read that describes the perils of depression, addiction, anger, and suicidal tendencies-among other issues.

From the age of 13, Savannah lived in a dark and lonely place-depression her constant companion. Yet, much more than a chronicling of her troubled past life,  ‘Moving Mountains’ is a hopeful, candid, practical, and joyful guide that can inspire anyone who’s found themselves in the grips of despair.

Excerpt from ‘Moving Mountains-Winning Tough Spiritual Battles’

“Sometimes we just can’t figure out why we are going through what we are going through, and we think God has cursed us or is punishing us. I can’t give you the answer in your situation, only God can. But I can say that in my life, my stormy seasons have always been for my good. Not a tear was wasted. It is my hope that as you see how hopeless some of the situations I’ve been in seemed, and how God brought good out of them and turned them around every time, that you can find some hope for you too.”

Williamson, Savannah. Moving Mountains: Winning Tough Spiritual Battles . Kindle Edition.  Find it here@Amazon.

Now for a short summary of my writing progress on my  WIP  ‘Alley Rose’.  Family issues and obligations have complicated my writing plan once again. Thankfully, I have been able to make some revisions which were needed.  Many writers revise when their draft is completed but somehow that doesn’t fully work for me.  Most writers probably end up doing four or more revisions of their books before publishing.

Here’s a small excerpt from ‘Alley Rose’:

“Hey. My name’s Kate. Kate Marie Lewis. What’s yours?” From several feet away the girl stood in the back alley smiling, revealing large white teeth. “I just moved in the house right down there,” she said as she pointed up the alley toward the last house on the left.

“Uh…umm.” Savannah struggled to answer her as she threw a stick into the yard for Rufus to catch. “I’m ..Savannah Sullivan.”
The dog returned with the stick as the girl approached him, reaching out to take it from his mouth. Instead of releasing the stick he backed away from her and started growling with it still between his teeth.

“Okay. Okay. Your dog doesn’t have to go all ape on me. I was only trying to play with him. Is that your cat laying up there on that rusty old car?”
Savannah glanced over at the ancient, corroding chevy inside the lean-to garage connected to their small weather-worn wooden house.

When she saw the silky black coat and golden copper eyes she said, “That’s Panther. He was here when we first moved here. I don’t think he belongs to anybody. Everybody calls him an alley cat.”

“Well I got a cat named Amber. She’s real pretty. We’ve been keeping her in the house but Mom says she has to go outside soon. I’m twelve years old now. I had a birthday party last month.”

As the girl continued to talk about the party, Savannah observed her tall form, pale olive skin and long coarse dark hair, held back by a plastic headband. She noticed that the strange girl was almost the opposite in appearance to her own image. And that didn’t exclude the clothes. Kate wore a blue jumper dress with a flower design blouse and flip-flops. In contrast, she had on pedal-pushers, a worn t-shirt, and old tennis shoes.

Despite their differences Savannah soon discovered they had one huge thing in common.

 

Would you like to win a paperback copy of my non-fiction book for middle-grade youth ‘How To Be Really Street Smart’?  If so, then join my TLB e-mail list by June and you’ll have a chance to become the winner. Check it out here@Amazon.

 

 

Journey’s End?

In my prior post I promised to share information about my present project-a novel entitled Alley Rose. The title, as I recall, came to me before I wrote the first page. Odd because it was the opposite with my first novel- Keeper of the Stars. I didn’t decide on that title until the last page. (Unfortunately, after my book was published a well-known writer wrote a novel with the same title- and a subtitle.)

The setting of Alley Rose begins in a rural town in North Carolina in the late sixties. The main character is a young, red-headed girl named Savannah who feels misunderstood and disconnected from her parents.  She loves visiting with her Christian grandmother, who lives in another state, but a serious disagreement mars their close relationship.  As she and friends Ellie and Frankie journey through racial and societal prejudices in the tumultuous 70s, she searches for freedom to become who she was meant to be. If only she knew who that was.

My writing journey lately has been somewhat productive. There’s been obstacles here and there but progress has been made. Not the amount I’d like to see- but I’ve written a few more scenes, plotted a bit more, and fleshed out and defined a few characters better. Still, if I look up the road I see much more that needs to be done for me to reach  my destination and my expectations. Paths to be discovered. Rocks to be moved. Bridges to be constructed. And then crossed. Oh bother! I think Winnie the Pooh is whispering in my ear. Lol! Guess I need to talk to Christopher Robin so he can teach me to have courage and keep traveling on.

Yet,  once I look behind me and realize how far I’ve come, I am encouraged. Why? Because I’m not the same place I was last month,  last week, or yesterday.  I have traveled a few more miles on the journey and I like the progress I see. It inspires me to put one foot(or letter, or word, or sentence) in front of the other until I see the finish line(last chapter, final page). This makes me think of our pilgrim journey as followers of Jesus Christ. It also reminds me of the lines of a song-“sometimes I get a thrill when I look back down the hill and see just where the Lord has brought me from.”

And He has brought me a mighty long way. The obstacles have been continuous. The stumbling blocks have been both big and small. He’s held my hand often and carried me when I didn’t realize it. He made a covenant with me and He has faithfully kept it. I’ve failed Him yet He’s never failed me. If you know Jesus like I know Jesus then this is true for you also. And if you don’t know Him as your Savior, Father, and soon coming King then today is the day to change that. He is no respecter of persons. His suffering and sacrifice on the cross was as much for you as any other human soul.

Will you follow where he leads? Remember heaven is the destination. And no sin can enter in. This life is only for a little while. We’re just passing through. Get on the path of faith in Jesus Christ. Eternity awaits us all. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. What if tomorrow was your journey’s end?

 

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Hebrews 2:3

 

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. I Peter 1:23-25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s a WIP?

I recently discovered what WIP stands for-at least in writing lingo. Did you guess it already? It’s a Work In Progress.  I suppose it could be called Writing In Process too.  Though it may seem easy from the outside looking in, writing a novel is a complex process for sure. Outlining and plotting can be a nightmare for many writers. Often we start out on the writing journey without the aid of a map. Maybe that’s because such writers don’t know where they’re going yet. Because their special story is character driven. Or it could be plot driven. But we need some type of blueprint don’t we?

In the writing community people who just sit down- pick up a pen and pad, or a laptop-and start weaving words into sentences and then finish with a story are called ‘pantsers’. I started out like that but it’s changed somewhat for me. I would be called a ‘plantser’ today. Because I do attempt some plotting and outlining in my writing process now.  Regardless of how we get there hopefully we’ll end up with something that entertains, informs, and communicates-especially faith in a living and holy God.

Jesus Christ-the first and greatest author of all-has many WIPs. Every one of his believers is a work in progress. Through His wisdom and longsuffering He is working to conform us to His divine image.  If we truly desire to be more like Jesus, then prayer, the Word, and worship cannot be neglected or ignored. They must be our priority. He’s the Potter and we’re the clay. He seeks to create something beautiful of our lives. We have to trust the process and yield to His will. After all He knows what He’s doing whether we do or not.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

My next post will be about my present writing project called ‘Alley Rose’. You’re invited to come by and find out more. Join my email list and receive notifications and a chance to win a copy of my non-fiction, paperback book for youth ‘How To Be Really Street Smart.’

Until then…