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Friday, September 14, 2012

Lessons from My Editor: POV Name Usage

Last week, I completed my first round of content edits of Red and the Wolf for my editor, Piper Denna. Exactly as I was hoping, the editing process is teaching me new techniques to make my writing even stronger. It’s certainly more challenging, but nothing truly good is ever easy.

So what is this new trick from Piper?

It’s very simple. The POV (point of view) character should refrain from calling himself by name except in instances when it is necessary to avoid confusion with another character. The logic behind this is that we don’t often think of ourselves by name. He and she fade into the background like the words said and asked. A name pops out and adds that extra level of distance between the reader and the narrator.

Of course, there is a catch. To cut down on the use of the POV’s name, you need to do a lot of careful rewording. Otherwise, a manuscript can turn into a jumble of repetitive sentences beginning with he and she. But in the long run, this rewording will make for stronger writing.

Good luck!

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