Friday, July 29, 2011

The Legend of Storey County by Brock Thoene

The Legend of Story County by Brock Thoene is a good example of first person point of view. He begins the story by having Seth Townsend, a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner traveling to Virginia City, Nevada to cover a story about the closing down of a railroad line. Townsend interviews Jim Canfield, who is 100 years old and knows all the old stories about Virginia City.

The remainder of the book is written in first person with Jim Canfield telling his own story. Point of View has always been a difficult thing for me to understand,

Any writer knows that "head hopping" is frowned upon unless you are a best selling author. For the new writer, "head hopping" is where you tell what one person is thinking or doing and then switch to what the other person is thinking or doing in the same scene.

I recently read a good article about author intrusion. Author intrustion is when the author makes statements to give further information that the character probably doesn't know.

Third person is the most popular style of writing in which the character is he or she. Each scene belongs to that character. In one workshop I attended several years ago, the presenter suggested that we write the scene as if we were looking through a camera lens. You can only see what the character sees.

First person is harder to write because there is not the luxury of additional information from other characters. A lot of mystery writers use first person.

I had never read any books by Brock Thoene although I had heard his name mentioned as a good writer. I attended a book sale and grabbed up his book to read. I will be reading more since he is now on my list of authors to read. He did such a good job of telling Jim's story using the first person point of view. If you are interested in learning more about first person point of view treat yourself to The Legend of Storey County where you can not only enjoy a well-written story, but also study an example of first person point of view.

1 comment:

  1. So true, Sue. POV was my stumbling block when I first started writing.


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