This morning I started reading a book by a well-known author and by the end of the first chapter was frustrated by his use of point-of-view. I kept going back to read paragraphs over again as the author seemed to change POV mid-paragraph several times. I have read and studied the rules of POV often but I had never noticed how disruptive it is to the reader until I picked up this book.
I finally pulled out the novel I'm writing so I can start working on Tristi's BIAM challenge. Because I haven't looked at it since November, I had to back track a little and re-read a chapter or two. This project has caused me to really examine POV. When I started this book during Tristi's first challenge last fall, I wrote it in third person. Every sentence was a struggle and I soon grew frustrated with my lack of progress. After several thousand words, I stopped and did some brainstorming. The story idea still seemed good, but it just wasn't working. Putting aside every word I had already written, I started from scratch for NaNo and changed the point-of-view entirely. Now the book is written in first person and the story is flowing easily. Several people have told me how difficult it is to write or read a story in first person, but that is what seems to be working right now.
It is an interesting exercise to take a story and re-write it using different POVs. I find it fascinating how the emphasis of the story changes depending on which character is telling it. This is a skill I'm still learning and experimenting with. I think my book is better now that I have gone to first person, but until I give it to my readers, I won't know for sure. That's the great thing about being a writer...playing with the words until they tell exactly the story I want to tell.