Avatar CatherineRecently, while reviewing my story, I have noticed that I have made a mistake that many novice writers do.  I confused my point of view and switch between characters, which makes it hard to understand and follow.  See the following example:

 “Delonia!”  He shouted angrily.  His attention focused on Delonia, he did not see the fat man from the Destroyers approach him and plunge his sword into his stomach.  Tycelon gasped, clutching at the sword as the warrior withdrew it and moved off.  He stumbled to his knees, blood seeping out of his wound and hands.  There was a collective noise from the warriors, as they surged forward, towards their leader. 

Delonia, shocked by the quickness of the action and without thinking, leapt down from the wall and ran towards Tycelon, almost stumbling onto him when she got there.  He was gasping for breath and barely able to see her.  Wiping away tears, she roughly pulled up his blood soaked shirt, revealing a large gaping wound.  She swallowed down bile and reached for his stomach, her hand pulled back momentarily unsure, but then she put it determinedly over the wound and a light flashed under her hand, dull at first, but slowly brightening to a brilliant blinding silver light.  At the same time, a light flashed across the wounds on his hands, where he had held onto his attackers sword as he had pulled it out. 

Zorek was battling his way down the stairs, trying to provide some support to the Warriors still on the desert floor when he had seen Tycelon fall and ran to the nearest steps.  He fought his way through the ascending warriors to get down to the bottom to where Tycelon and Delonia were, being surrounded by the last few Fire Warriors who were still on the ground, fending off the Destroyers who were trying to slash and cut their way through the small group.  Zorek quickly jumped over the side of the steps, deciding this was quicker than trying to go down. 

“Out of my way.”  Zorek bellowed as he ran across to the fallen man, Paseta having seen Tycelon fall also, was close behind him.  The warriors cleared a path before him, as he pulled out his sword and swung it violently above his head.  He was angry, such soul deep anger.  Some of the Fire Warriors backed off before him, thinking they were going to attack him.  Zorek reached Tycelon and slowly positioned himself between Tycelon, Delonia and the forthcoming Destroyers.  Paseta rushed up and crouched down by Tycelon, just as he gasped for breath.  He looked at the blood stained shirt, then at Delonia with wonder in his eyes.  Delonia did not notice, she was too focused on Tycelon and his recovering strength.

 There were switches between three different characters in this scene which makes it hard to follow and understand.  I now try and write from each character point of view for each scene, if I find that there is an overlap, I try to make that obvious and have a break, so that readers know there is a switch going on. 

 It is important to keep the scene clean, and I am learning this by reading through the scene.  If I find there is a conflict of POV (Point of View), I will look and see who I have written the scene primarily for, then work from there, removing all unnecessary actions, putting in subjecture, adding to the suspence of the scene. 

 I also discovered that I spent a lot of the scene, showing and not telling.  Delonia runs desperately to Tycelon, but why?  Was she upset, concerned, worried, scared?  These needed to be shown better, and what better way than by her cursing as she runs towards him. 

 Making shorter sentences also helped with the suspense and action of the scene.  Short sentences means quicker actions, creates more drama, heightens the action of the scene..

 Below is the revised version of the same scene. 

 “Delonia!”  His attention was so focused on Delonia, he did not see the fat man from the Destroyers lunge at him and plunge his sword into his stomach.  Tycelon gasped, clutching at the sword as the Destroyer soldier withdrew it and moved off.  He stumbled to his knees, blood seeping out of his wound and hands.  There was a collective noise from the Warriors, as they surged towards their leader. 

 *   *   *

 Delonia shocked by the quickness of the action, and without thinking, leapt down from the wall and ran to Tycelon, almost stumbling onto him.  He was gasping for breath, bubbles of blood trickling out of his mouth.  Wiping away tears, she roughly pulled up his blood soaked shirt, revealing the large gaping wound.

“No!  Damn you Tycelon!  Damn you!”  She swallowed down bile and reached for his stomach.  Her hand pulled back momentarily, unsure, but then she placed it determinedly over the wound and a light flashed under her hand, dull at first, but slowly brightening to brilliant blinding silver.  At the same time, a flash illuminated the wounds on his hands, where he had held onto his attacker’s sword as he had pulled it out. 

“Come on, be alright.  Be alive.  Come on,” she breathed. 

*  *  *

 Zorek was making his way down the stairs, trying to provide some support to the Warriors still on the desert floor when he saw Tycelon fall.  He fought the remainder of his way through the ascending Warriors. He caught a flash of light out of the corner of his eye in the direction of Tycelon and Delonia.  When he looked in their direction, he saw the last few Fire Warriors surrounding them and desperately fending off the Destroyers who were trying to slash and cut their way through the small group.  Losing patience, Zorek jumped over the side of the steps, landing heavily in the sand. 

“Out of my way!”  He bellowed as he ran across to the fallen man.  Paseta having seen Tycelon fall also, was close behind him.  The Warriors cleared a path before him, as he pulled out his sword and swung it violently above his head.  He was angry, a soul deep anger.  Some of the Fire Warriors backed off before him, thinking they were going to attack them.

“Let me at them, get out of my way!” 

Zorek positioned himself between Tycelon, Delonia and the forthcoming Destroyers.  Paseta rushed up and crouched down by Tycelon, just as he gasped for breath.  He looked at the blood stained shirt, then at Delonia with wonder in his eyes.

“What just happened?”  He asked.  Delonia did not respond, she was too focused on Tycelon and his recovering strength.

  What is your opinion?  Does the first one flow better or the second version?  I would appreciate your comments on this matter.

Characters Point of View

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