Friday, May 7, 2010

How Do I Start?: POV

My original question was "where do I start?" I'm excited...I have a long awaited "me day" where I can write on my story without guilt. (Yesterday I finished finals of my first semester back at college - - yay!) But how do you jump back into a story after a long absence? And I do mean long!

I feel like I have to ease in and reintroduce myself to my characters and vice versa. But where? Right at the beginning makes sense, but before I even open the folder on my computer (that I imagine will creak open like a long unused door) I recall where I left off. Oh, yeah, I'd been experimenting with deep POV first person for my heroine. Hmm. Sure.

Uhm, why? I admit, I've rather forgotten my plan of action, but more details come back on how the idea is to have deep POV with the heroine so that reader gets to really like her before the distance of several chapters in the hero's POV. Oh, yeah. That goal. No pressure.
So, I'm a little chicken to dive in. A little stalling with blog hopping is too tempting to resist and, in almost my first visit, I come across:

... sometimes deep POV in the opening of the story is counterproductive. If the character isn't easy to like, consider easing into forcing the reader to "be her."

Wishy washy me thinks at first that this gets me off the hook. Then I think, dislike? No, that's not my plan. I want, more than that, deep empathy. Deep POV is good.
But then I start thinking about how "easy" it may be to alienate the character from the reader by being too familiar. It can work brilliantly, but I can see how it is expecting a heck of a lot to show a character's faults and expect empathy through identification on the first meeting. In the example in the blog, the author has heroine make snarky comments out of character in the beginning of the story. I'm sure she's not trying to create dislike, but that feeling in the reader of, oh yeah, I've had days like that. And, as always will happen, I can see the problem when someone else does it; out of character from what? We don't know what is in character to know what is out of character. Everyone has a bad day, but does a writer really want to create a first impression that will take some fixing?

Granted, in my story's beginning I'm not planning on sadding my heroine with any obvious dislikable characteristics, like snarkiness, but there are faults. Boy, does she have faults! But I'm looking carefully at first impression; is she sympathetically insecure (intended) or whining (from some unintentional out of character miss-step?). The idea is to introduce her with no explanation. Maybe it is a good thing I have fresh eyes to view her first impression. :)

Now I'm warmed up and ready to open the squeaky folder take a look! (Btw, believe it or not it is snowing on this May 7th!)

What kind of first impression do your characters make? How do you jump back into a story after a long break?

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