Let’s take the scene from the gal’s point of view. Action!
She gave him a nice long hot going over, ending with his fine dark eyes.
He glanced away, then back. Who me?
Yes, you. I’m coming to get you.
Eyes a-twinkle, he answered her dare with a slight nod. Yes! She set off across the room, seduction on her mind and in the sway of her hips. He leaned back on the bar, a smile lifting a corner of his luscious mouth.
Cut! Too many words. Let’s try that from the guy’s point of view.
She walked. He salivated.
How do you decide the point of view (POV) character? Yeah, I heard you, whoever has the most to lose in a scene gets point of view. Or whoever has the most to say, if you’re watching word count.
Let’s try something different to help you figure it out. How about if a person who has nothing to lose gets POV?
I heard that snort of disparagement. I also heard the question you wouldn’t voice.
Put POV in the hands of a random stranger who couldn’t care less about the outcome of the scene?
Yep, a stranger.
But not a cool omniscient observer. Instead, choose a curious person (call them Pat) who just happens to be in close proximity and has been on both sides of the scenario. For the example, in my opening, Pat knows what it’s like to be a seducer and the seduced. Being without gender, Pat fully understands and shares the emotions of the man and the woman.
What flows through Pat’s senses? What outcome does Pat hope for? What would surprise Pat? If Pat was permitted one moment of interference, what would Pat do?
Have you got a scene that’s just not working? Let Pat explore your scene. Is your POV decision any easier? Did you get an interesting bonus by way of plot twist or character reveal?
© Joan Leacott 2011, x-posted at Voices from the Heart