Sunday, February 19, 2012
UPSIDE DOWN POV 2/19/2012
Upside down POV technics 2/19/2012
We know the average man talks less than the average woman (7::20). So what you see in a novel could reflect this ratio unless your hero’s background supports verbosity or your dialogue needs a closer balance. In many romances the guy’s interior POV is also short. He speaks less and he thinks less. Well, where did all that time go? Does the male brain go into a vegetative state? Some will say a guy only uses half his brain but thinks logically. Therefore he thinks less but takes less time to think. So is the other half of the brain in a vegetative state? Most men aren’t trained in logic and even if they were their brains don’t necessarily work that way, because we all juggle many problems at once. But this method in a novel of presenting thoughts and summary thoughts is rare. This is sometimes referred to as stream of consciousness.
Let’s say the hero reaches a conclusion, but with all that extra time of not talking and supposedly not thinking, what actually happens? He rehashes, explores other possibilities, weighs alternatives, and may reach new decisions. Since romance writing leans to women as the primary audience it is traditional that the heroine’s POV is given more time, but is it realistic?
Has any of you written a character going to sleep after making a decision and then after waking changed their mind. They slept on it unintentionally. This rare technic can enrich a story via nuance, and pulling the reader in (because they can identify with the character—we've all done it).
Just one more tweak. If a woman is talking more than a man, then she would have less time to think (other than reflecting on the conversation). So, logically, doesn’t that mean her interior POV should be less? Good luck with that one. All I’m trying to do is provoke thought to enrich a scene by casting light on interesting alternatives in POV.
I once wrote a scene in which the heroine was asleep in the hero’s arms. He was, at that point in the stroy, where he needed to decide how he really felt about her and what he was going to do about it. It was a life changing decision. He agonized for five double spaced pages. My critique group made various comments along the lines of: shorten it, guys don’t think that way. I beg your pardon. I think that way and the last time I checked (hold on) yep I’m a guy. Oh, and by the way, it’s a romance. And I only did it once.
Some men use their right and left brains in different ways than commonly thought, like artists or creative types, but that’s a subject for another post.