On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Victim's POV

I have been sick, so I haven't posted.

Victim's POV,

You all have seen it, some character introduced and then, WHAM, by the end of a few paragraphs or pages, the victim is dead and the reader knows there is a cruel, nasty and deadly killer out there.

First, if well done, it yanks on the emotions to get the reader interested in the book, it foreshadows that the protagonist or love interest will be in danger, probably from the same killer.

But this is getting to be so standard that I am tired of it. I recently read a new book where this was done, and done well, and the victim was never mentioned in the rest of the book. Her body was not found, the characters never knew to avenge her, nothing. It bothered me quite a bit and I felt myself resenting that the author toyed with my emotions.

So I will let you decide whether to use it or not, and many, many folks have, but unless it contributes a REAL clue to a mystery that you want the reader to know and no one else, I would say skip it. Others may be tiring of this, too.

May you be strong and happy today.


Blogger Peggy said...

Oh, holy gods, YES!

I recently returned a book to Borders that had not one, not two, but FOUR different victim POVs early on in the story. Those took up something like 50 pages, and scattered within those 50 pages were two scenes from the heroine's POV. (I deduced this was the heroine because (a) she was still alive, and (b) the back cover blurb focused on her.)

That's an egregious example (though by no means the worst example I've read; an old SF novel comes to mind that had people being introduced and killed for more than 100 pages, and THEN introduced the hero), but it's egregious examples that make this such a problem.

The other egregious example, of course, is when a single event of this type is done badly (which, IME, is most of the time).

Can you tell you hit one of my sore spots? (grin)

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

The way you write your posts is very intaresting and unusual. I`ll follow your further posts.

7:42 AM  

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