Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | January 23, 2012

British bride WIP excerpt, playing with POV

Part of my playing about with this story involves writing a scene from each of the two main characters’ points of view.  

He watched her enter the restaurant, savoring the few seconds that he could observe her before she saw him. Although not surprised, he was briefly dismayed at his immediate physical reaction to seeing her. What a beautiful woman she was, certainly attractive in the conventional sense, but so vibrant. There was nothing pastel about her—her dark hair and eyes such a contrast to her flawless ivory skin, the deep red lipstick accentuating her mouth, whose strength balanced her face perfectly. She caught sight of him and the faint smile she wore blossomed into a full, warm one that started his heart pounding. She walked toward him, poised and graceful. He couldn’t take his eyes away from her. He reached down to kiss her lightly on the cheek, which he had to admit to himself was a male territorial thing, as he noticed the eyes of every man in the place devouring her much as he had just done

 

She had to admit that she had put a lot into her appearance before meeting him—he would certainly say that she got “gussied up.” She was more nervous than she expected to be, which she found somewhat surprising. Not to boast, but she was rather used to men’s attentions, and usually gloried in it. But then, there was something different about him-it was important that he like her.

When she went in the door, she didn’t see him at first; looking around, it was only a second or two before she saw him, resplendent in his uniform, his eyes sparkling, mirroring the smile on his absolutely handsome face. He walked over to her, leaned over, and kissed her briefly on the cheek. The kiss was soft, but had an impact all the way down to her stomach. She wanted to remember the touch of his lips forever.

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Responses

  1. I really liked the male POV. I was able to easily put myself into his mind and his story, and I wanted to more about his connection to this woman.

    The female POV – it feels less alive. Like, perhaps, you were having more trouble getting behind her eyes and into her skin?

    Maybe it’s not all women, but I have some very specific things that catch my attention in a man’s face. Eyes, first. Next, smile – I know the difference between genuine and contrived smiles. I like ones that go right up into the eyes. I also like beards.

    If a man has kind, intelligent, humorous eyes, a real smile, and a beard – I’m sold. I don’t need overall handsomeness.

    But I could easily be atypical. All I know is that nearly fifteen years ago, I met this guy with merrily twinkling, color-changing eyes, a great smile and a beard that is now blue. I married that guy – he wasn’t thin, and he was bald.

    It was a GOOD decision!

    I don’t know if any of that will be helpful, but I enjoyed sharing.=)

    • Shan, I agree with you absolutely. The male lead has been chattering in my brain for a year, and the female lead–nope. Thanks for the thoughts–I think that I need to find out what my female lead likes in men.

      I hear you about the specific things that are attractive about a man. Twenty-six years ago, I met a man with twinkly eyes, a nice smile, and a beard, who was totally not my physical type at all. Yup, I married him. 😀

      • My “type” is tall and slender and dark – I fantasized about dark-eyed babies growing up.

        Jim looks like a happier, thinner Henry VIII. With a blue beard. And a pierced ear. =)

        Jim’s type is petite with straight white-blonde hair.

        I am 5’9″ a little more ample than voluptuous, and my hair is thick and dark (shot now with silver) and untamably wavy.

        Good thing we both value other things than “our type”…..

        Oh, and our kids?

        Yup. Those dancing, sparkling, merry, most cherished pairs of eyes in my world are very, very blue. Like mine. Like their father’s.

        And I don’t mind it at all. =)

        When are you moving to Albany? The kids have been asking for a trip to the State Museum there……it’s less than an hour drive; nothing, for us! =)

        • That’s interesting, Shan. My “type” is like yours, only I am fascinated with blue eyes (well, he does have those). I am his type–short, dark, and petite (well, I used to be petite!)

          Our eldest son has my coloring and his dad’s personality; our youngest has his coloring (platinum blond when born, darkening as he gets older, and bright blue eyes) and my personality. Genes are very interesting.

          We will be moving to Albany around the first weekend of March. We will stop half-way to visit our eldest daughter in Virginia Beach for a few days, but should land about midweek. We don’t start work until the 15th of March, so I would love to have a cuppa.

  2. I like the dual point of view and I think it works well; I’m using a similar thing in my work where I use third person and a lot of dialogue to move the plot along but then switch to first person in the form of letters and a diary to get introspection and greater character development.

    • That’s an interesting mixture of POVs, Janet. I wrote this piece over a year ago in first person POV; I’m having some trouble switching completely to third, but you may have given me a way out of my dilemma!

  3. Switching POVs is a challenge for me. I’m working on that with my MIP too.

    • Isn’t it just the worst? I wrote this piece in first POV, then read all the blogs and advice about NOT using first. I thought it would be easy to switch, but there are so many little things that I can only get away with in first, so … grr! Let me know if you find any great insights into how to switch easily. 🙂

  4. I have to agree with Shan that the male POV came across as stronger and more developed. There’s a sense that details are being noticed in his view that hers have not considered. You need to get to know here better.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure if first person POV would be THAT horrible to work with. First person CAN be bad (the classic case of “I”-sore standing out as a biggie to avoid), but if you are looking for an intimacy of reader to narrator interaction, it can be ideal. Not sure what effect you want in the long term.

    Of course, I love playing with POVs, so I probably should just stop talking here now. 😉

    • Thank you for the advice, Eden. I blush that I seem not to have responded to this comment before now, I’m *so* sorry. I agree that I need to get to know her better; and I may leave some excerpts in first person to see how folks read it–it might work, as you say.

      Again, my apologies! I will ponder your suggestions. 🙂

      • It’s okay. You have life interfering. I hope now you will feel more able to get stuff done now.

  5. I have a bad habit of switching points of view when I am writing and I end up having to go back and correct it later. Quite a pain. I like the idea from Mrs Bongle of switching to first person in letters. I have one story that I had such a hard time with, it is written in an interview format because it was the only way I could get my characters talking. 😀

    Peace,
    Morgan

    • Thank you for your comments, Morgan. I like Janet’s idea of using letters for the internal thoughts that are often only expressed in first person pov. An interview would work in some cases as well–that is a clever solution.

      I appreciate your stopping by. I hope you have a lovely week.


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