Friday, March 06, 2009

POV and the *Fine Art* of Novel Writing

It seems to me that while we want to use the craft of writing correctly, we should also remember that writing is one of the fine arts.

And we should balance the correctness of the craft of writing with the freedom of the fine art of writing.

Grammar is important for its own sake and for clarity of meaning, especially in practical matters.

I read an article in the news wherein a reporter's misplaced modifier had the mother of the murderer committing the murders. Minor detail. Not, LOL.

But where Point Of View--meaning, the person that the scene is about, and all his or her perceptions of the scene, and hers, only--is in question about whether or not we can know that a squirrel relishes his freedom, or if two victorious fighter jets soar in a ballet, from the pilots' point of view, or a man would know his bride is wearing chiffon--I think we should think about the *fine art*--and allow ourselves a little literary license.

Most of our readers will be women who appreciate a cute little squirrel's feelings, and a bridesmaid in chiffon, and have never heard of POV any more than we did before we started writing. They're not looking for it and wouldn't recognize the minor issues we discussed.

In painting, we have to know the rules about how to mix colors, or we end up with gray or brown. I love this Matisse, but I think it's a little muddy in color--especially the faces. Plus I think it needs more contrast in brightness, for instance. And I wish I had his talent, too.

But there are many painting styles. Not all good paintings must be as realistic as a photo, as we know.

I think we can stifle creativity with too many rules.
I think POV rules should go the way of the digital watch.

Not completely, of course. But the other is much prettier.

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