POV and Don Winslow’s Savages
I am finding the hardest part of rewriting The Forgiving is perfecting the point of view (POV).
Most modern novels are first person or third person. The POV for my horror novel The Forgiving is an omniscient POV that dips into third person. This gives me a lot of power to tell my story (I am a god!), but also means I have to be very careful about head hopping.
Head hopping is when a writer changes perspectives from one character to another in the same scene. Example: Dick thought this about Jane, and Jane thought that about Dick. It can confuse and take the reader out of the story. (Who should I identify with? Whose story is this? I can’t keep everyone’s motives straight!) Even effective omniscient POV runs the risk of distancing the reader from the action.
An example of an effective use of omniscient POV is Savages by Don Winslow. Don kicks this POVs ass by having a very strong narrative voice.
If I could, I would use third person exclusively, but it just wouldn’t work. The Forgiving is about three people experiencing a haunted house together, with no lead character. Savages is also about three characters, with no lead. With both stories, it can’t be about the perspective of one person; it has to be about the story of these three people together.
On the plus side, once the reader cares about all three characters, they are in for one wild ride.
Don Winslow did it; now I just have to get it to work too.
Progress: At just over 41,000 words, the first draft of The Forgiving is finished! Editing is well underway.