A few weeks ago I attended FenCon as a panelist. I got the opportunity to give my Secret of Viewpoint presentation again (I had previously given it at FantaSci in March).
One of the worst misconceptions people have is that pronouns (I/me vs he/him or she/her) make a viewpoint work. It’s not their fault. Most of us are told this lie again and again, whether we took formal writing courses or not.
Another misconception is that if Big Name Author can get away with head-hopping, telling, and a multitude of sins, a new writer can do the same. The truth is that both readers and editors are biased and will give established writers the benefit of the doubt, but will hold new or new-to-them writers to a different (often, much higher) standard.
I then go into the differences between omniscient, third distant, third close, and first person, and show you how they are about far more than pronouns. Via working examples I show you the importance of “whose voice are we actually reading” and how viewpoint errors can lead to reader confusion–confusion that Big Name Author will get a pass on but you won’t. Then I will show you how to make an error viewpoint compliant and the difficulties of having to take a manuscript full of such errors and redrafting it.
This presentation is the culmination of tons of rejections, discussions with buying editors, and some graduate-level study on the intricacies of viewpoint in fiction. I selected this material based on my experience in helping many people make their stories viewpoint compliant.
I feel so strongly about the power of viewpoint being essential to your success as a writer that I’ve put the essentials into a form that’s easy to learn and apply. The presentation is broken into 12 segments (the longest is about 10 minutes long) that make it easy to pause and take notes.
Be sure to like the videos and subscribe to my channel. I plan on posting additional material in the future.
The link for the Secret of Viewpoint playlist is here.