Point of View Problems

A black and white photo of a mechanical keyboard in close up

I hit a snag in my novel, and it’s been bumming me out.

After two months of revisions, including a detailed copy edit for grammar and punctuation, I read the novel one more time. A mere formality, I told myself, because I’d completed my writing process ™ and the book should be complete.

Ha! The joke was on me, because the novel was so not ready. Ye gads! The sharp disappointment of thinking you’re done when you’re not… It was like reaching the end of a marathon, only to find another marathon waiting.


Not all the news is bad. The story’s premise, plot, and characters are compelling. (Whew!) But the backstory in act one made my eyes glaze over. And worst of all, the narrative camera angles are entirely wrong. Instead of dropping the reader into the moment, I stand in the corner describing things awkwardly. That’s a problem that can’t be fixed with sentence tweaks. Now I’m looking at a full rewrite of the text to fix my point of view problem.

I’ve got so much work to do! And I’m going to be behind on my goals for the year. What a big fat disappointment.

I wasted most of this week feeling sorry for myself. And that makes me think it’s not only my novel that needs a new POV. I need one too. So let’s do some positive self-talk! Here we go:

Hey Cheri…

  • It’s better to write a great story than a fast one.
  • This is your first suspense novel and your first third-person POV novel. That’s a lot of firsts! You shouldn’t expect to nail it the first time.
  • And now that you know what’s broken, you can fix it.

And if that doesn’t work…

  • Girl up and get back to work, you keyboard-banging motherfucker!

Profanity makes me laugh, so I had to throw that last one in. And now that I’m laughing, I guess I’m ready to get back to work.

Lessons Learned

Quality > Speed

Don’t get cocky.

Save the copy edits until you’re sure you’re done.

To Do

Find good examples of Third-Person Limited POV and pull samples of narrative elements. (Scene openings, movement, transitions, description, internal dialog vs narration)

Compare to the current book.

Cut backstory by half.

Rewrite manuscript with POV changes.

Cheri's Micro Blog @Cheri
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