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Old 04-17-2010, 08:17 AM
Lin
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Yes I suppose one could rail, and I suppose one could discuss "how writing is accomplished", but nobody here was doing either one.

Agents and publishers aren't out there looking for the right POV or enthused about a book but suddenly throwing it across the room in horror screaming, "Oh, NO... he broke the limitations of his Third Person."
Or... "Egad, we would have signed this book, but it head-hopped."

Again... "POV" is not a writing tool nor "how writing is accomplished" nor anything a writer really has to think about. He's to busy figuring out who's telling the story and what the narrative voice is.
POV and protagonist and such are CRITICAL terms, dreamed up by non-writers or commentators to discuss the writing of others. Writers don't come up with that stuff, or think that way. Unless they've been conned into it by English teachers or the usual internet rumor mill or wannabes pretending they can write because they've learned a lot of jargon.

I have never, ever, once in my life heard a reader say, "I got distracted by the head-hopping." It's an invention by the same bunch I just mentioned.

The idea that there is a "tide of opinions" that POV is a big deal that a writer needs to obssess over, and has "rules" that determine if it qualifies for "third person omnipotent" or some such category is absurd.

There is NO such drift of opinion among professional fiction writers. That's just not how the writing process works. You see "paint by the number" kits, but you don't really see a lot of books written by the numbers.

I say that getting concerned with this critical jargon is of no help to a writer (and nobody has ever shown me one single way it helps anybody write) but can fuck up their heads (and I daily see writers asking things like this one or "Can I have two protagonists without angering the Gods" or whatever.

My advice to young writers would be never to even think of the terms POV, protagonist, passive voice. It just messes you up and hurts your ability to write.
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