Rule Breaker

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Picasso

A fantastic bit of advice, but as a “pre-published” writer, not one I can enjoy. Great reasons exist for this, me gaining experience being the most convincing. Giving the wrong impression to agents, another.

Even so, there is one I sometimes break. One that even contest judges have appreciated because the transition was smooth and the tension spiked – switching POV (point of view) during an intimate scene without doing a scene break. (To be clear, I’m talking about trade length fiction, not category romance, novellas etc.)

Writers, editors, and agents have dug in on this issue in several camps. Near the tent, the staunch “Don’t do it, ever” are huddled around the “this works” fire. I appreciate the warmth that outlook provides┬ábecause the last thing a writer should do is confuse the reader. The next bunch are willing to wander from the fire to dip their toes into the mountain stream of pacing and voice. They say, “You may change POV once during the scene, but that’s IT.” Okay. Hmm.

As an author who writes in close third person, I should write a scene in the character’s POV of whomever has the greatest stakes. Who has the most to lose? Who is struggling the most? That’s the “head” we should be invading. Obviously the protagonist gets first dibs because it’s her story.

So what if both characters are experiencing high stakes, have something to lose, and are risking something huge to have this intimate moment? To come together and create something new. Doesn’t the reader want to hear from both people?

Bestselling authors shift the POV. Seamlessly. I’ll let their readers answer that question.

Killer Nashville

So grateful for my Killer Nashville experience in Franklin, TN. With over 1K finalists in the Claymore competition I was honored to be a finalist and rub elbows with such a fun, high-caliber group of writers. Keynotes were inspiring and as always, I take advantage of pitching. My thanks to Clay Stafford and all the volunteers who made the event such a success.