Hi fellow writers
Now isn’t it convenient that our writer’s meeting is smack-dab on Valentines Day, the day that Hallmarks and Hershey’s are a happy bunch. Now if you and you’re special someone are out cavorting and nuzzling or doing whatever non-single folk do on this day, Happy Valentine’s Day. But if you thought I might be perky to doing some romance-themed post, I don’t give a toss about the mushy department. Now on to physic distances.
Point of View or (POV) is noticeable. If one would inexplicably describe a blogger directly using a example of altering a Point of View in a blog post of which he knows little and even less reads, then he would end with the obvious statement that it was in 3rd person, but that would get a bit too meta for this blog post and he should stop now.
What I should begin with is telling you I’m not going to pander you about 1st person or 2nd person (under-estimated, please try it) but instead going to smack around with the 3rd person viewpoint. See while its brothers 1st person and 2nd person are like receiving letters and maybe a loose nickel from charity advertisement, the 3rd person is like delivering jam in a parcel. It’s unfocused and can get messy. Here’s why it’s interesting.
– Autumn, New York City 1937. A man stood in Union station at the middle of rush-hour, he flicked a cigarette butt.
– The end died in a smoldering flare, the butt spun to the ground, crushed under the heel of a faceless mass pushing against each other.
They are both in 3rd person, describing the exact same situation, but they are not the same. So what’s it called?
Psychic distance is the range of distance that you as a writer get to play with when determining how far and close you want the camera positioned to the characters. This can go from omniscient narrator like you are just the spectator in a multiplayer match; to the camera shoved into character’s head so far in it uses eyelids as shutters.
I will say easy to learn, difficult to master. It’s more of style and a writer’s decision that decides the degree but I’ll just go over three main penetrations of the 3rd person.
– Omniscient narrator: This is the god viewpoint, the one which follows anyone and everyone around. Nothing is hidden that the omniscient narrator cannot see and likewise the reader. Good for the freedom, but because nothing is hidden from the reader there is a limit on what kind of stories can be written.
– 3rd-person light penetration: This is a common one, he-said, she -said are the salt and pepper and while the only scenes are the scenes the character is in, it’s not in his/her voice. It’s like a personal cameraman is following the character around and recording his thoughts.
– 3rd-person deep penetration: In the crudest sense, take the 1st person except replace the I and me with him/her. This is where actual thoughts are to be assumed to be the character, and everything is filtered through his/her eyes. Pretend that there is a little goblin riding behind the character’s eyes and thinking words into print.
1st step: In a play of psychic differences. Create a character that has an encounter with something/someone. Do this in omniscient narrator; remember to bounce around in both people’s heads, adding things that these characters may not or admit to knowing.
2nd step: Same thing, but in 3rd person light penetration.
3rd step: As above, but in deep penetration.
p.s. if you are in a bit of a rush just pick an established character i.e. Bartelby the scrivener, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes etc and recreate a scene.