What’s the point (of view)?
I’m in the process of revision right now and questioning every decision–the biggest of which was to change the manuscript from 1st person to 3rd. I had an epiphany early last week that I should do this because there were some issues with the narrator; mainly, it was that she seemed omniscient for a first person narrator. She also seemed too confessional and I worry that this would put her whole character in jeopardy–deeming her unreliable, etc.
So I am making this switch and while I had approached it wholeheartedly, now I’m wondering if I’m making the right choice. I believe I am, but, you know, it will suck if I make this switch and then not feel like it’s the right one to make afterall.
But that’s why we keep multiple copies and versions, right?
This morning I turned to Stephen Koch’s The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop for some back up and guidance. I didn’t find anything specific to my cause, but I love what he has to say here:
Meanwhile, classroom overemphasis on “point of view” often leaves writers blind to one incomparably rich perspective that is left out of this discussion. I’m speaking of the voice, the mind, and the “sensibility” of the novel itself. In any decent piece of fiction, there will be certain perceptions and thoughts that cannot be ascribed to any of the characters. They are the thoughts and the perceptions of the work. The works sees, comprehends, and conveys all kinds of meaning that are quite inaccessible to any given character. They belong to the work alone.