A little Perspective goes a Long Way

POVI’ve discussed this in the past, but you know how much I love revisiting things I’ve talked about before. Here’s the thing, we work in an ever-changing industry, one where you can never stop learning. Sounds like a doctor’s office. Yet it’s true. It doesn’t mean that what was discovered yesterday is less important, it’s just not as current.

And things that you think might remain static, guess what? They can change too. Just like that. Take point of view for example. When I was in high school and even my early years in college, there were only three: first, second, and third person.

Sounds simple, right?

Wrong.

Yes, I said that’s wrong. Now, if you’re a fiction writer, no need to fret over second person point of view. It isn’t really used for fiction. More for essays and writing along those lines. So for our purposes, I’m only going to discuss the other two.

Except it really isn’t just two points of view. In fact, first and third are really four points of view.

Let me explain.first-person-narrator-definition-and-example_copy_122178

First person is pretty straight forward. Everything in the story is told from one person’s point of view at a time. If I have a story with Emily and Jack and the story is told in first person from Emily’s perspective that means that everything the reader knows is only what Emily knows. Not only that, but it also means the reader only knows what Emily can see, feel, hear, or smell. All knowledge that is gleaned is from what Emily has already experienced, can identify for herself, or has been told by someone else.

Simple, right?

While it might be easy to understand first person, third gets a little more complicated. There’s third person limited, third person omniscient, and a most recent addition of third person deep.

Third person limited is just as easy as first person. They are almost the exact same. The only difference is that the perspective isn’t “I,” it’s all “he” or “she.” All of the information that the reader gains is the same, but there is the unspoken presence of a narrator. Most often the narrator is viewed as the author, but not always. third_person_limited_thumbnail_122069While that would be a great discussion, it is something I’ll save for a later date. Back to third person limited. Everything the reader learns is told from one person’s perspective by this unspoken narrator. And typically the entire story is from the same person’s perspective or the main character.

Here’s an example of the difference.

First person: “Swallowing my nervousness, I walked up to the door and knocked.”

Third person limited: “Stroking up some courage, Emily walked over to the door and knocked.”

See the difference? Okay. Moving on.

Next, we have third person omniscient. The basic principle is that the narrator is God. Again, the story is told in “he” and “she,” but every character’s thoughts are known by the reader. If done correctly, the story will still move smoothly and flow well together, especially since this omniscient presence can go from one paragraph to another with two characters and reveal each character’s thoughts.

Here’s two examples:

From The Cost of Fame by Shay Stone

“Richard called after her, ‘Do me a favor, Alexandra? Remember this moment. My guess is you’ll be thinking a lot about it in the weeks to come.” Without turning around Alex held up her middle finger and continued on her way.

‘God, I love that fire in her,’ Richard remarked to Chase who looked a bit like a deer in headlights after witnessing their exchange. Steed pointed to a drink. ‘This one’s hers?’”

In the first example, you get a bit of Alex and Richard. Even though Alex walked away, the action didn’t stop. The reader sees, knows, hears, and smells it all.What-is-Third-Person-Omniscient-1

Here’s another one.

From Light in August by William Faulkner

“‘They?’ the man said. ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Well, if Jefferson aint too long about it.’ He shifted his grip on the old man’s arm. ‘Where do you want us to put him?’ The woman moved then. She descended the steps and approached. ‘We’ll tote him into the house for you,’ the man said.

‘I can tote him,’ she said. She and Hines were about the same height, though she was the heavier. She grasped him beneath the arms. ‘Eupheus,’ she said, not loud; ‘Eupheus.’ She said to the two men, quietly: ‘Let go. I got him.’ They released him. He walked a little now. They watched her help him up the steps and into the door. She did not look back.”

There is a rather obvious omniscient narrator here directing our attention to what the narrator feels is important.

Both are third person omniscient and yet both are different. Again, not something I’m going to discuss further here.

With all of that said, only one remains: third person deep. If you’re saying, “I’ve never heard of that before,” then my response would be, “I’m not surprised.” I only learned of its existence in the last few years. And if you’ve read my previous discussion, then you’d know I describe it as first and third omniscient got drunk one night and had a baby, which leads us to third person deep.

Third person deep is told from one person’s perspective at a time. This may be limited to one chapter and/or one scene. Whether it is one or the other, it is all from that one character. We get their internal thoughts like we do in first person, but it’s all told in third person. At the same time, we will get someone else’s thoughts in the next scene or chapter, kind of like we do in omniscient. Oh, and that pesky narrator … they are practically non-existent.

teaching_point_of_viewThe concept behind third person deep is that you get more show and less tell in third person. Makes perfect sense, right?

If not, let me give you some examples and show you what I mean.

From Avenged by Krys Fenner 

“‘Not trying to keep me away, are you?’ Miah grabbed Bella by the waist and pulled her close. Caressing her cheek, he pressed his lips to hers, kissing her like he hadn’t seen her in months.

The kiss stole her breath away. She hated lying to him.  Part of her wanted to drop the bullshit and tell him  the truth right then and there. If only she had a better idea of what exactly she was getting into. Keeping him safe required she proceed with caution. Hopefully, she wouldn’t irrevocably damage their relationship in the process.”

From Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

“‘We need to get out an APB.’ Was that his voice? It sounded hoarse, like he’d been to a football game and screamed for two hours. ‘White male, six-six, two seventy. Dressed in black leather, wearing sunglasses, shoulder-length dark hair.’ Butch threw out a hand, steadying himself against the building. ‘Suspect not armed. Only because I stripped him. He’ll be restocked within the hour, no doubt.’

When he stepped forward, he swayed.

‘Jesus.’ José grabbed his arm, holding him up.”

horace1
Courtesy of BrainyQuote.com

Between these two examples, I hope you get the picture. If not, think about it like this, the reader is entirely inside the character’s head as if the character is the narrator, except everything is told in third person as if the narrator is an outside person. That probably sounds way more complicated than it is. Hmm, let’s try this. God is the one telling the story, but he is limited to one person at a time. Make sense?

Good. Now, you have a better understanding of the difference between these four perspectives. As for choosing one to write in, well, I can’t do that for you. I can only tell you I’m bias toward Third Deep. Go figure. To find what works for you, you’ll have to find what you’re comfortable writing in and then practice until the sun goes down and it gets as close to perfect as possible.

Because no one is perfect.

Help an Author Out

Guest blog by Shay Stone

ShayStoneHelp an Author Out: 11 Things You Can Do to Help an Author

It’s finally here! For months you’ve listened to your author friend talk about her book. You’ve seen posts about late nights spent writing, teasers about the plot, and snippets of her work. She’s talked about one man so much, you though it was her new boyfriend, only to find out it was a character in her book.

She’s gone home early because inspiration hit, broken plans because “she has to get this chapter done,” and arrived late to events because she was up all-night writing and overslept. You’ve noticed her house could use a good cleaning and the copious amount of coffee she drinks coupled with her failure to change out of bed clothes is starting to concern you. And seriously, what is going on with her hair? Did someone steal all the brushes in the house? Honestly, you’re surprised she has any hair left with how much she talks about tearing it out. I mean really? How hard can formatting be? At this point, you’re questioning her sanity and starting to think the book is a myth.

And then she announces its release.beawriter

Hurrah! You’re so happy for her, and even happier that she finally ran a comb through that hair. You hope her book sells a million copies. You wish you could do something to let her know how proud you are of her and help her book succeed. But what can you do?

Well, if you really want to help, there’s a few things you can do.

  • Buy the book (obviously). Despite what many people think, authors do not get free copies of books. Don’t feel slighted when they don’t go around handing them out free. They are trying to make a living or very least, break even.
  • Write a review. There is a plethora of authors and millions of books for readers to choose from out there. A testimonial that someone not only read the book but gives it a ton of stars and recommends it, can go a long way towards getting another person to purchase it. Think about it. review-an-authorIf you’re trying to decide between two products at the exact same price, are you going to go for the one with no reviews or several? Reviews sell books.
  • Share their posts. Research shows most people have to see something 3-10 times before they buy it. Maybe it slips their mind. Maybe they get busy and forget about it. Maybe they are waiting for pay day. Whatever the reason, repetition works.
  • Tag your friends in the author’s posts. When someone is tagged in a post, they tend to pay more attention to it. If you have friends that read or know someone that reads the author’s genre tagging them could lead to potential sales. And tagging them in the author’s post could encourage them to follow the author as well resulting in future sales. If you don’t want to tag the author’s post, make a post of your own and tag people.
  • Recommend the book to any reader groups you know. Whether you meet in person or belong to one on social media or have a friend that belongs to one, having someone the group knows and interacts with regularly goes further than having a new author pop in and recommend it themselves.
  • Buy their books as gifts. If you know someone that likes to read the author’s genre, buy the books as birthday or Christmas gifts.
  • Offer to be part of their street team. Street teams are volunteers that promote the author and the author’s work simply because they love the author’s books and believe in them. They are essential to an author’s success. hand-holding-book-gift-woman-s-31446233They may hand out bookmarks or other swag provided by the author, leave comments about the books on blog sites, write honest reviews on large platforms like Amazon and Goodreads, and tweeting or post on social media about the author’s books and events.
  • Share! Share! Share! Whatever the author shares about the book, share it. Teasers, guest blog posts they’ve done, book links. I can’t tell you how many times I have written “PLEASE SHARE” in big letters on a post, yet I still have people sending me a private message saying, “I saw your post. Would you mind if I shared it?” You don’t have to ask permission. We want these things shared. Please, for the love of everything holy, share them!
  • Recommend their book. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or if you are standing in a line and you hear the person behind you is looking for a good book, recommend it.Share
  • Ask your library or local book store to carry it. I know the library may seem a little strange since the author only gets paid once for that book but think about it like this: A patron reads the author’s book and likes it. They go out and buy it for a friend or two and maybe even buy the author’s next book for themselves. Some people won’t spend money on a chance. If they get to see the author’s work, they may become a fan in the future.

Thank-You-PNG-800x500_cKNOW HOW MUCH WE APPRECIATE YOU!!!!! No one person can do it all. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an army to get an author noticed and make them successful. Every time you share a post or recommend us, you are telling us, “I believe in you.” We couldn’t do this with out you and we know it.

If you’d like to learn more and follow Shay Stone, you can find her on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and her website.

Never Give Up

Guest Blog by Shay Stone

ShayStoneHey everyone!

My name is Shay Stone, and I should focus this post on telling you about my new contemporary romance The Rise to Fame. But I’m not going to. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I will share my book information at the end and ask that you buy a copy for yourself and everyone you know because I’m an author and I need to sell books. However, for this post, I’d like to discuss something a little more personal to help you understand why this release is such a big deal for me. I hope it will serve as an inspiration for you as well.

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but several years ago I was involved in a bad car accident. I’m not going to tell you how many years ago, because, well I’m a woman and therefore telling my age goes against the woman’s code. Honestly, I usually end up telling people I’m a year older than I actually am. I don’t know why. I blame it on the head injury.mentallystrong

Yep, that’s right. I have a head injury. Technically, it is called a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Among other things, the accident affected my occipital and sub-occipital nerves which affected my vision. My eyes couldn’t focus together. If I tried to read or look at a computer, the sentences would all converge and float off the page or would disappear because my peripheral vision was also affected. For years, I couldn’t read or look at a computer. If I did, I would have body leveling migraines or mini-seizures – which I can best describe by saying it makes you feel spacey and like everything is happening in slow motion.

And if that wasn’t enough, my ability to think also suffered. I confused words that sounded similar. In my head, I knew they weren’t the right ones, but my brain dubbed certain words as “close enough” and substituted them. I once had a conversation with an old boss where I kept saying “astronomical” instead of “astonishing.” It didn’t inspire his confidence in me.

It’s hell. It’s embarrassing. And it’s totally uncontrollable.

NeverSeeMeQuitThat’s why writing this series is such a big deal for me. After intense hours of vision therapy and brain training, or re-training techniques, I kicked my head injuries butt! To be fair, the retirement of CRTs and upgrade to LCD or plasma screens helped. I’m not saying I don’t still struggle or have issues – to this day I still can’t look at a CRT and sometimes I physically cannot make myself say the correct word– but I wouldn’t let myself give up.

And that’s the point of this post. I wanted to be a writer. So, against all odds, I became a writer. At first, it was tough. I typed with the computer screen off or with a notebook covering it and relied on my editor and publisher to fix any errors. But this series, I did everything. I still had an editor, of course, but I was able to go in and make changes and rework things to bring my readers the best story I could. I didn’t give up.

And I don’t want you to either. Whatever you are doing… whatever you want in life… don’t stop going until you get it. Make yourself mentally strong. And when you encounter obstacles, refuse to let them stop you. Go around them, plow through them or blow the damn things up if you have to, just whatever you do, don’t let that negative voice in your head beat you. This is your life.

TH-RISE-TO-FAME-3D-GRAPHIC-available-now_preview
Purchase on Amazon here or Kobo or Apple here.

Make it whatever you want it to be no matter how crazy or daunting it might seem. Don’t settle. Be determined. You can do it. I believe in you. Now believe in yourself.

Please check out my steamy and suspenseful contemporary romance The Rise to Fame available now. It is the first book of a two book series. The second book, The Cost of Fame, is due out September 2018.

If you’d like to learn more and follow Shay Stone, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her website.