The rules, like the component parts of what we call a ‘car’, assisted in the experience. I—me, personally—knew every character in my story. I’d created them, knew their backstories, their secrets, their issues. I had cried when they suffered, laughed at their witty dialogue, glowed with pride when they finally found true love or whatever.
The problem was, while I knew and understood ALL these things, the reader didn’t.
.....So today, we will focus on POV, since most newbies have no clue what it is, how to use it or even that POV is the core way readers ‘follow’ our story. We need to understand what makes sense to them on an intuitive level (as in BRAIN STRUCTURE stuff).
Point of View
Through which character’s perspective is the reader experiencing the story? I have an oldie but goodie post of Point of View and why POV Prostitution (a.k.a. head-hopping) is bad for those who want further explication beyond what I’m giving here.
POV is the most fundamental ‘writing rule’ we must understand if we want readers to not only want to set out on a journey but finish it and love the experience. We must ‘follow the reader’ in that we need to think through their perspective, not just ours.
How is the reader being fed information? What details are important? Who’s story is it? Why is this a story worth money, time, and attention?
Writing Rules for First Person:
Uses the pronouns ‘I/me/mine/my’ and is the most psychologically intimate of the perspectives. This is why it’s been a super popular choice for the social media generation who’s used to being all up in someone’s biz.
First-Person breaks into two camps: The I Remember When and the Come Along with Me. Other than beating the hell out of the pronoun, ‘I’, this is where most writers will run into trouble."
I advise my memoir students to write in first-person point of view. After all, if I am writing about my life, I am the narrator so the reader must be in my head as he/she reads my stories. I want to tell the reader what I remember and how it made me feel. I can't tell you what another remembers or how the events made them feel unless I interview that other person. Then I can tell you what he/she said about the events.
Kristen Lamb has a huge following and she teaches writing classes. Check out her blog and website. You might find that she can help you with your writing.