Tuesday, January 24, 2017

POV

I have been thinking of giving this blog a little break and picking it up again maybe in the summer if it seems a better time. It doesn't have very many readers and only rarely comments. If you are one of the readers, please consider leaving a comment or emailing me as to whether you look forward to it or feel it's repetitive and you're considering dropping it also. Readers and writers help each other when they interact even if only a little.



This excerpt is from one of my personal favorite contemporary books, Her Dark Angel. One scene in it came right out of one of my dreams. I consider it a bit of a beauty and the beast story (the beast more the soul of the hero than his appearance as he's a very handsome man-- actor and model, Daniel Sobieray well captures the complexity of the man). 

With angel in the title, it might seem it's a supernatural story; but it's not-- even though there is one hard to explain event-- but more metaphysical and the sort of thing that shows up in the papers once in a while.

The main reason for sharing this excerpt is how the styles of writing have changed from when I wrote it in the mid-'90s to today regarding point of view. Back then to have the points of view switch around was perfectly acceptable. Today a few writers still do it, but it's much less favored. Today, it's more common to have a point of view last a scene, chapter. or more rarely a whole book. So here's the excerpt as it appears today in the book. Below it, I rewrote it keeping that scene in one point of view. I could redo the whole book and might (most of my books from the 90s were written in this style). The problem with shifting points of view is always being sure the reader knows whose head they are inside. Head hopping takes some skill to make that obvious.

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 For a moment, Dill forgot what he'd intended to do, that he'd wanted her to fight him off, to have Johnny catch them like that. Johnny's anger with him should be cause enough for them both to catch a plane to safer ground, but the feel of her against him, the softness of her body pressed against his made him lose track of his intentions. One kiss. What could one kiss hurt?
          He bent, his lips brushed hers. She started to pull away, but his hands left the wall and he wrapped his arms around her, drawing her against him. "God, sweetness," he murmured, half prayer, half entreaty as he felt her press against him, her lips softening as he again bent to claim their sweetness.
          Katy opened her mouth, letting his kiss more fully possess her. Her body was alive with the feeling of his lips, his tongue, his hands, his hard body against her. She gave up the battle and brought her arms up around his neck. In some distant corner of her brain, she thought, this was wrong, but she couldn't remember why, couldn’t push away, couldn't do anything but claim what he was offering.
          She heard a door open, felt Dill’s body tense and from somewhere found the strength to push away, except Dill held her, the smile on his lips cold as he shifted to cup her breast with his hand. She slapped ineffectually at him, beginning to feel a real anger as she understood what he was doing, all but the reasons for it
          "What the bloody hell," her uncle's yell came from the doorway.
          Dill moved away, turning to face the enraged rush of her uncle. "You punk," Johnny roared. His fist lashed out and caught Dill on the point of his chin.
          Dill made no attempt to defend himself and took the next blow too, letting Johnny vent the anger he'd known he would feel. Not wanting the older man's heart to be over worked by a fight, Dill stepped into the next wild swing and felt it lift him almost from his feet and stagger him against the wall where he slid to the ground, half dazed from the blow.
          Johnny turned back to Katy. "Did he hurt you?"
          "He… he was just kissing me."
          "I saw!" Johnny's voice rose with his anger. He turned to stare down at Dill who was rubbing his jaw. "I trusted you, and you treated her like one of your whores," he said, his voice now coming back to a more normal range.
          Dill pushed himself to his feet. "Trust?" he asked. "You used me, old man. I've always known it, and this proves it."
          Johnny stared at him, the hurt in his eyes. "How could you lay a hand on her? Don't you know what kind of woman she is?"
          "Too good for my kind? Is that it?" Dill asked, deliberately lighting a cigarette. Go for broke, that was his only thought now.
          "She's... You're..."
          Johnny stopped, unable or unwilling to voice the gulf between them. Dill wanted him angry, wanted him protective, wanted him gone, and he used a crude obscenity; then added, "She's just another woman."



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For a moment, Dill forgot what he'd intended to do, that he'd wanted her to fight him off, to have Johnny catch them like that. Johnny's anger with him should be cause enough for them both to catch a plane to safer ground, but the feel of her against him, the softness of her body pressed against his made him lose track of his intentions. One kiss. What could one kiss hurt?
Bending, his lips brushed hers. She started to pull away, but his hands left the wall, and he wrapped his arms around her, drawing her against him. "God, sweetness," he murmured, half prayer, half entreaty as he felt her press against him, her lips softening as he again bent to claim their sweetness. It shocked him as she opened her mouth, allowing him access. He felt her body come alive with the kiss-- worse, so did his. When her arms went up around his neck, he knew it was wrong, a mistake, that this had been way more than he intended.
He heard the door open and tensed his body, found the strength to push away but he had one last thing to do. He knew his smile was cold, soul destroying when he cupped her breast with his hand. She seemed to come awake and slap ineffectually at him, he saw the anger in her eyes. Good. He wanted her furious.
          "What the bloody hell," Johnny yelled from the doorway. There was shock in the old man's eyes, as his mouth dropped open. Dill moved farther from Katy ready to face the enraged rush of her uncle, the man who had done so many things for him, for whom he would have given his life. He was doing something even harder-- giving up respect and even his soul but it had to be this way.
"You punk," Johnny roared. His fist lashed out and caught Dill on the point of his chin. Dill made no attempt to defend himself and took the next blow too, letting Johnny vent the anger he'd known he would feel. Not wanting the older man's heart to be over worked by a fight, Dill stepped into the next wild swing and felt it lift him almost from his feet and stagger him against the wall where he slid to the ground, half dazed from the blow.
  Johnny turned back to Katy. "Did he hurt you?"
  "He… he was just kissing me."
  "I saw!" Johnny's voice rose with his anger. He turned to stare down at Dill who was rubbing his jaw. "I trusted you, and you treated her like one of your whores," he said, his voice now coming back to a more normal range.
 Dill pushed himself to his feet. "Trust?" he asked. "You used me, old man. I've always known it, and this proves it."
  Johnny stared at him, the hurt in his eyes. "How could you lay a hand on her? Don't you know what kind of woman she is?"
  "Too good for my kind? Is that it?" Dill asked, deliberately lighting a cigarette. Go for broke, that was his only thought now.
   "She's... You're..."  Johnny stopped, unable or unwilling to voice the gulf between them. 
Dill wanted him angry, wanted him protective, wanted him gone, and he used a crude obscenity; then added, "She's just another woman."

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I have to admit, I like the version all from Dill's view but do I really want to rewrite this book? I can't afford the time right now. So if anyone reading here is willing to give their opinion, I'd appreciate it... 





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