Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Omniscient narrators

Having decided that it wasn't Usenet that was preventing me from writing, I have started posting to rec.arts.sf.composition again. However reading at work was encroaching on some of my writing slots so I have stopped downloading it to the laptop and now only read it at home, keeping it manageable by marking lots of it as "Uninteresting" and using Turnpike's Break thread option to hive off the boring parts of interesting threads.

Currently there's an interesting thread on viewpoint, which led to an interesting revelation about the different ways I write tight filtered third and omniscient.

When I'm doing tight filtered (aka subjective) third, I choose my POV characters and then try as far as possible to become them (as it were). In order to select what happens in the story, I simply follow them around and record their experiences, editing out the boring stuff and cutting from one POV character to another, as required.

With the omni for Moving a Mountain, however, I feel like a detached invisible mind-reading observer who can fly around wherever she likes. Choosing what to write next is far more complicated than in tight third because I have to decide whether to do a little overview passage or whether to go and visit a character (or characters) and see what they're up to. I can "spy" on a well established character (like Wil or Ceri) or suddenly realise that we need to see how the news of the impending disaster at the mothballed magical research centre is received back in the main city of Flagg, thus bringing in a couple of characters we've never met before, something that wouldn't work in tight third.

It's great fun. *g*

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