Another Point of View

Anyone wanting to write for the US market would do well to remember they don’t like head hopping over there.  By that I mean they prefer each section written from one point of view. 

And good on them, I say.  Personally, I prefer stories written in third person, past tense, strict point of view.  I don’t mind first person occasionally, but that’s it.  When I see anything else I usually suspect that the writer is using gimmicks to disguise thin content.  Strict POV is not difficult:  if you want to show another character’s thoughts, stick in a line break and start a new section.

Anyway, why mention this?  Well,  I spent yesterday working at the still untitled Twisted Metal 2, a novel set on a world populated by robots.  One of the interesting things about SF is it forces you to write from points of view you wouldn’t encounter in regular fiction.  Writing from a robot’s point of view means that many expressions can’t be used: expressions like ‘heart pounding’, ‘breathless exhaustion’ and ‘sick to the stomach’ to name but a few.  Robots don’t have hearts, stomachs and they don’t breath, so why would they use these terms?

This makes writing harder, not least in getting the reader to empathise with the characters.  But I think it makes writing more interesting.  At the very least, it avoids cliche.

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