Heirs of War Blog Tour
Everyone, please welcome Mara Valderran! On today’s stop for the blog tour, Mara talks about writing in different POV. In her book, Heirs of War, Mara masters the skill by writing it in five different POVs. What better person to talk about it than her?
Mara Valderran has been coming up with stories pretty almost since she could talk, often commandeering her brother’s G.I. Joes to play out her fictional tales alongside her Barbies. Once she hit adolescence and realized playing with dolls wasn’t cool anymore, she started putting her ideas to paper. And she hasn’t stopped since.
Mara is more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She lives in the south with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or spending time at her favorite local coffee shop.
New Adult/Upper Young Adult Fantasy
October 13, 2013
Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn’t believe in magic or prophecies. When she’s told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can’t argue with reality.
As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.
Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.
Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.
Amazon: Not Available Yet
Barnes & Noble: Link TBA
Without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Mara!
Lessons in Writing Third Person
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with POV. On the one hand, I love third person. I love my characters, so I love giving them the spotlight. As a writer, I get to play god(des), so I know what each of my characters are thinking at any given point when they appear on the page.
On the other hand, most of the editing I’ve had to do since finishing that first draft has been for POV. I learned last year that writing third person omniscient—my preferred POV—can get a bit confusing. People refer to this as “head jumping”. I’d never heard this term before, or heard that third person omniscient was a bit of a no-no in the literary world. I scoffed when I was told that third person POV books were more often than not told from third person limited.
And ya know what? That’s right. I went through countless books and found that some of my favorites were limited, not omniscient. Terry Goodkind writes in third person, but he limits each chapter to the perspective of either Richard, Kahlan, Rahl, or Zed, expanding the number of POVs as he introduces more significant characters. George RR Martin is another, albeit extreme, example. J.R. Ward. J.K. Rowling. Cassandra Clare. The list goes on.
So that was the first rewrite I did for POV. I narrowed each scene down to one POV, eliminating the head jumping. And then I found another problem. I had too many character POVs. Sure, sure, there are best sellers out there where that works (Again, George RR Martin). But if you are being told it is a problem, you should work on it. So I did. I narrowed it down to eleven POVs.
Yes, eleven. And I was pretty darn proud of myself too. I thought I had figured out which characters needed a voice, which ones had pivotal moments that increased the suspense of the overall storyline.
And I was wrong. Luckily, I have a brilliant editor who knew exactly how to explain this to me so I would really get it. So I just finished the absolute last rewrite (and the reason my release date was pushed back a month) to narrow down the POVs even further. Now we see the story unfold only through the five girls’ eyes. I fought against that so long, and now I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why. It works. In fact, it works much better.
The lesson to be learned here: When dealing with multiple POVs, always ask yourself the question of just how much the reader actually needs to know. You might think you are twisting your writerly mustache as you build suspense over and over or doing a phenomenal job world-building, but there’s a good chance you are numbing your readers to that particular storyline. Trust me. If you ask yourself these kinds of questions, you are bound to save yourself some serious headaches and several rewrites.