Tuesday, July 15, 2008

POV Primer: Examples

I'll try.

Here's an excerpt from one of my short stories. It's written in 1st person:

From the window I watched Cecilia pull away in her Lexus. I made Joshua a PB&J, crust off and lots of peanut butter, and put on his sheets while he was watching TV. Sure, the apartment was unkempt and could use a new coat of paint. The dishes needed to be washed. But I wasn’t a bad father. I was a busy man; I often worked double shifts at the dock and the odd hours tired me. But Joshua loved it here. We played video games, and watched TV. He helped me put the laundry away and we couldn’t wait to spend some time at the beach while the sun was out.

I asked him if he wanted some milk, even though I knew I’d run out. He shook his head, no. We were watching Monster Trucks when I casually asked him about Seattle. He shrugged. Didn’t think much of it. Then he finished his sandwich and told me he was ready for the beach.

The beach was always our sanctuary. I’d taught Joshua how to swim at this very beach. The warm water went through our blood and the hot sand was an extension of our bodies. We were happy.


Here's what it may look like in 3rd limited:


From the window Mark watched Cecilia pull away in her Lexus. He then made Joshua a PB&J, crust off and lots of peanut butter, and put on his sheets while he was watching TV. Sure, the apartment was unkempt and could use a new coat of paint. The dishes needed to be washed. But Mark wasn’t a bad father. He was a busy man; he often worked double shifts at the dock and the odd hours tired him. But he knew Joshua loved it there. They played video games, and watched TV. Joshua helped him put the laundry away and he couldn’t wait to spend some time with his son at the beach while the sun was out.

Mark asked Joshua if he wanted some milk, even though he knew he’d run out. The kid shook his head, no. They were watching Monster Trucks when Mark casually asked him about Seattle. The boy shrugged. He said he didn’t think much of it. Then he finished his sandwich and told Mark he was ready for the beach.

The beach was always their sanctuary. Mark had taught Joshua how to swim at this very beach. The warm water went through his blood and the hot sand was an extension of his body. He was happy.


Here's the same example of 3rd limited alternating/rotating POVs (first Mark, then Joshua):


From the window Mark watched Cecilia pull away in her Lexus. He then made Joshua a PB&J, crust off and lots of peanut butter, and put on his sheets while he was watching TV. Sure, the apartment was unkempt and could use a new coat of paint. The dishes needed to be washed. But Mark wasn’t a bad father. He was a busy man; he often worked double shifts at the dock and the odd hours tired him. But he knew the boy loved it there. They played video games, and watched TV. Joshua helped him put the laundry away and Mark couldn’t wait to spend some time with his son at the beach while the sun was out.
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Joshua's father asked him if he wanted some milk. He shook his head. No. They were watching Monster Trucks when his father asked him about Seattle. He shrugged. He hadn't thought much of it. Then he finished his sandwich and told his father he was ready for the beach.

The beach was always his special place. His father had taught him how to swim at this very beach. The warm water went through his blood and the hot sand was an extension of his body. He was happy.



Here's it in 3rd omniscient:


Cecilia pulled away in her Lexus as Mark watched her from his window. He then made Joshua a PB&J, crust off and lots of peanut butter, and put on his sheets while he was watching TV. The apartment was unkempt and could use a new coat of paint. The dishes needed to be washed. But Mark didn't think he was a bad father. His excuse was he was a busy man; He often worked double shifts at the dock and the odd hours tired him. But Joshua loved it here. They played video games, and watched TV. He helped his father put the laundry away and he couldn’t wait to spend some time at the beach while the sun was out.

Mark asked him if he wanted some milk, even though he knew he had run out. Joshua thought for a second, then shook his head. They were watching Monster Trucks when Mark casually asked his son about Seattle. Joshua shrugged. He didn’t think much of it. Then he finished his sandwich and told his father he was ready for the beach.

The beach was always their sanctuary. Mark had taught Joshua how to swim at this very beach. The warm water went through their blood and the hot sand was an extension of our bodies. They were happy.


Here's it in 2nd person:

From the window you watched Cecilia pull away in her Lexus. Then you made your son a PB&J, crust off and lots of peanut butter, and put on his sheets while he was watching TV. Sure, the apartment was unkempt and could use a new coat of paint. The dishes needed to be washed. But you weren’t a bad father. You were a busy man; you often worked double shifts at the dock and the odd hours tired you. But you knew Joshua loved it here. You played video games, and watched TV. He helped you put the laundry away and you couldn’t wait to spend some time at the beach while the sun was out.

You asked him if he wanted some milk, even though you knew you’d run out. He shook his head, no. You were watching Monster Trucks when you casually asked him about Seattle. He shrugged. He said he didn’t think much of it. Then he finished his sandwich and told you he was ready for the beach.

The beach was always your sanctuary. You’d taught Joshua how to swim at this very beach. The warm water went through your blood and the hot sand was an extension of your body. You were happy.

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