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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mixed POV

Something's bugging me. Maybe it's because I just finished a critique for a friend and marked a couple of these on her pages and told her they were incorrect, but lines like these have been jumping out at me from all over the place since I sent her manuscript back to her:

And I do, he assured himself. I want solitude. Solitude and peace.

I can’t deal with this now, Lannie thought as she stared at the car she'd hit.

The first line is from a newly released Avon romance. The other was published on a popular review site, where it was open to critique, but no one mentioned the mixed pov. To me, these two lines are incorrect. Why italicize a line to set it off as internal dialogue and then toss in a "she thought" or "he assured himself," which throws it into 3rd person? When you add the action tag, it indicates 3rd person. So, essentially these lines are mixing 3rd and 1st person points of view. Why not just write, "And he did, he assured himself. He wanted solitude. Solitude and peace."

Evidently, this type of mixed-up pov has become acceptable. Well, speaking as a member of the old school of writing, this bothers me. I'm equally bothered by the new trend of not putting a comma before "too." In fact, if I thought about it long enough, I could probably come up with a long list of writing issues that bother me.

Anyone care to enlighten me on the thinking about why this mixed pov is acceptable?

Before I go, I have to comment on "old school," since I used it in this post. Even this has been corrupted. Now the "in" spelling is "old skool," and it's intended as a derogatory term. This spelling appears in the online Urban Dictionary and it explains that "old school" started out to mean, "old is cool," which was shortened to "old's cool," and that's how we end up with "old skool." The definition is: anything that's out of date or behind the times. So I guess that's me, out of date and behind the times. But I can't for the life of me see the new method of doing things as an improvement. What do you think? Old or new "skool?"

Devon

4 comments:

  1. I agree with you on the mixed POV. If I remember correctly, I did that very thing once, and my editor caught it. (Thank you, Courtney!)

    I never like misspellings, so I can barely stand to look at "skool."

    It's tough being me sometimes.

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  2. Good for Courtney! She, at least, is on the ball. But evidently the editors at the big publishing houses aren't so particular about such things. I would just like someone to explain why they would consider it correct to mix the pov like that.

    I'm with you, Mags. I've been called excessive/compulsive, anal, obsessive, plus a few other things I wouldn't care to mention. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in on this.

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  3. I am old school. In the winter I am cool ;)
    I am still on a learning curve with POV's, so am not qualified to comment. I do value advice by folks like yourself, who share. Thanks.

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  4. Welcome, Glynis! It's lovely to meet you and thank you so much for following my blog. I'm always happy with comments, so I hope you'll drop in regularly. :o)

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