Friday, October 20, 2006

The Mountains Exist!!!

After 36 hours of wondering whether the hotel's marketing materials had been a big fat lie, mountains have emerged from the fog, creating a beautiful vista from my hotel room in suburban Vancouver. (Otherwise known as Surrey)

Eileen Cook, on the other hand, remains shrouded and I'm beginning to believe she only exists in blogland and not in real life :-)

Having a great time at the conference so far and my mind is swimming with too many thoughts to be very coherent.

I just came out of an "advanced" class on mastering POV. Two quick thoughts:

1. I've noticed the use of the word master or advanced in the title of a workshop (this one used both) greatly increases the number of male writers in the room. Perhaps I'm not being totally fair, though... The presenter was a sci fi writer and some of the participants may have attended mostly to hear him.

2. The degree to which writers of other genres know nothing about romance or women's fiction continues to amaze me. Although, given the ounce of reflection possible while I was typing that last sentence, I realize that until 4-5 years ago, I knew nothing about romance, either, so why I expect a sci fi writer to have a clue, I don't know. (When I wrote my first romance, I thought I'd be breaking new ground by doing a sex scene from the hero's POV. Little did I know they ALL DO THIS. At least for the past 10-15 years...)

Not that the presenter didn't have a clue. It was actually a very good presentation on POV (one of the best I've seen) -- just not what I'd expected from an "advanced" class on "mastering" POV. Virtually every member of RWA knows what he taught in that class and it shocks me how new the idea of staying in one character's head for a scene was, to many of the writers in the room. Also interesting... he suggested that if you have two main viewpoint characters, you should avoid scenes where both are present, or if such a thing cannot be avoided, you should write that scene from a third viewpoint character's POV. He said to use one of the main viewpoint characters and not the other, but have them both in the scene would be difficult and confuse the reader.

Made me think romance and women's fiction writers and readers must be really smart. :-) But I already knew that.

10 comments:

Shannon McKelden said...

Wow! You and Eileen are soo close! I could almost reach out and touch you from south of Seattle! Have a wonderful weekend! Soak up the inspirational atmosphere. :-)
Shannon

Maureen McGowan said...

Shannon!!!! I forgot you were in Seattle. Ditch the kids. Come up to visit.

I'm going to be in Victoria next week (visiting my auntie). That's even closer, isn't it... (by boat, anyway)

Eileen said...

I am here! I am!

Maureen McGowan said...

I have seen her now! She's real! And as great as I already knew she'd be.

Everyone. Go to Amazon. Right now. Preorder Eileen's book IN THE STARS.

I'm convinced it's going to be great.

Diana Peterfreund said...

I am agog at that "no two POV characters in the same scene..." Um, what kind of story would that be? It seems like you must have two incredibly different storylines to be able to do this. they don't interact at all?

Louisa Edwards said...

That's kind of odd advice--about keeping two main viewpoint characters out of scenes together. If we followed that, it would make for a pretty dry, uninteresting romance!

Thanks for sharing what you're learning...

Dorothy said...

Hi Maureen! I've designated today to visiting blogs and this is the most fun I've had in years...lol. What can I say...it doesn't take much to make me happy. *grin* I'll be back!

Kathy Holmes said...

Vancouver is gorgeous when you can see it. :)

Interesting point from your POV class. I just blogged about how an editor invited me to resubmit my book if I change my multiple POV story from first person to third. Makes sense and it was good timing on your part with this post. Thanks!

Maureen McGowan said...

Re the POV thing... His big suggestion was to write those scenes from a third POV character's POV.

Very strange advice indead and shows how different sci fi must be from romance and women's fiction. I got into a short argument with him, then decided it wasn't worth it.

Other stuff he said was mostly good though... Just not "advanced" like I'd hoped.

Kathy Holmes said...

I'm glad you said that Maureen. Because having tried to rewrite this book from first person to third isn't reallly working for me. Guess everybody's entitled to their opinion.

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