The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words


I’m going to go ahead and assume you are familiar with some ridiculously popular literature.  If not, go read it.

George Martin  spent a few thousand pages creating a despicable character named The Kingslayer.  Jaime Lannister, he killed the king he was sworn to protect, he impregnated his twin sister three times, he pushed Bran(a  7 year old boy) off the tower and he busted Ned’s leg– though born in wedlock, he is in the running for being the biggest bastard in Westeros.

And then something magical happens: he becomes a POV character and we get inside his head.  As a limited narrator we are transported to his world of Westeros.  Slowly, but surely, he becomes sympathetic.  Slowly he became one of my top three favorite characters.  His character changes, both physically and mentally, but all the atrocities he was guilty of seem so different through his eyes.

This characters goes from loathed to not only forgivable but likable.

It’s almost as if Martin made a bet with himself: create a universally hated character and then make your readers fall in love with him.

But Point of View changes things, doesn’t it?  There are three sides to every story- yours, mine, and the truth.

I love limited narrators; I find the omniscient a bit preachy and boring.

When I write I tend to lean toward first person.  This is my world, welcome to it.

Every style has its limitations and challenges. For example, JK Rowling writes from a third person limited view of Harry, but there a few cheat chapters in there because she simply needed to or wanted to.  Suzanne Collins creates excellent plot pacing by writing from a first person limited view in the present tense.  However, she also falls into the trap of making Katniss, her Hunger Games protagonist/narrator, a little bit of a moron by foreshadowing events, obvious to readers, of which she remains oblivious.

QOTD – What POV do you prefer to read?  What about when you write?

About Jamaal

Lover of words, liver of life, director of theatre, keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. Twitter: @JamaalAllan

2 comments on “QOTD – POV

  1. Jeyna Grace
    May 20, 2014

    Amazing how I actually began liking Jaime in the fourth book. But I think as a character, he also changed. He was not the same man who pushed Bran out of the window when he finally returned to kings landing.

    • JG Allan
      May 21, 2014

      it also helps that from his perspective he is a victim and prisoner of his love to Cersei and his duty to his father.

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