Hello, dear readers! Today, I thought I'd share some thoughts on point-of-view (POV) and how it affects the way that readers/viewers look at the characters in a story.
If any of you have taken advanced English classes, you might know a little about how you can be deceived by an "unreliable narrator": a POV character who has a highly skewed perspective due to mental illness or some other issue. However, it's also important to realize that you can't trust everything that any narrator says. People aren't aware of all the depths and intricacies of themselves or their situations, and neither are fictional characters. In any story, there are biases and deceptions that are maintained by the POV character.
Point-of-view can especially affect the way you perceive the characters of a story. If you're in the perspective of a character who hates another character, the odds are high that you as the reader will also hate that other character. The same applies to the narrator's friends, family, etc. As a reader, you're looking at the world through the eyes of another person, and that person has opinions.
As you may be aware of, recently, I've been very engaged in analyzing TV and movies. One thing I've been thinking about is POV and the way it affects the audience in the BBC show Sherlock.
You see, I was editing #FibromyalgiaStory, and my critique partner Julia warned me to be careful about the way my narrator speaks. Suzanne has a lot of attitude, and when Julia pointed it out, I realized that sometimes she does actually come across as cruel, unlikable, and even unrelatable. As I struggled to figure out the line between being sassy and being standoffish, I said to Julia, somewhat in jest, "But Sherlock's a complete jerk, and we love that show!"
A while back, I wrote a post about challenging myself when I write. That got me thinking about how else I challenge myself in life, which got me thinking about what I do during my summer vacations. So I thought I'd tell you all a little bit about how I challenge myself every summer.
My summer challenges started somewhat on accident. It's not until recently that I realized there was a pattern. It began, I think, in middle school.
When I was in elementary school, I was very uncultured. I never watched TV or movies. I went online only rarely and with strict limitations. For music, I listened to Enya, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, and little else. I spent a lot of time reading, obviously, but I was resistant to anything popular, which I talked about a bit in an earlier post on book snobbery. I spent a lot of time crafting and cooking and baking, and I even knew how to crochet. (I've since lost interest in all of these things.) I lived in a sort of old-timey world in a lot of ways. I was probably one of the only ten-year-olds who regularly read the newspaper. (Not that I had much practical political awareness, either. But at least I had enthusiasm!)
I already knew that I wanted to be a writer, so by the time I graduated elementary school, I'd completed two novels, and thanks to a school project for the GATE program, I knew some about publishing. I decided, during the summer before middle school, to start sending out my second novel to publishers. That was my Challenge of Summer 2006: Begin sending out to publishers. It didn't accomplish much. Since then I've learned many vital things, like that you need to edit your book before you send it out and that literary agents are kind of important. But it was a good experience, and it got me started on my summer challenges.
Today, I thought I'd branch out a bit and give some thoughts on a topic I don't know a whole lot about: horror-writing.
Since I started college, the topic of horror has been on my mind a lot. I'm a sensitive person, so I've never been able to stomach horror. But during college my first year, I made friends who watched horror stuff. It started with us going to see a completely innocuous movie that had a commercial for the movie Mama. I couldn't even watch the trailer, I was so freaked out, but they all got excited, and after that went on a horror movie marathon.
It got me thinking about why horror is so powerful. This continued as I began watching Doctor Who, which has some horror-inspired episodes throughout and then as I began to read some horror novels for the heck of it. Recently, I got into the TV show Supernatural, which is also a horror-type show. (I think my tolerance may be growing.)
In the midst of all this, I had one unifying thought: some of the most powerful horror stories touch on issues related to childhood. (Obviously, not all of them. Horror also commonly revolves around body weirdness, madness, and death.)
Hello all, and welcome to another "on this day in my history!" Let us go back in time via my plenteous diaries to see what happened to me throughout my life on the Ides of March.
March 15th, 2000, Five Years Old (Kindergarten)
"I TEACH My BROTHER SCHOOL STUFF." There's an accompanying drawing.
No March 15th entry in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, or 2005.
March 15th, 2006, Eleven Years Old (Sixth Grade)
The majority of this diary entry was about music class, where we were prepping for a musical about ancient history. We also did some debate in GATE class, and my best friend LaPriel told me one of the fifth/sixth grade teachers was pregnant.
No March 15th entry in 2007..
This blog post's original title included the word "quandrum", which is apparently not a real word, LOL. I guess I created a portmanteau of "quandary" and "conundrum." It's kind of fun! But now the title has the actual word in it instead.
Today, I wanted to discuss likability in characters and how it affects your publishability (which is also not a word), among other things. There's a bit of controversy over this, and I wanted to throw my thoughts into the mix.
Books are sometimes rejected because the main character does not possess this quality of likability. Readers sometimes also look down on characters who don't possess likability. But there are a few important questions to ask when considering this topic: What is "likability" exactly? Is it really necessary to have in a good character? Is there sexism to this idea?
What Is Likability?
Naturally, likability is subjective. Do you relate to the character? Do you think they're a good person? Would you want to be friends with them? That's all going to depend on your own preferences and life experience. A character someone else really likes might be a character you hate or vice versa. You might see multiple kinds of "likability" through the different traits and actions that you appreciate.
For those of you who don't know, Tumblr is a social media site famous for its support of fandoms. It basically works as a picture/gif/text sharing site, and your personal page is called a "blog". Some people blog exclusively on Tumblr.
I had a Tumblr for a while, but I became intimidated by the culture there, so I switched to Pinterest. However, there are some Tumblr blogs that I really like, and I still check them out. So today I thought I'd share with you some of my favorites! Enjoy.
Dating Tips from the Doctor and Friendship Tips from Sherlock
If you're looking for a fun fandom blog for either Doctor Who or Sherlock, these are one way to go. Run by the same person, these two Tumblrs take fan suggestions and create "tips" from these two protagonists on the two subjects they're probably worst at: for the Doctor, romance, and for Sherlock, friendship. Occasionally, people will ask for specific advice "answered" by one of the characters. This makes for some fantastic hilarity, naturally.
Why I Hate James Pat...
The Lesser Evil: Femi...
PTSD and The Hunge...
Guest Post: 5 Fandom...
My Mayo Clinic Experi...