Category Archives: Book Review

Another book done…

I recently finished reading Elements of Fiction Writing – Characters & Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card.  There was a lot of good character information in it that gave me good insight on characterization.  I was less happy with his viewpoint section though.  He didn’t manage to hide his disdain for anything that wasn’t close third person.  He did cover other POV styles, such as first person and even second person.  But it was apparent reading between the lines what he preferred.


One point he brought up that I am curious about is when  he discussed first person(FP) POV.  He considered it mandatory that the character describing the events in FP had to be telling the story as a recollection of events.  It HAS to be something like a journal entry story, or retelling events to friends, or some other method that inserts a time gap between the events occurring and the events being told.  Is this true?  My story is being put into FP, but it isn’t within those parameters.  I am starting to wonder if I’m still writing close third, and just using FP pronouns instead.  That is, rather than saying she or he, I am saying I or me, but not changing enough of the voice.


I know most (not all) of my crit partners are writing their story in FP as well, and I don’t see it as following Card’s definition.  Is he just plain old wrong on this one?


Share your thoughts!  I do still recommend the book based on the characterization info.  If I can figure out the loan-a-book thing, I might even be able to let someone borrow it.