6 July 2008

Sunday Salon #16 - 6 July 2008

A couple of days ago, I read a posting called Focusing your POV by Abby Zidle over on Hey, There's a Dead Guy in the Living room. She describes how a clever author can make even an inanimate object stand in for a POV (point of view).

I've read a couple of books recently where the POV constantly changed, and boy! does that make you pay attention. There are usually clues about whose voice it actually is, but sometimes it puts your brain through a series of mental gymnastics.

For example, in A CURE FOR ALL DISEASES, clever clever Reginald Hill uses a number of voices. Some readers have found this quite exasperating, especially since one of them is a female character's emails to her sister. One is a voice played back from a voice recorder, with characteristic ad libbing and poor grammar etc. that is typical of most of us when we have to talk into a machine.

Constantly changing POV voices almost drove me mad in DEAD LOVELY by Helen Fitzgerald. The changes of voice are abrupt, with few clues about who is now speaking/thinking. It got to the stage where you expected each chapter to bring with it a change in POV, and it threw you a bit if it didn't.

My blog postings this week:
  • Who/What Should make the Ned Kelly Short Lists?
    Take part in 3 straw polls about who/what will be still on the lists when the very long Ned Kelly long lists get trimmed.
  • Who makes up these lists anyway?
    1001 Books you must read before you die. You know the sort of thing, there's one for films to see too isn't there? I prefer Quizzes to checklists, so I found a few crime ones. Come in and try them, and let us know how you fared.
  • REVIEW: GALLOWS LANE, Brian McGilloway
    This was a book I'd seen mentioned on blogs and reviews. My face2face book group are discussing it in 2 weeks, by which time the fine details I have in memory will have faded, but it certainly worth finding.
  • Genre Flash - Australian Sisters in Crime
    An interesting promo of new books written by an impressive list of Australian Sisters in Crime.
  • Carnival of Criminal Minds, No. 18
    My blog is hosting the Carnival for July, and the focus of course is on Australian Crime Fiction. Lists and lists of it.
  • Barry Maitland's books
    An Australian author who sometimes slips under the radar has a new book in the wings.
New features on my blog:
  • I've used the polling tool this week - on the Ned Kelly lists down at the bottom of each page, and also with a small poll in the side margin that asks visitors if they've found what they were looking for.
  • A week or three ago I installed the new blogroll tool - you'll see it on the right hand side, currently called 56 Blogs I'm Watching. The number has crept up over the last couple of weeks. I started it off as it is now - the most recent posting appears at the top. Earlier this week I got exasperated and turned it into alphabetical order because I couldn't find one I was looking for. If you look at it now though you'll see that I have put it back on order of recency.
    Why? Well, if you look at the Feedjit tool which shows where my most recent visitors have come from, you'll see that it too has a new feature. Now you can "watch in real time". When you click on that link, then you see information about the last 50 visitors including sometimes what they searched for, where they went from the page etc.
    Those of you who are listed on my blog roll will be gratified to know that often people seem to leap from page into one of the blogs listed in the roll. Of course they divert off to other places too.


Bernadette said...

I really liked the changing POV in Dead Lovely 'cos it kept me on my toes. It took me ages to work out why she changed to Mike's POV for a chapter fairly early on. Katherine Howell also used that kind of thing in her first novel, Frantic, which I've only just read (I'm cheap so I tend not to buy books when they first come out).

Kerrie said...

I'd forgotten that Katherine had used it in FRANTIC, Bernadette
I'm reading THE DARKEST HOUR and she does it there too, but there are very obvious signals about who is "talking" e.g. the paragraph begins "Ella glanced..." and then you are seeing things from Ella's point of view.
But in the two I mentioned, there are almost no clues about who is talking except for what they are seeing in front of them and you realise that it is not the same pair of eyes as in the previous page. But as I said in my review DEAD LOVELY broke a lot of rules, and got away with it!
Another book that does something interesting with POV is Karin Slaughter's TRIPTYCH where we have a novel in 3 parts, a trio of investigators, and a moment in time seen from three points of view.


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