Mechanics of POV by Clint Johnson
What I learned:
Point of view - including person, tense, character, and narrator - is a tool to be used in telling your story. It is more than just a preference or style. It is part of the mechanics of how the story works. Changing even one aspect of POV changes the whole story.
We as writers need to use the powerful tool of POV and pay closer attention to its selection.
How I Plan to Apply it:
I always use 3rd person, past tense (something that Clint Johnson also prefers). I probably will not change that. But I will be more aware of the strengths of these two tools when I use them. I will also more closely examine the selection of my view point character. And I will explore the use of other persons and tenses if the story warrants it. I was specifically intrigued about the complexity that selecting a narrator separate from the POV character can add to a story and plan to explore that option.
Side Note: I took this class because of all the hype lately about first person and present tense. I wondered if the vibe I was getting about having to use one of these two tools in order to be successful was true. I was relieved that I did not have to change my ways to fit into the current writing world. On further pondering I realized that we should never do something because it is (queue Esme Squallor voice) "in."