The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life 1st. Ed Edition, Kindle Edition
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My degree is in philosophy, which I love and have read all my life, so the author's well thought out and fully analyzed presentation was like music to my ears.
"The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life" is not sugar coated. It's for the writer who wants to get 'under the hood' and fully understand how and why everything works.
I loved it!
I read the hardbound edition years ago when it came out and I bought the Kindle version more recently to enable searches for specific POV coverage anywhere in the text. I also prefer the Kindle version because I can always have it with me. Sometimes I like to check a POV I'm reading in a novel against what "The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life" has to say about that POV.
Here's the main thing: if you wanted to be a professional movie director, you'd have to know all about the camera. You'd have to be an expert on every camera angle and technique imaginable. Screenwriters know not to include camera techniques or scene instructions in their screenplays because directors will be agrivated and pay no attention to them anyway.
However, when you are novelist you are the director. Your 'camera' is the POV you choose to use for a scene. Everything is framed within a POV. You, as the author. must provide the camera's eye view for your reader. If you want to be a serious professional writer you will need to know and understand all about POV and not just the first person, third person, and omniscient POVs. In a way, you can't even fully understand these POVs without seeing the total picture!
As you read "The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life" you'll discover that there is so much more available in POV techniques that it may 'blow your mind'.
I found that reading Alicia Rasley's book was somewhat like what T. S. Eliot meant when he wrote about exploring the whole world only to come back to his starting point and knowing the place for the first time.
Indeed, after you read and master "The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life" every other writing craft book you read will be placed in a more useable context. Craft books will become more meaningful, more memorable, more useful, and more satisfying to read. This is why I wish I had read this book first. It makes every other writing book you read thereafter a much more useful writing tool.
By all means, read "The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life" first. If you cannot read it first, as I was unable to, then read it as soon as possible. You'll gain important learning leverage.
I recommend that serious writers buy both the print and the Kindle versions. I did it myself.
As an exercise I suggest that writers take a favorite scene and rewrite it over and over using at least eight of the POV choices presented in this book. Learn how each POV works and why it can be the most effective way to present a given scene. This way you can experience the full power and scope of all the useful tools you have available as a writer.
Again, "The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life" is the most productive writing craft book I've ever read. It has my highest recommendation. I only wish it was available years ago when I began reading craft books.
If you already know a lot about POV and how to write you might better understand what the heck the author is talking about - I personally found it very difficult to understand. The explanations are not clear, or simply stated - perhaps it's just too advanced for my level of knowledge but I found it very frustrating. I wish I had gone with a different book!
And, as some reviews already stated - the font size is tiny and difficult to see.
This is definitely a book that needs to be read more than once. Not because of level of difficulty but because of the amount of helpful information. Perhaps that is why there are so many copies available. Her book is not organized with boxes of summaries, lists, a lot of white space or diagrams. No space is wasted and perhaps for some this style might be intimidating as it seems (visually) like you are about to read a novel.
Rasley is definitely an author to watch out for in terms of "Writing How-To's. I would love to see her write a book on Dialogue as there are so many duds out there.
In The Power of Point of View, Rasley notes her personal preferences when writing herself, but does not allow her explanations of POV to be biased by that. She talks about Genre conventions, narrative distance, to individualizing POV. She uses a conversational tone in her explanations and makes learning POV easy to understand. My only minor pet peeve is that she did not include a bibliography at the end of the book to wrap up all the books that she has mentioned and recommended.
Here is the Table of Contents:
1. What is POV
2. POV Choices and What They Communicate About Your Story
3. POV and the Elements of Story
4. First Person
5. Second Person
6. Impersonal Third Person
7. Personal Third Person - Single
8. Personal Third Person - Multiple
9. Individualizing POV
10. Levels of POV
11. Creating Alternative and Unusual Voices
All in all, if you are ready for a full immersion of a Master Class in POV, then definitely get this one!
If you are looking for just a basic primer to start off with on POV with some of the more advanced nuances explained in briefest terms, than check out Donna Levin's "Get That Novel Written". It has 2 excellent chapters on POV and Time.