Monday, July 7, 2008

Vantage Point


It’s funny how now that I'm writing regularly, I watch movies and read books from a whole new perspective.

Case in point: Have you seen the movie Vantage point yet?

I have no idea how the movie did in terms of popularity, but my husband and I watched it last night, and it made me go "Hmmmm".

If you haven't, I won't ruin it for you, but the movie keeps rewinding and showing the same scene from a different person’s vantage point. To get the complete picture as to what’s going on, you have to see all the vantage points. Each one builds upon the next to create the story until the last vantage point where you actually "get" it.

My writer's hat wondered how in the world one would write a book like that. I then decided that it would be very difficult, but not impossible.

But really, as writers we work with the concept of vantage point only we call it Point of View (POV). Most of the time we don't show the same scene from different vantage points, however in my first book, I've tried to do the very same thing. It is a short overlap, but I really like the idea that the reader gets to see the same thing through the eyes of someone else.

As a writer, it is our job to decide the best 'POV' character for each scene. Vantage point was an exception, since the head hopping was the point of the whole movie, but most of us have to decide who's eyes we are going to see the story from, how many times we will change POV, and that delicate balance of making the reader understand motivation of a none POV character in a unique and fresh way.

There is no easy answer, and every book is unique. I am a firm believer that this depends on 1) The demands of the story and 2.) The voice of the author.

There is no right or wrong formula, just a general consensus that head hopping is confusing and in my genre, romance, the POV character is usually the heroine (or in some cases the hero…)

If you haven’t watched the movie, I do actually recommend it. There were a few choice words, but actually much less than some movies I’ve seen lately.

Anybody else seen a movie lately that they enjoyed, or got a good *nugget* of inspiration from?

No comments: