Thompson on…Choosing a Point of View in a Novel!

How am I going to tell my story?

Which Point of View?

Choices? Choices? Choices?

When I sit in front of my computer and start to pound the letters on the keyboard, I must decide on the point of view to tell the story!

I swallow hard and try to figure out a “voice” in which to write my novel…so many choices!

What is the definition of point of view? Point of view is the way the author allows you to “see” and “hear” what’s going on in the novel.

Skillful authors can fix their readers’ attention on exactly the detail, opinion or emotion the author wants to emphasize by manipulating the point of view of the story.

Literature provides a lens through which readers look at the world.

****Point of view pertains to who tells the story and how it is told.

Point of View comes in three varieties: First-Person, Second Person and Third Person.

First Person point of view is in use when a character narrates the story with I-Me-Mine-Mine in his/her speech. The advantage of this point of view is that you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator and see the world depicted in the story through his/her eyes.

First Person Example: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Second-Person point of view, in which the author uses You and Your, is rare; authors seldom speak directly to the reader.  When you encounter this point of view, pay attention. Second-person point of view is distracting and hard to sustain in longer works of fiction.

Second Person Example: Bright Lights by Jay McInerney

Third-person point of view is that of an outsider looking at the action. The writer may choose third-person omniscient, in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader…or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character’s mind, either throughout the entire work or in a specific section.

Third-person limited differs from first person because the author’s voice, not the character’s voice, is what you hear in the descriptive passages.

Third Person Example:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

When you’re reading a third-person selection, either limited or omniscient, you’re watching the story enfold an outsider. Most Writers choose this point of view.

When Choosing a point of view, the most important consideration is: “What serves   the story best.!”

 Hint To Pick Point Of View

If you are stuck in trying to pick a point f view, write a few paragraphs in  a FEW different point of views and see which works best!

I hope this helps you in your quest to find a voice for your novel.

Happy Writing!



Thompson On…Subplots in a Novel!

              Have you ever driven down one of those winding backwood roads in a rural area and couldn’t figure out how to get back to the main highway? Well, that is the feeling a reader gets when they read your novel and get lost in a tangling subplot.

         Your goal as an author is to create a little depth to your novel, maybe a little suspense, but not take away from your main plot and pull your reader out of the “Fictive Dream” you worked so hard to create in the reader’s mind.
      What is a subplot?
       ***A subplot is a secondary plot strant that is supporting a side story for any story or main plot. Subplots may connect to main plots, in either time and place or in themeatic signaficance. Subplots often involve supporting characters, those besides the protagonist or antagonist.
      ***Subplots are distinguished from the main plot by taking up less of hte action, having less significant events occur, with less impact on the book. Novels comment on one thing from multiple perspectives and with side trips her eand there: This means subplots.
      In a novel, you can take a side trip to give extensive back story or other reasons. However, the subplot isn’t a side trip, it’s a set of cohesive actions with its own  main characters, goals, sebacks and resolutions.
     Subplots are a sequence of events that parallels themai plot; it can closely resemble  the main plot or it can diverge in significant ways in order to highlight themain plot.
     For example from my first novel, A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Jesse Towns and the possible horrific selling of the brownstone  without the tenants knowledge was an early subplot. This subplot lasted the first seven chapters, but it impacted the thematic development of the rest of the novel.
    The Key for all subplots!
     1. They relate to the main plot and inersect with it in some way.
     2. Don’t swamp the main plot line with subplots. They must advance the story and show complexities in your characters.
Ideas for Subplots!
      1. The main character can have more than one goal, usually relating to the main goal in some way.
      2. Romantic subplots are common.
      3. Secondary character’s concern and goal. One of the other characters is the hero of his/her own plot/?
      As you craft your novel, your objective is to pick and choose when to use subplots to add depth and possible suspense to your book.  Subplots are most effective in the middle of a novel as the reader moves toward the climatic ending.
      Keep your readers on the main Highway, but don’t be afraid to make a detour to show a little extra scenery, fight some incredible battles and meet some new and interesting characters.
      Happy Writing!!!
     Any questions or comments about this blog please email, or leave a message.

Passionate Writer Publishing to publish Purple Phantoms!

Purple Phantoms
   I’m thrilled to announce that Passionate Writer Publishing has agreed to publish my fourth novel: Purple Phantoms! This is an honor to be associated with such a spectacular and innovative publisher.

PWP did a wonderful job with my last novel, Ghost of Atlanta, which won a 2011 National Fiction Award. I will travel to the Miami Book Fair International in November 2012 to pick up the award.

I feel comfortable and look forward working with PWP this year in the production of Purple Phantoms.

I want to thank Dennis DeRose, my magnificent editor, for taking my words and enhancing my vision of this novel

Purple Phantoms one line synopsis: “Five Ghosts—basketball players whose lives were cut short—return to haunt five basketball starters to help them try to win the coveted State Championship.”

For Twelve years, I lived and breathed the Julius Thompson Trilogy: A Brownstone in Brooklyn, Philly Style and Philly Profile and Ghost of Atlanta. It was a wonderful journey with a character, Andy Michael Pilgrim that covered thirty years.
I traveled from Miami, Baltimore, Charlottesville, Virginia, Atlanta, Buffalo, and Brooklyn, New York City promoting the books, meeting new people and selling books.
I survived a Hurricane that smashed the Washington, D.C. area a few years ago. It kept me from promoting my books in Baltimore, but I went to New York City that same weekend and sold many books..
And now with Ghost of Atlanta published in January 2011, it’s time to move onto the next phase of my writing career, the publication and marketing of Purple Phantoms and the writing of my fifth novel: Travels on a Greyhound.