Guest post: ‘Using multiple points of view’ by FM Meredith

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of viewpoints is brought to you by murder mystery novelist and interviewee F M Meredith.

Using Multiple Points of View

For my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series I chose to tell the story from multiple points of view. Because, from the beginning, my goal for this series was to show how what’s going on at work affects the family, and what is happening with the family affects the job. What has emerged is this series has an entourage of characters, most appear in all the books, but different ones are featured in each one.

Using multiple points of view is also a good way to let the reader see different reactions to what is going on, and give them insights into more of the characters. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not telling you to use multiple points of view in a single scene.

I’m a stickler about point-of-view and believe there should only be one POV per scene. Whoever has the most at stake in a scene should be the one who is telling the story from his / her POV.

The best way to do this is think of yourself as the POV character and look out through his or her eyes. You will write what that particular person experiences, what he / she sees, feels, touches, hears, smells, and thinks about what is happening. Even the narrative should come from that person, so in effect, the narrative is that person’s thoughts.

This is exactly what you do when writing first person, except the whole story comes from a single person.

Though many people are now writing books with one chapter as first person and another from third, I haven’t tried that yet. If you do, make sure you have a good reason for it. Somehow the use of that tactic should enhance the story telling.

Always make sure the reader knows who is telling each part of the story. Make a page break between changes of POV and / or change of scene. Start the new scene in a way that the reader knows through whom eyes they are seeing the story unfold.

POV is probably one of the most difficult concepts for a new writer to learn. If you teach yourself to think like the POV character and experience what is going on through that person it will be far easier. Nothing is more jarring to the reader than all of a sudden realizing the author has jumped out of one person’s head and into another without any warning.

No matter what POV you decide to use, know what you’re doing and do it well.

🙂 Thank you, Marilyn.

F.M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels—and a few that will never see print. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, from Oak Tree Press, is No Bells. Rocky Bluff P.D. is a fictional beach community between Ventura and Santa Barbara and F. M. once lived in a similar beach area.

F. M. (Marilyn) is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.

Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com

In No Bells, the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Officer Gordon Butler is the major character. He’s been in many of the RBPD books, but this is his first “starring role.”

No Bells Blurb: Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem, she’s the major suspect in a murder case.

CONTEST: The person who comments on the most blogs on my tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel Lost. Be sure and leave your email too, so I can contact you.

Yes folks, please do (if you don’t want to make you email address visible, I should be able to pick up your emails just from the comments you leave here and I can pass them on).

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please” (while quietly bouncing up and down in my seat with joy!).

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with literary fiction novelist Ashley Mackler-Paternostro – three hundred and fifty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Author Spotlight no.79 – FM Meredith

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the seventy-ninth, is of crime and mystery author and interviewee F M Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Bears With Us from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novels are No Bells and Angel Lost, the third and forth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.

And now from the author herself:

What you May or May Not Know about Marilyn Meredith aka F. M. Meredith

I’m a fourth generation Californian. (Not too many people can say that—though three of my kids are now fifth generation Californians.)  I’ve only lived in two other states (Maryland and Virginia) and that was only for a short while. I’ve traveled the 3000 miles across the United States once by train, three times by car. Two of those times happened when hubby and I drove a VW bus with three of our five kids in it and tent-camped all the way to the East coast and back again. (Not something I’d recommend.)

Over the years I’ve had all sorts of jobs beginning with baby sitting from the age of 10 (what were the parents thinking), as a teen working in a hot rod store, whenever I needed extra money I worked as a telephone operator back in the days of the old-fashioned switchboard, a teacher in a school for developmentally disabled pre-schoolers, a teacher in day care centers, a pre-school teacher in a ghetto, and for over twenty years I owned, lived-in and operated a licensed facility for six developmentally disabled women. During that time I developed and taught state-approved classes for administrators of homes like mine.

I’ve done all sorts of volunteer jobs: PTA president and newsletter editor, Camp Fire Girl leader for 10 years, Sunday School teacher for all ages (still doing that for third to six graders), also still newsletter editor and program chairperson for the Public Safety Writers Association conference.

I met my husband on a blind date and married him after only knowing him for six weeks. We’ve been married for 60 years now even though my mother said we’d never make it. We raised five children and now have eighteen grandkids (raised a couple of those too) and eleven great-grands.

Since I was a girl in grammar school (all those eons ago) I’ve written stories and plays. I didn’t get serious about getting anything published until I was a young grandmother. After writing and rewriting and receiving many rejections, my first published book was a historical family saga based on my own family’s genealogy. From there I moved onto mysteries because that’s what I liked to read. I also wrote a psychological horror, three Christian horror novels, and a romance with a touch of the supernatural.

Along the way I’ve had encounters with agents who did nothing for me except waste a lot of my time plus a couple who taught me a lot, three publishers who were dishonest, and two publishers who sadly died, and a couple who decided to quit the business. I am so fortunate that I now have two publishers, one for each of my series. Mundania Press publishes the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series (Native American female deputy sheriff in the Southern Sierra of California), Bears With Us, is the latest and Oak Tree Press that publishes my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series that’s about the members of a police department in a small beach community along the California coast that I write under the name F.M. Meredith. No Bells is available now.

I lived in a beach community for over 20 years and now make my home in the foothills of the Southern Sierra.

When I’m not writing, I love spend time with my family. I also enjoy reading and watching movies.

I do want to thank Morgen for hosting me again.

You’re so welcome, Marilyn – come back anytime.. ah yes you will be; a guest blog on the 3rd May. 🙂

You can find even more about Marilyn and her writing via… http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com.

CONTEST: The person who comments on the most blogs on my tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel Lost. Be sure and leave your email too, so I can contact you.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with mystery author and poet Rebecka Vigus – the three hundred and fifty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. My eBooks are now on Amazon, with more to follow, and I also have a quirky second-person viewpoint story in charity anthology Telling Tales. I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for my Post-weekend Poetry page.