Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, the lovely and talented Diana Gabaldon!

Viewpoint and Focus—Diana Gabaldon

Diana started out with a quick apology for her sleepiness, which she attributed to staying up late drinking Lagavulin (provided by moi, for the Compuserve Forum Par-Tay).  She noted that a lack of hangover was one of the perks to drinking very good whisky.  My sentiments were with her at that moment.  At 11 a.m. I still needed more caffeine that the three cups I’d drank.  No Hangover.  Plenty Tired. 
[Diana read excerpts from LORD JOHN AND THE SCOTTISH PRISONER as well as BOOK 8 as examples of changing focus, and I can’t post them here]
Writing can be like magic tricks.  The magician distracts the viewer with movement/other characters to hide the things he doesn’t want you to see.  
Viewpoint is established by WHO is talking.  Pick a POV.  I won’t go into basic POV (first, second, third, omniscient), you can google that.
When you write a scene, decide what effect you are striving for.  The character will focus on things they’re invested/interested in.  That is what you want the reader to see.  
Have one movement per paragraph-it draws the eye down the page.
Change focus frequently-zoom in and zoom out.  If you start out describing a landscape, zoom in to see the anthill and how it reminds your MC of the busy city they left behind, before zooming back out to see the eagle soar overhead against a clear blue get the point.
Occasionally remind the reader who’s head you’re in.  This is especially important during long sections of information/description. 
Give just enough description to set the scene, but keep your eye on the goal.  Don’t get lost.  
Only tell the reader what they need to know at that moment.  

#Most questions asked at the end were related to the series, and not writing, so I didn’t write anything else down#


Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for sharing this! Someday I'll get to Surrey...

Aven said...

Deniz--Oh, you have to!! I'm still reeling from the information/people overload (in an amazing way, not a bad way *g*)