Monday, June 27, 2011

Off With Their Heads! POV Wrap Up

Wrap Up

For fun, I thought I’d reach back into the archives to 1897, to a famous novel which most of you will have certainly heard of...

Bram Stoker’s, Dracula

Bram Stoker used a series of Journal and Diary entries (First Person, Multiple POVs) to craft his world famous, and modern day vamp inspiring, nineteenth century novel.

Cast of Characters...or POVs:

Journal of Johnathan Harker

Mina Murray’s Journal

Lucy Westenra’s Diary

Dr. Seward’s Diary

Letters from Lucy and Mina

Task: Take the following excerpt and write it from Dracula’s or Lucy’s POV. You can brainstorm it on paper, or in your head. This is just for fun.

Mina Murray’s Journal:

17 August.--No diary for two whole days. I have not had the heart to write. Some sort of shadowy pall seems to be coming over our happiness. No news from Jonathan, and Lucy seems to be growing weaker, whilst her mother’s hours are numbering to a close. I do not understand Lucy’s fading away as she is doing. She eats well and sleeps well, and enjoys fresh air; but all time the roses in her cheeks are fading, and she gets weaker and more languid day by day: at night I hear her gasping for air. I keep the key of our door always fastened to my wrist at night, but she gets up and walks about the room, and sits at the open window. Last night I found her leaning out when I woke up, and when I tried to wake her she was as weak as water, and cried silently between long, painful struggles for breath. When I asked her how she came to be at the window she shook her head and turned away. I trust her feeling ill may not be from that unlucky prick of the safety-pin. I looked at her throat just as she lay asleep, and the tiny wounds seem not to have healed. They are still open, and, if anything, larger than before, and the edges of them are faintly white. They are like little white dots with red centers. Unless they heal within a day or two, I shall insist on the doctor seeing them.

Dracula, by Bram Stoker, Excerpt, page 90

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....So if you tried this exercise, you may have found, that writing it from Lucy’s First Person POV, or Dracula’s for that matter, actually weakens the mystery and angst Mina is feeling (and thus the build up of eerie tension) Lucy would most likely display angst, but probably the more confused variety, with strange thoughts, whereas Dracula probably would go on about bloodlust, more lust, you know...lust etc-grin. My point being that Bram Stoker chose the most evocative and effective POV, Mina the perplexed cousin, for this particular scene to intentionally thicken the suspense and tension.

I want to thank everyone who stopped by today, and if you participated even better! My hope is that you took some little nugget away, to better understand why using one POV over another can make all the difference between a bumpy read and a slick and seamless read.

Cheers, Sara

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