Before You Submit: Should Your POV Look

Do you have a draft of your novel or short story and are thinking of submitting to an agent, publisher or writing contest? My series called Before You Submit might help. This series contains hints and tips I’ve received from professionals in the publishing industry. Each week I’ll share a new tip.

This week I’ll write about Point of View Characters looking at things.

As usual, this advice is coming from an editor who knows what he/she is talking about. In an early draft of my novel, I had too many places where the POV looked here, looked there, looked everywhere.  The editor pointed out that if the writing describes something, then the reader assumes the POV can see it.

So a sentence like this:

Kendra submerged herself in the hot tub behind the chalet and waited for dawn. A twig cracked. She turned and looked as a cougar sauntered under the dome of light and silently lifted its upper lip, displaying an impressive array of fangs.

Turned into a sentence like this:

Kendra submerged herself in the hot tub behind the chalet and waited for dawn. A twig cracked. A cougar sauntered under the dome of light and silently lifted its upper lip, displaying an impressive array of fangs.

The second sentence is tighter and hopefully more suspenseful. This is similar to what I posted last week, but I thought I’d include the advice to reinforce checking for ‘saw’ and ‘look’.

I hope this helps improve your writing.

See Before You Submit:Likeable Characters for the first blog in this series and an introduction the benefits of submitting even if you get a rejection letter.

Thanks for reading . . .

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4 thoughts on “Before You Submit: Should Your POV Look

  1. Hope not to be a pain, but since I enjoy your comments and tips…would change “from an editor who knows what they are talking about” to “from an editor who knows what (he or she is) talking about”

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