Thursday, July 12, 2012

It's All About Perception

The best way to become a better writer is to read, read, and read some more. I've always been an avid reader, but I was the type of reader who would only read a specific author or genre. I was afraid to leave my comfort zone. However, once I started writing, I realized I had to expand my horizons. So lately, I've been reading a lot of different styles and genres by a lot of different authors. And I've learned something...

It's all about perception.

I recently read a book that was a great concept with very interesting characters, but the book was awful. I know that sounds like a complete contradiction so allow me to explain. As writers we have to decide how to tell the story-whose point of view will we let our readers see the story from. At first you might think, Well that's a no-brainer. Your main character, duh! Okay, now do you tell it from a third person perspective (he/she) or a first person (I/me)? Third person POV allows more freedom because we can jump from character to character and see things from different perspectives. First person, however, is much more personal. It's also very limiting in that we can only see things from one perspective.

That single decision can make or break a story.

The one I read that was awful had been written in a way so that the reader wasn't in anyone's mind and in everyones. It was like I was a fly on the wall observing everything from a neutral position. Now I'm sure that works in certain styles of writing, but I felt so disconnected from the story and I couldn't get emotionally attached to any of the characters because I didn't know what they were think or feeling.

Well, I've decided to challenge myself and experiment a little. I'm writing a series right now that's told in the third person and it's been fun. There is one scene in particular that I love and I've been able to show it through both the heroine and hero's POV. I'm going to share them with you here and pay attention to how the same exact situation can be perceived differently.

A little background first: Teghan gets into a sexy strangers car and takes a little joyride with him. They've never met before and they don't know each other's names.

FROM TEGHAN'S POV:
     Shutting off the engine he climbed out of the car and walked to the opposite side. He opened Teghan's door. "Come on," he said, offering her his hand.
     Teghan felt a chill work down her spine as she took his hand and got out of the car. Was he going to leave her out here on the side of the highway? He stood in front of her, blocking her from moving. His hands rested on the roof of the car on either side of her head and his face was inches from hers. She wasn't terrified though. In fact, she felt perfectly at ease. Somehow, she knew he wasn't going to hurt her.
     "It's your lucky night," he said, his eyes bearing into hers.
     She held his gaze while fighting the urge to kiss him. His lips were fit for an angel. They were lips meant to be kissed. Plump. Delectable. And totally forbidden. Oh what she wouldn't do for a taste of them. Just one small taste. She wouldn't even use her tongue. It couldn't be considering cheating then, could it? Teghan licked the desire from her own lips. "Why do you say that?"
     He brought one of his hands to her mouth and traced her lips with his index finger. "Because a lessor man would take what he wanted, what you were teasing with in the car."
     His body pressed against hers and she swore she could feel his erection poking her belly. Teghan let out the breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. "Maybe it was an invitation," she said. She squeezed her legs together, fighting the throbbing between her thighs.
     Their lips were a breath widths apart. God she ached for him to kiss her. She bit her bottom lip and looked up at him under her lashes. There was desire burning in her blue eyes. She could see it, feel it in his gaze.
     He quickly tugged her lip from her teeth and pushed himself away from her. "Lucky for you I'm a gentleman."

FROM BRADLEY'S POV:
     Shutting off the engine he climbed out of the car and walked to the opposite side. He opened Teghan's door. "Come on," he said, offering her his hand. She hesitated for the briefest of moments before taking his hand and getting out of the car. He waited until she was fully out of the car and standing before he put his hands on either side of her head, his palms flat on the roof of the car. Instinctively, he put his face only inches from hers.
     His heart felt like a freight train about to derail. What the hell was he doing? "It's your lucky night," he said. Is that the best line you've got? Moron! She stared up at him with an innocence that had him fighting every male urge in his body.
     "Why do you say that?" she asked.
     And then she licked her lips. Fucking Christ! He couldn't stop himself. He brought one of his hands to his mouth and traced her lips with his index finger. "Because a lessor man would take what he wanted, what you were teasing with in the car." Never in his life had he wanted to be one of those lessor men than he did right this second.
     He knew it was a mistake, but he did it anyway, and pressed his body against hers. She blew out a breath and her body trembled against him. It was like she pushed a button and voila! Instant erection. That was a first for him.
     "Maybe it was an invitation." She bit her bottom lip and looked up at him under her lashes.
     That look she was giving him was a clear cut, no questions asked, fuck me look. He groaned inwardly. God must be punishing him for something he'd done in another life. It was decision time. Do the right thing and take her back to the club or do the wrong thing, albeit fun, but wrong, and take her right here on the side of the highway?
     He quickly tugged her lip from her teeth and pushed himself away from her. "Lucky for you I'm a gentleman."

So, which perspective do you like better?
    

2 comments:

  1. I really like both, but I would have to say his. We already know Tehgan, and the being a gentleman put it over the top! Also explains that not every man will have sex on the first time.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! Bradley is definitely a gentleman...to a fault at times. He's one of my favorite characters that I've ever written and I can't wait to share him with everyone =)

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