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This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Eyes of the Beholder -- Point of View

I think Point of View (POV) is important in romance and erotica because it is part of the seduction of the readers. Many writers (including me, depending on the story) like to use a single point of view through the whole novel. Most of the time, it’s the heroine’s POV. That’s understandable because she is the seducee, if you will. The typical heroine is going from a state of profound innocence and loneliness to falling madly and completely in love. It’s always fun to fall in love, after all. And most romance writers are females and writing the heroine is writing what one knows.

In the Gift of Surrender, I switch POV between Sarianna and Nikulainen. There are a number of reasons for this. First, I’m weaving what I hope is a rich, complex story about a far off realm. Since the heroine and the hero are facets of a complicated political situation, the reader needs to hear from both of them to understand why events are unfolding in the manner that they are. Second, Nikulainen is going through as much of a seduction as Sarianna. In surrendering himself to Sarianna’s will over his body, Nikulainen is going through a physical and emotional experience that he has never known. He is being seduced just as surely as he is seducing Sarianna.

As the story unfolds, each chapter is usually told from one point of view. Once the couple meets, I usually overlap the events in the last part of the chapter with the opposite POV of the character in the chapter before. For example, if the chapter ends with Nikulainen wondering why he is being summoned to the King’s private receiving hall, the next chapter begins with Sarianna during that exact same time. This is to cover the two views of important events that are unfolding as the chapter ends or to have the two experiences in the aftermath of lovemaking.

I believe this method allows the readers to know and care about both the hero and heroine. Of course, I violate that rule in the sequel, the Price of Surrender. In that novel, which will be out next month, there are three points of view: Nikulainen, Sarianna and Armas. I do not have Laurila’s point of view even though she is inadvertently being seduced by Armas. Nor do I have the POVs of Julin or his lady love. There were just too many of them. I thought that many voices would become a din. The drama in the sequel revolves around Sarianna, Nikulainen and Armas, so that’s whose voices we hear. As for the seduction, Armas is trying hard -- though he is failing -- not to seduce Princess Laurila. The courtship is very different from those of his brothers, so I thought having only Armas’ POV in that novel was valid.

If any of this piques your interest, order the book:


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